PENGUINS vs SHARKS PREVIEW
PITTSBURGH at SAN JOSE
When and where — 10:30 p.m. today; SAP Center, San Jose, Calif.
TV — Root
Radio — WQMU-FM 92.5
Records — Penguins 41-16-4 (86 points, first place Metropolitan Division), Sharks 39-17-7 (85 points, second place Pacific Division)
Leading scorers — Penguins: Sidney Crosby (29 goals, 54 assists, 83 points); Sharks: Joe Pavelski (32 goals, 59 points), Joe Thornton (51 assists, 59 points)
Season series — 1-0 Pittsburgh
Last meeting — After a scoreless first period, the Penguins scored four second-period goals and beat the Sharks, 5-1, on Dec. 5 in Pittsburgh. Chris Kunitz scored twice, and Pascal Dupuis, Jayson Megna and Kris Letang added a goal each for the Pens. Tomas Hertl scored San Jose’s goal. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 44 of 45 shots for Pittsburgh.
Last time out — The Penguins snapped a three-game losing streak with a 3-1 win at Nashville on Tuesday, behind two goals from defenseman Matt Niskanen. … San Jose lost to Carolina, 3-2, in overtime at home on Tuesday. Martin Havlat and Brent Burns scored the Sharks’ goals. Alex Stalock stopped 32 of 35 shots.
Notes — Two of the league’s top teams battle during spells of relative mediocrity. Pittsburgh is 5-3-2 in its last 10; San Jose is 5-4-1. … The Penguins acquired center Marcel Goc from Florida and winger Lee Stempniak from Calgary at Wednesday’s trade deadline. … Evgeni Malkin has two goals and five assists in his last five games. He has four points in five career games against the Sharks. … Crosby leads the league in scoring and holds a 13-point lead on Toronto’s Phil Kessel and leads in assists with three more than San Jose’s Joe Thornton. ... Niskanen leads the league in plus-minus (plus-32). Niskanen’s two goals Tuesday pushed him to nine on the season, passing his previous career high of seven, achieved as a rookie in 2007-08 with Dallas. ... Fleury (32-14-3, .916 save percentage) leads the league in wins and is tied for third in shutouts (4).
About the Sharks — San Jose is 2-1-1 after the Olympic break. … The Sharks did not make any moves Wednesday prior to the trade deadline. … San Jose sits six points back of league-leading Anaheim in the Pacific Division. … In his last four starts, Stalock is 3-0-1 with a .916 save percentage and 2.19 goals-against average. Overall he is 10-4-1 with a .932 save percentage. … No. 1 goaltender Antti Niemi (29-13-6, .911 save percentage) is tied for third in the league in wins. Thornton is second in assists and Joe Pavelski is tied for third in goals.
Next — The Penguins play at Anaheim on Friday.