Preview: Sharks at Blackhawks
The San Jose Sharks look to put the finishing touches on their successful road trip when they visit the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday. San Jose had a four-game winless streak when it began its five-game trek at Winnipeg, where the drought reached five after a 5-4 shootout loss. But the Sharks went on to post overtime victories in Calgary and Vancouver before skating to a 3-1 triumph at Edmonton on Friday.
Patrick Marleau recorded a goal and an assist while rookie Tomas Hertl netted his team-leading 12th tally as San Jose registered its first regulation win since Oct. 27. Chicago is coming off its worst defeat of the season, a 7-2 thrashing from Nashville on Saturday. Patrick Kane and Brandon Pirri scored as the Blackhawks had both their four-game winning streak and eight-game point run come to an end.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, CSN California (San Jose), WGN (Chicago)
ABOUT THE SHARKS (13-2-5): Captain Joe Thornton had an assist taken away after Friday's victory, leaving him with 807 for his career and keeping him five behind Pierre Turgeon for 29th place on the all-time list. He also dropped two points behind Nicklas Lidstrom (1,142) for 50th in career scoring. The former Hart Trophy winner enters Sunday with a seven-game point streak during which he's collected a goal and eight assists.
ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS (13-3-4): Nikolai Khabibulin received a rare start Saturday, but he likely won't be getting another for a while. The veteran netminder, who started for the first time since Oct. 29, allowed two goals on eight shots before suffering a lower-body injury with 4 1/2 minutes left in the first period. Right wing Marian Hossa did not play Saturday due to a lower-body injury and is questionable for Sunday's contest.
1. Kane has recorded four goals and five assists during his six-game point streak.
2. San Jose is tied with St. Louis for the fewest amount of regulation losses (two).
3. Blackhawks RW Kris Versteeg notched an assist in his return to the team. The veteran, who was acquired from Florida on Thursday, had two goals and five assists in 18 games with the Panthers this season.
PREDICTION: Blackhawks 4, Sharks 1