Preview: Sharks at Hurricanes
The San Jose Sharks made a big statement last time out and look to extend their winning streak to four games when they visit the improving Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night. The Sharks, who opened the season shaky with four losses in six games (2-3-1), started their streak by allowing one goal each in two home wins before scoring three times in the third period at Nashville on Tuesday to earn a 5-4 victory.
“It was a great test,” San Jose forward Timo Meier told reporters after notching a goal and an assist against the Predators, who came into the game 7-1-0. “They’re one of the top teams, no doubt about that. We know we’re up there, too.” The Sharks swept both contests last season and own three straight victories against the Hurricanes, who snapped a three-game slide with a solid 3-1 victory at Detroit on Monday. “They earned a win,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour told reporters. “They did the things right and there was no doubt who the better team was, and that’s the way we have to play.” Center Sebastian Aho leads the Hurricanes with 14 points and has at least one in all nine games, the second-longest streak to start a season in franchise history, behind only Hall of Famer Ron Francis (11 straight in 1984-85 with the Hartford Whalers).
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NBCS California (San Jose), FS Carolinas
ABOUT THE SHARKS (5-3-1): Coach Peter DeBoer shuffled his defense pairings for the third period against Nashville, moving Erik Karlsson alongside Brenden Dillon and reuniting Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Justin Braun during the comeback. “You’re down 4-2, and things aren’t going the way you want them to go, you either change the forward lines, or you change the D pairs, or you change the goalie,” DeBoer told reporters. We decided to change the D (Tuesday).” Karlsson has recorded five assists, but the two-time Norris Trophy winner owns a minus-7 rating in the first nine games with his new team.
ABOUT THE HURRICANES (5-3-1): While Aho continues adding to his impressive point total, offseason acquisition Micheal Ferland has scored in four straight games to lead the team with six goals. Scott Darling, who suffered a lower-body injury late in the preseason, was recalled from a conditioning stint Thursday and will join Curtis McElhinney along with Petr Mrazek in a three-goalie rotation for the near future. “I don’t think that’s the plan but that’s one of those decisions that are kind of out of my hands,” Brind’Amour told the Raleigh News & Observer. “The good news is we like all three of them.”
1. The Hurricanes had two power-play goals and were 4-for-4 on the penalty kill Monday at Detroit, but are still in the bottom four of the league in both.
2. San Jose C Logan Couture shares the team lead in points (10) with D Brent Burns and the top spot in goals (five) with Meier and F Joe Pavelski.
3. Carolina D Justin Faulk scored Monday to give him 228 career points, moving past Glen Wesley into second on the franchise list for blueliners.