Pittsburgh Penguins (8-3-2, 18pts) @ San Jose Sharks (6-4-0, 12pts)
When: 10:38 p.m. ET | Where: HP Pavilion, San Jose, California
Referees:3 – Mike Leggo; 12 – Justin St. Pierre Linesmen 74 – Lonnie Cameron; 91 – Don Henderson
POINTS LEADERS: PIT JAMES NEAL (11), KRIS LETANG (11), JORDAN STAAL (9) | SJ JOE PAVELSKI (13), JOE THORNTON (9), RYAN CLOWE (8)
Pre-Game Notes: San Jose is coming off a 5-1 Eastern Road Trip…..Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture each ended the six-game road trip with at least a point in every game, both entering tonight’s game on a six game points streak…. Goaltender Antti Niemi (4-2-0), who went 4-1-0 with a 3.56 goals against average on the trip, is 2-0-1 with a 1.60 GAA in his career against the Penguins…..The Sharks return home for just their 4th home game (1-2) of the season….
Pittsburgh had one of their most successful October’s in team history, collecting 18 pts….. The Penguins are 6-8-2 all-time in San Jose but have lost seven straight in San Jose and are 0-8-1 overall since their last win in San Jose, 5-2, on October 22, 1997…… The Penguins are 3-0-1 this season against the Western Conference and since 2010-2011 season, the Penguins are 14-4-4 vs West and an impressive 8-2-3 on the road during that span…..Pittsburgh will play their 55th game without Sidney Crosby. During that span, theÂ Penguins are 31-16-7.
Lineup Notes: Jordan Staal and Kris Letang are officially game time decisions. Word out of San Jose from sources is that as of this morning the team was leaning towards holding Staal out of tonight’s game. Expectations had been that Letang will play.
DePaoli’s Pre-Game Tidbits
*Is it time for Marc Andre Fleury to get into the discussion as the games best goaltender?
Since November 12, 2010, Fleury has posted a 42-16-5 record over his last 63 starts, the most wins in the NHL during that span.
Behind Fleury for the second most wins during that span is San Jose’s Antti Niemi with 38, courtesy of the Penguins communications department.
This season Fleury’s seven wins rank second (tied) in the NHLÂ and he isÂ among the leaders with a 1.86 goals against average (6th) and .934 save percentage (7th).
Fleury has now allowed two or fewer goals in each of his last five starts, going 4-1 with a 1.20 goals against average and a .957 save percentage. Riding a personal four game winning streak, Fleury has stopped 100 of 104 shots during that span.
Fleury comes into tonight’s game with a perfect save percentage onÂ the penalty kill, stopping all 31 shots. In his career, Fleury is 1-2-1 with a 2.86 GAA against San Jose.
*Joe Thornton in his career vs Pittsburgh: 14 goals – 30 assists – 44 points and a +17 rating
*James Neal finished October with 9 goals and 2 assists in 13 games. Neal also leads theÂ Penguins in power play goals with 3 and shots, 52.Â Since the 2009-2010 season, Neal has collected 22 goals, 37 points in 37 October games.
*Evgeni Malkin has six power play points in six games this season. He’s coming off a two point game.
PIT Special Teams Breakdown
Overall: 12-55, 21.8% (8th in NHL)
5-on-4: 11-52, 21.2%
5-on-3: 1-1, 100.0%
4-on-3: 0-2, 0.0%
Overall: 36-39, 92.3% (2nd in NHL)
5-on-4: 35-37, 94.6%
5-on-3: 1-1, 100.0%
*San Jose comes into tonight’s game with the No. 7th ranked power play in the NHL (8-36, 22.2% (7th NHL). The Sharks are 1st in the NHL at home, (5-14, 35.7%)
On the Penalty Kill, Sharks are 26th in the NHL, (10-38, 73.7% (26th NHL
*The Penguins have a minus-2 goal differential in 5-on-5 situations, giving up 22 goals against and scoring 20 through 13 games.