Sunday evening on the NHL ice and the Pacific Division will square off with the Atlantic Division as the San Jose Sharks rumble with the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. The Panthers won both meetings between these teams last year. The Sharks enter this game at 15-16 while the Panthers are 14-14.
Sharks Get Struck Down By The LightningThe San Jose Sharks are not having a great yeat at the moment as they enter this game at just 15-16 through their first 31 games. The Sharks just played in Tampa last night and it was not a good showing at all as they were ripped by a score of 7-1. The Sharks have now lost their last three games in a row and have been outscored 14-5 in those games. Despite their struggles this year, the Sharks are still just seven points out of first in the Pacific Division. The offense continues to struggle for the Sharks as they have now averaged just 2.40 gpg over their last 10 games. The goaltending is not good enough for this team to overcome bad offense. Scoring their lone goal against the Bolts was Marc-Edouard Vlasic, which was his 5th of the year.
Absorbing the loss to the Bolts was Martin Jones (12-11, 3.24 GAA), who allowed four goals on 21 shot attempts before being replaced in favor of Aaron Dell, who allowed three goals on 17 shot attempts. Dell will get the start in this one and he has gone 3-5 with a 3.42 GAA on the year, including 3-3 with a 3.20 GAA on the road. In his career, he has gone 23-22 with a 3.02 GAA on the road and 8-3 with a 2.75 GAA during the month of December, plus 1-0 with a 1.65 GAA against the Panthers.The Sharks enter this game ranked 21st in the league in scoring at 2.74 gpg and 23rd in power-play conversions at 16.1% while on the defensive end of the ice, they are 28th in the league in goals allowed at 3.39 gpg and 1st in penalty kill at 89.9%.
Panthers Are Trying To Turn Things AroundRecently, the Florida Panthers had a three-game winning streak, which was followed by a three-game losing streak. They have now followed that up by taking two of their last three games and will look to continue to turn things around against a struggling San Jose team in this one. The Panthers have clawed their way back to .500 on the year and they are in 2nd place in the Atlantic Division but we also note that the Cats are 13 points out of first. The Atlantic Division is the weakest in the league but still, if the playoffs started today, the Panthers would be in. Florida enters this game off a solid 4-1 home win over the Columbus Blue Jackets to put them at 8-6 here at BB&T Center for the year. Scoring in the win was Evgenii Dadonov, which was his 11th of the year, Josh Brown, which was his 2nd, Brett Connolly, which was his 13th and Mike Hoffman, which was his 11th.
#FlaPanthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky stops 33 of 34 shots to help the Cats in their 4-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) December 8, 2019
Five Takeaways >> https://t.co/PcdnVvzsjr pic.twitter.com/rO2yiUgnBa
Snatching up the win was Sergei Bobrovsky, who stopped 33 of the 34 shots that he faced to improve to 10-10 with a 3.35 GAA on the year. Getting the nod in this one will be Chris Driedger, who has gone 1-1 with a 1.53 GAA so far on the year. Driedger has played in five total games in his career and he is 1-2 with a 1.97 GAA in those games. He has never faced the Sharks. The Panthers enter this game ranked 5th in the league in scoring at 4.46 gpg and 6th in power-play conversions at 23.0% while on the defensive end of the ice, they are 29th in the league in goals allowed at 3.39 gpg and 5th in penalty kill at 85.5%.
Trends Are Courtesy Of Covers.com San Jose is:
- 2-7 in their last 9 vs. the Atlantic
- 1-5 in their last 6 games playing on 0 days rest
- 4-1 the last five games in this series