The San Jose Sharks looked sluggish throughout one of their worst efforts of the season following the holiday break as their inexplicable home struggles continued.
Time off didn't prove any better for the Philadelphia Flyers, who could be undergoing a bit of a roster shake-up.
San Jose looks to snap a four-game home losing streak by beating Philadelphia for a fifth straight time Wednesday night.
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No longer are opponents intimidated by the SAP Center, where the Sharks (17-16-2) for years dominated on home ice. They own the league's worst home record at 4-10-0 and are still involved in a tight Pacific Division race largely because they're tied for the second-most road victories.
San Jose went 3-1-1 on a road trip before the break, then returned Monday with a 6-3 home loss to Colorado. It hadn't allowed a power-play goal in any of its previous seven before allowing four while taking six penalties – four in the first period – against the Avalanche.
The Sharks, who tied their season high for goals allowed, hadn't given up more than two power-play goals in a game all season.
''When you take tripping, hooking or holding penalties, to me, you're not moving your feet,'' coach Peter DeBoer said. ''I liked the way we started. Our penalty kill has been arguably the best in the league over the last two months. They were making plays through us. That's a bad formula.”
Martin Jones faced a tough task with the Sharks short-handed so often and has a 3.96 goals-against average over his last four starts.
Melker Karlsson scored in overtime and Jones made 34 saves in a 1-0 win over Philadelphia on Nov. 19 for San Jose's fourth straight victory in the series. The Flyers (15-13-7) rank near the bottom of the league in scoring and failed to reach three goals for the third time in four games in Sunday's 4-2 loss at Anaheim.
Jakub Voracek and Michael Raffl scored for Philadelphia, which was coming off a 3-0-1 stretch prior to the holiday break.
“We're still a confident team right now and we're confident we can beat anybody,” Voracek said. “We just have to make sure we put a lot of work in and get back at it.”
Coach Dave Hakstol hinted at adjusting his lines at Tuesday's practice but didn't discuss specifics. What's more clear is that changes should be coming to the defense.
Mark Streit has been on long-term injured reserve with a groin injury since mid-November and is ready to return. The Flyers need to clear cap space in order to have Streit and rookie standout Shayne Gostisbehere on the roster, forcing them to place forward Sam Gagner on waivers.
Gagner had five points in 18 games before suffering a concussion Nov. 23. He hasn't played since, and if he clears waivers he'll likely play for the club's AHL affiliate.
“We've kept our forward group pretty similar over the last little while here,” Hakstol said. “I'm not saying we're definitely going to make a lineup change up front, but it's on the table and it's a possibility. Probably won't make that decision until we get to game day.”
The Flyers have dropped three straight on the road and could give Steve Mason a fifth consecutive start in goal. Mason made 20 saves in the first meeting and has a 1.59 GAA in his last three against the Sharks.