After making a little history in a thrilling win, the San Jose Sharks will try to end a home losing streak against a team that arguably has been one of the league’s biggest disappointments this season.
San Jose looks to avoid its fourth straight loss to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night at SAP Center.
The Sharks haven’t beaten the Senators at home since Oct. 12, 2013, giving up 12 goals during the skid. San Jose has also allowed at least one power-play goal in eight straight home games to the Senators dating to March 7, 2002.
Article continues below ...
This season, Ottawa has one of the weaker power-play units, converting 16.7 percent of their chances (17 of 102). San Jose owns one of the NHL’s top penalty-killing units, killing off 78 of 90 short-handed situations.
On Thursday, San Jose (15-10-2) opened a three-game homestand by erasing two three-goal deficits and topping the Carolina Hurricanes 5-4 on Brent Burns’ even-strength goal 22 seconds into overtime.
For the first time in franchise history, the Sharks had two power-play goals and two short-handed goals in the same game.
“I figured we would push back. We usually do,” San Jose coach Peter DeBoer said. “There’s a lot of character in that room, a lot of proud guys. When we’ve been in that spot before we usually push back, and we did tonight. … That’s not the way you draw it up to start the game. We dug ourselves out of a hole. You got to win all kinds of ways in this league over 82 games.”
The goal was Burns’ second of the season. He notched a league high for defensemen with 29 en route to his first Norris Trophy last season. In 10 career games against Ottawa, he has four goals and six assists.
Even though Martin Jones beat the Hurricanes, he is 1-2-0 with a 4.32 goals-against average and .866 save percentage this month. Jones also lost in his only career home start to the Senators on Dec. 7, 2016, stopping 13 of 16 shots.
Aaron Dell, who has never faced Ottawa, surrendered two goals on 63 shots while winning each of his last two starts.
Ottawa (9-11-7), which took the Pittsburgh Penguins to double overtime in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final last season, is ahead of only the league-worst Buffalo Sabres in the conference.
The Senators hit the ice for the sixth game of a seven-game road trip after a 4-3 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night. After Ryan Dzingel tied the score with 10 seconds to play in regulation, Mike Condon surrendered the winning goal to Drew Doughty at the 32-second mark.
Ottawa battled back from three one-goal deficits to come away with a point. And even though they’re mired in a 1-8-2 slide, the Senators are surprisingly upbeat.
“We played assertive (against Los Angeles), we played not afraid to lose and we played on our toes,” forward Matt Duchene told the Ottawa Citizen. “There was a lot of really good things. … We have to find a way to build on it in San Jose. We play like we did (Thursday) in 10 games, we’re going to win seven or eight of them.”
Duchene posted a goal and an assist for his first multipoint game since being acquired from the Colorado Avalanche as part of a three-team deal last month. In 13 games with his new club, the third overall pick in the 2009 NHL Draft has just two goals and two assists. He has never picked up more than one point in any of 11 career matchups in northern California.
Neither of Ottawa’s goaltenders have fared particularly well in San Jose. Craig Anderson has lost four of six career games and Mike Condon is 1-1-0 but has yielded eight goals on 73 shots.
Anderson is 0-6-0 with a 3.04 GAA in eight games (seven starts) since Nov. 16. Condon, who made 34 saves against the Kings on Thursday, is 1-2-2 with a 3.56 GAA in five games (four starts) since Nov. 18.
It could be a night of career milestones for players on both teams.
For San Jose, Logan Couture needs two points to reach 400. Couture leads the team in goals (14), short-handed goals (two) and points (22). He has two goals and an assist in a three-game points streak versus Ottawa.
Joel Ward is one point short of 300. He has four goals and three assists in 22 games.
Justin Braun needs two assists for 100. He’s tied for third on the team with 10, and has contributed points in six of his last eight games.
Ottawa’s Derrick Brassard needs one point for 400, and Alexandre Burrows is one assist short of 200.
Brassard has six goals and 11 assists in 27 games this season. He has registered five assists in 12 career games at the Shark Tank.
Burrows, who had his 200th NHL goal on Oct. 19 against the New Jersey Devils, has six goals and eight assists in 22 career games in San Jose.