National Hockey League
Devils-Sharks Preview
National Hockey League

Devils-Sharks Preview

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 2:15 p.m. ET

After enjoying more success on the road, the San Jose Sharks will try to improve their recent play at home.

Peter DeBoer's Sharks can avoid a third defeat in four home games by sweeping the season series from their coach's former club Thursday night against the struggling New Jersey Devils.

San Jose (37-23-6) has won five of six with four victories coming on the road and that loss at home. The Sharks won their league-best 25th road game by concluding a two-game sweep through Western Canada with Tuesday's 3-0 win over Edmonton.

Though San Jose is third in the Pacific Division, it's very much within striking distance of both Los Angeles and Anaheim.


"Happy to keep creeping toward the playoffs," said James Reimer, who made 31 saves to earn his first win in the second game he's played since San Jose acquired him from Toronto on Feb. 27.

Reimer yielded three goals on 25 shots in Saturday's 4-2 home loss to Vancouver. San Jose dropped two of three there following a 6-0-3 stretch.

The Sharks, who last lost back-to-back home contests Jan. 2 and 7, have ample opportunity to get back on track there with three straight and nine of the next 10 in San Jose.

Sitting 12th in the Eastern Conference and six points out of the final wild-card spot, New Jersey (31-29-7) has dropped eight of 10 and been held to one or no goals four times in the last six games. The Devils were able to get only one of 32 shots past Martin Jones in a 2-1 shootout loss to San Jose on Oct. 16. It was DeBoer's first game back in New Jersey since that club fired him in December 2014.

Cory Schneider stopped 33 shots in the first meeting but won't be available for at least two weeks because a knee injury.

"The most important thing we want to do is make sure that if a player is going to be in our lineup, it's going to be good for the player and good for the team," New Jersey coach John Hynes said. "But it's always about the player first, and we want to make sure that if and when Cory's ready we're not going to push him back."

Backup Keith Kinkaid has allowed 10 goals in his last two starts.

''I have to make a few stops for my team,'' said Kinkaid, who dropped to 5-6-1 with a 2.75 goals-against average as a starter following Sunday's 6-1 loss to Pittsburgh. ''I have to make a big stop to give them the momentum.''

New Jersey's four March opponents have gone 4 for 11 on the power play while it's 3 for 16 with the man advantage in the last six.

Kyle Palmieri has two of his team-leading 25 goals in three contests but, including his time with Anaheim, has scored twice in 14 games against the Sharks.

San Jose's Joe Pavelski has a goal in back-to-back games and five of his team-leading 31 in the last six. He had two goals and four assists in his previous three against the Devils before being blanked in October.

Jones has won four in a row and owns a 1.61 GAA in his last five starts.


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