Blues host Sharks on FOX Sports Midwest
(AP) — After two overtime losses in two days, the San Jose Sharks are in the midst of another frustrating losing streak. Tuesday night will provide them not only with a chance to end their latest slide, but also an opportunity to avenge one of those defeats.
San Jose will visit the St. Louis Blues, who got a hat trick from Vladimir Sobotka and an overtime winner from Patrik Berglund to beat the Sharks 4-3 on Saturday.
The Sharks (11-7-6) followed that with another heartbreaker Sunday for their third straight loss, a 3-2 defeat at Colorado as the Avalanche scored in the final second of OT. San Jose is hoping to stop this skid before it starts to resemble the seven-game slide that followed the club’s 7-0-0 start.
The Sharks have dropped four of five on the road since a 2-1 victory at St. Louis on Feb. 19, and they’ve scored two goals or fewer in regulation in 10 straight away from home.
“Mixed emotions,” coach Todd McLellan said of Sunday’s loss, in which San Jose rallied from a 2-0 deficit to salvage a point. Patrick Marleau ended a six-game goal drought and Logan Couture tallied his 10th of the year.
“To scramble back and fight on the road down two is nice,” McLellan added. “The way it ends with (less than a second left) and you don’t get a chance at the shootout, that’s a little bit disappointing.”
The Blues (13-10-2) are also trying to bounce back after failing to win a third straight to close their five-game road trip Sunday, dropping a 4-2 result at Anaheim. They allowed the final three goals after Berglund’s team-leading 13th tally – his fourth in three games – put St. Louis ahead early in the third period.
“When we get a 2-1 lead in the third, we expect to win. And when we don’t, these are the ones we shake our head at,” captain David Backes said. “I don’t think fatigue or playing yesterday is an excuse. I think if anything, we were more ready for this game than usual.”
Sobotka’s goal-scoring streak ended at three games following his first career multigoal performance, which helped pull the Blues out of a two-goal deficit in the final period against the Sharks. He still has six goals over his last six games after scoring once in his first 19 contests.
San Jose is looking to tighten up defensively after surrendering an average of 35.3 shots on goal over its last four games. The Blues outshot the Sharks 35-25 on Saturday.
St. Louis is allowing a league-low 23.3 shots per game this season, but it’s last in the league with an .869 save percentage after leading the NHL at .929 in 2011-12. Jaroslav Halak has a 3.46 goals-against average in his last four starts after yielding three goals on 21 shots against the Ducks.
Rookie Jake Allen beat the Sharks over the weekend to improve to 5-1-0.
Each of these teams had one power-play goal Saturday, but the Sharks’ unit is still having problems. They went 0 for 5 on Sunday and are 1 for 37 in their last eight road games.
Visitors to St. Louis are 1 for 19 with the man advantage over the Blues’ last seven home contests.