Both the Bruins and Sharks look to win back-to-back games for the first time this season as former Bruins captain Joe Thornton leads his Sharks into Boston for a Saturday evening tilt with the defending Stanley Cup Champion Bruins. The Sharks used a late third period goal from Joe Pavelski to tie things up in New Jersey last night, a game the Sharks would eventually win in the shootout.
San Jose Sharks vs. Boston Bruins
Puck Drop: 7:00 P.M.
TV: NESN. Radio: 98.5 F.M. The Sports Hub
2010-11 Series: Sharks 1-0
2011-12 Series: Tied 0-0
Expected goalie matchup: Tim Thomas vs. Antti Niemi
What to watch for Bruins:
In Thursday’s 6-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Bruins got production throughout the entire lineup. Eight different Bruins registered points including Tyler Seguin, Zdeno Chara, Andrew Ference, and Milan Lucic who had three a piece. The six goal outburst is hopefully an indication that the Bruins have gotten past their offensive woes.
After scoring on just two of their first 25 power play opportunities the Bruins scored twice with the extra attacker against the Leafs. The power play looked very well with some nice puck movement and traffic down low. Look for the Bruins to continue to create plays on the power play and see if the Bruins can make it three games in a row with a power play goal.
Tim Thomas is expected to make the start for the Bruins between the pipes tonight. Thomas has pretty good lifetime numbers against the Sharks. Thomas is 2-2 with a 1.80 goals against average and a .935 save percentage heading into tonight’s matchup.
What to watch for Sharks:
The Bruins get lucky again catching a team who previously played the night before as the Bruins were off. It was evident Thursday that the Leafs were tired from the night before and the Bruins took advantage of this. The Sharks need to come out and find their legs early if they expect to stay in this one.
In the Sharks five games Thornton has struggled offensively with just three points. Thornton scored his first goal of the season in last night’s win over the Devils. The Bruins can’t let Thornton get comfortable on the ice tonight, because when on his game Thornton is one of the best playmakers in the game.
Antti Niemi will be in net for the Sharks for the second straight night. Niemi had 16 saves in last night’s win. Playing back-to-back games sandwiched between traveling from New Jersey to Boston can’t be good for the Finnish goaltender. You should be able to tell early if the back-to-back starts and travel has a positive or negative effect on Niemi.
Bruins gameday links:
New England Hockey Journal’s Jesse Connolly lets you know besides for tonight when the Bruins will be wearing their third jerseys.
Ty Anderson of Hockeybuzz.com touches on the Bruins needing to keep their cool.
Joe Corvo has gotten off to a good start in Boston. (Steve Conroy/Boston Herald)
Sharks gameday links:
Sharks make roster moves, as Thornton admits to wanting Bruins to win Stanley Cup. (David Pollak/Mercurynews.com)
Take a look at last nights come from behind win by the Sharks. (Kristie Ackert/NyDailNews.com)