Preview: Sharks @ Panthers, 2/18/16

Game #58
San Jose Sharks (30-20-5 / 65 PTS) @ Florida Panthers (33-18-6 / 72 PTS)  
Thursday, February 18th, 2016 – 7:30PM EST
BB&T Center – Sunrise, FL

Between the Lines

The Panthers and Sharks will face each other for the second time this season on Thursday at the BB&T Center. The Panthers defeated the Penguins on Monday in a shootout 2-1 thanks to a 1st period goal from Nick Bjugstad, which gave the team a total of nine 10-goal scorers so far this season, and a stellar performance between the pipes from Al Montoya. Montoya is expected to get the start as a result of his strong season thus far, however injured Panthers Aleksander Barkov and Erik Gudbranson are not expected back after practicing on their own today for the 3rd straight time rather than with the team. They are close, however, and could be back next Thursday when the Panthers face the Arizona Coyotes for the first time this season. Brandon Pirri, who was injured on Saturday, is expected to be out 3-4 weeks while Quinton Howden has no timeline for return, but isn’t far off either. Willie Mitchell isn’t skating yet but is working out, so there’s no timeline for him yet as well.

The Sharks are coming off a 4-2 win over the Lightning on Tuesday night in which Ward, Pavelski, Nieto, and Karlsson each combined for the 4 goals in front of Martin Jones who made 28 saves on 30 shots. The Panthers and Sharks last met on November 5th in San Jose when Brandon Pirri and Vincent Trocheck scored the only Panthers goals in a 5-2 loss despite a 31-save performance by Al Montoya.

Projected Line Combinations

Florida_Panthers.svg SanJoseSharksLogo.svg
11 Huberdeau – 27 Bjugstad – 36 Jokinen L1 48 Hertl  – 19 Thornton – Pavelski
18 Smith – 21 Trocheck – 68 Jagr L2 83 Nieto – 12 Marleau – 42 Ward
45 McFarland– 17 MacKenzie – 48 Shaw L3 27 Donskoi – 39 Couture – 57 Wingels
28 Wilson – 41 McKegg – 22 Thornton L4 68 Karlsson – 50 Tierney – Zubrus
Kulikov – 5 Ekblad D1 7 Martin – 88 Burns
51 Campbell – 37 Regner D2 61 Braun – 44 Vlasic
Kampfer – Petrovic D3 74 Demelo – 80 Tennyson
35 Montoya – Luongo G 31 Jones – 32 Stalock
Howden, Pirri, Bolland X Mueller, Brown, Dillon
Mitchell, Gudbranson, Barkov INJ

Top 5 Scorers

Florida Panthers

Player Goals Assists Points
1. Jaromir Jagr 17 23 40
2. Jonathan Huberdeau 11 29 40
3. Jussi Jokinen 11 27 38
4. Vincent Trocheck 17 18 35
5. Aleksander Barkov 16 19 35

San Jose Sharks

Player Goals Assists Points
1. Joe Pavelski 26 27 53
2. Joe Thornton 12 38 50
3. Brent Burns 18 30 48
4. Patrick Marleau 17 19 36
5. Joel Ward 16 18 34

Expected Starting Goaltenders

Florida Panthers

Name Record Save % GAA
Al Montoya 9-4-1 .929 1.98

San Jose Sharks

Name Record Save % GAA
Martin Jones 27-15-3 .916 2.34
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