The Vancouver Canucks take on the Sharks for the third time this season tonight at the SAP Center in San Jose. The Sharks have lost three straight heading into tonight’s action but have dominated the Canucks so far this season.
With the odds stacked against the visitors, below are five keys to tonight’s game.
Home Ice Advantage
The San Jose Sharks have yet to be beaten in regulation at home this season, carrying a 5-0-2 record at the SAP Center into tonight’s action.
Part of the Sharks’ success has been due to their ability to score at home, where the team has 32 goals this season, good for 2nd in the NHL.
Only the Blackhawks have generated more goals on home ice, however the Sharks hold three home games in hand.
The Sharks will be looking for their tenth straight win over the Canucks tonight but carry their own three-game losing streak into tonight’s action. While the Sharks seem to be slowing down after their superb start to the season the Canucks are simply the perfect team to come to town.
San Jose has outscored Vancouver by a tally of 8-2 through two meetings this season.
Henrik So Hot Right Now
Henrik Sedin carries a 12-game point streak into tonight’s action. The captain has 3 goals and 11 assists over the span, and needs to continue his torrid pace tonight in San Jose.
Sharks captain Joe Thornton is averaging a point-per-game at home so far this season, and will be a handful for Henrik and company if Todd McLellan decides to go power versus power tonight in San Jose.
Special Teams Test
Despite dominating Vancouver during their first two meetings this season the San Jose Sharks have yet to score a power play goal against the stingy Canucks.
Vancouver’s penalty kill is the best in the Western Conference operating at 87.9%, and will be looked upon again tonight to hold the talented Sharks at bay.
San Jose’s power play is 11th in the NHL converting 20.3% of their chances.
Luongo Locked In
Roberto Luongo will need to be one of Vancouver’s best players tonight against a Sharks team that loves to shoot the puck. The Sharks lead the league with 38.3 shots per game so far this season, and have put up 101 shots over their last two contests.
Expect Luongo to be locked in and busy all night as the home team attempts to put everything on net tonight at the Shark Tank.