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Sharks aim to rebound in clash with Hurricanes

(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Jose Sharks will try to put a blowout loss in Pittsburgh behind them when they continue a four-game road trip with Friday's battle against the Carolina Hurricanes.

San Jose had tied a season high with six straight wins before getting slammed 5-1 by the Penguins on Thursday. Along with a 4-2 loss against Vancouver on Nov. 7 and another 5-1 setback versus Chicago on Nov. 17, it marked the third time the Sharks lost by a margin of more than one goal this season.

The Penguins scored four times in the second period to take control of Thursday's game. Chris Kunitz scored twice and Sidney Crosby recorded three assists in the rout.

"One man does not make a team, and that is a team over there," Sharks head coach Todd McLellan said. "They've been able to recover from injury losses in the past and, in fact, some nights they even play better. Their team pulls together."

Tomas Hertl provided the lone score for the Sharks, while Joe Thornton extended his point streak to seven games with an assist.

Antti Niemi lasted two periods in net for the Sharks, allowing four goals on 27 shots. Alex Stalock stopped two of the three shots he faced in the third.

The Sharks fell to 9-3-3 on the road this season with the loss. San Jose will cap its road trip Sunday in Minnesota.

Despite the setback, the Sharks are still leading the Pacific Division with 43 points, two more than Anaheim, which plays Friday evening in Chicago. San Jose is also one point behind the Blackhawks for the Western Conference and overall NHL lead.

The Hurricanes, meanwhile, will try for a third straight victory after taking both games on a recent two-game swing. Carolina notched a 4-1 win at Washington on Tuesday before using Jeff Skinner's first career hat trick to down the Nashville Predators by a 5-2 score on Thursday.

Skinner scored his first two goals in the second period and got the third on an empty net, giving him nine goals for the season.

The Hurricanes scored four unanswered goals to end the game, including three in under 13 minutes in the second period after the Predators had taken a 2-1 lead with two goals in the first 2:41 of the frame.

"The puck was bouncing," said Skinner. "It was a weird game. There wasn't much flow."

Justin Faulk and Riley Nash also scored for the Hurricanes, who haven't won three in a row since a four-game run from Feb. 28-March 5 of last season.

Justin Peters made 20 saves to earn the win, but Cam Ward expects to get the call on Friday. Ward is 2-1-0 with a lofty 3.67 goals against average in three career outings against the Sharks.

The Hurricanes are battling a rash of injuries at the moment. Defensemen Mike Komisarek and Drayson Bowman are questionable for tonight with lower-body injuries, while forward Patrick Dwyer could also sit out Friday with an upper- body issue.

Carolina winger Alexander Semin also is nearing a return from a concussion, but he will miss a 10th straight game on Friday.

The Hurricanes are just 6-6-4 as the host this season and have lost their last two games at PNC Arena.

San Jose has lost four of five and five of the last seven games in the series against Carolina. The Sharks also have struggled in Raleigh over the years, dropping four of their last five road games versus Carolina.

12/06 10:55:16 ET

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Schedule

Wednesday, April 16Full Scoreboard
Montreal 4/16 7:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay @theRink | TV: CNBC, CBC, RDS, SunSports
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Columbus 4/16 7:30 PM ET
Pittsburgh @theRink | TV: NBCSN, CBC, FS-OH, ROOT
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Dallas 4/16 10:00 PM ET
Anaheim CNBC, CBC, RDS, SunSports
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
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Scoreboard
Local
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
CHI
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR
 
Final
CIN 4
PIT 0
Final
BAL 3
TAM 0
Final
NYY 3
CHC 0
Final
MIL 5
STL 1
9th
ARI 0
NYM 3
 
7:05pm Tonight
PHI
ATL
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
CHC
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CLE
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
WAS
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
SEA
8:10pm Tonight
CWS
BOS
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
KAN
8:10pm Tonight
MIN 0
TOR 0
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
OAK
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
COL
10:15pm Tonight
SFG
LOS
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
CHI
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
IND
8:00pm Tonight
MIL
ATL
8:00pm Tonight
CLE
BRK
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
DAL
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
DET
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
HOU
8:00pm Tonight
SAN
LAL
8:00pm Tonight
MIA
PHI
8:00pm Tonight
NYK
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
UTA
8:00pm Tonight
BOS
WAS
10:30pm Tonight
DEN
GSW
10:30pm Tonight
POR
LAC
10:30pm Tonight
SAC
PHO
7:00pm Tonight
TAM
MON
7:30pm Tonight
PIT
CLB
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
DAL
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR