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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, February 7th (All times Eastern)

Columbus Blue Jackets (29-23-5) at San Jose Sharks (36-16-6), 10:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Columbus Blue Jackets will try to complete their pre-Olympic schedule on a positive note when they visit the San Jose Sharks for Friday's clash at SAP Center.

Columbus has been red-hot since the beginning of January, going 12-4-1 since the calendar flipped to 2014. The Blue Jackets, however, had a three-game winning streak halted their last time out, as they dropped Thursday's 2-1 overtime decision in Los Angeles.

The Blue Jackets scored their only goal just 1:40 into the first period on Thursday. Los Angeles evened the score early in the third period on a goal from Jake Muzzin and Robyn Regehr tallied 2:33 into OT to help the Kings halt a four-game losing streak.

"I think they played really hard. There wasn't a lot of space out there," Columbus coach Todd Richards said. "I think they checked well I thought we checked well. It was an intense physical game and we knew that coming in and I thought we were going to get tested here in this building and I'm real happy with the way the guys came out and played the game."

Friday's contest marks the third stop on a four-game swing. The final portion of the trip won't be played until the Blue Jackets visit New Jersey on Feb. 27, when the NHL returns from its break for this year's Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

Columbus, which are 13-12-3 as the guest this season, enters Friday tied with Ottawa for the ninth seed in the Eastern Conference and both clubs are just one point in back of Detroit for the East's eighth and final playoff spot. Both the Senators and Red Wings are off on Friday before closing their pre- Olympic schedules on Saturday,

The Blue Jackets also could qualify for the postseason by finishing in the top-three in the Metropolitan Division. Columbus is currently one point behind the third-place Philadelphia Flyers, who are off on Friday before hosting Calgary on Saturday afternoon.

Columbus has fared well against the Sharks recently and hopes to continue that trend in the first of two meetings between the clubs in 2013-14. After sweeping the three-game series last season, the Blue Jackets have won four in a row and six of the past 10 meetings overall.

San Jose, however, has taken 13 of the last 15 encounters at the Shark Tank.

After ending January on an 0-3-0 slide, the Sharks have won two of three to begin the new month. San Jose hopes to get three wins during its four-game homestand when it plays its final test before the Olympics tonight.

The Sharks opened February with a 2-1 shootout win over Chicago on Saturday, but then dropped a 5-2 decision to Philadelphia on Monday to fall to 1-1 on its homestand.

San Jose, which is running second to Anaheim in the Pacific Division, was able to rebound on Wednesday by recording a 2-1 overtime victory against Dallas. Tommy Wingels scored 1:52 into overtime to lift the Sharks to victory and award them the extra point.

Marty Havlat had a goal and an assist for the Sharks, who improved to 21-4-3 at home this season. Alex Stalock stopped 19-of-20 shots.

"I thought we played much better both zones," Havlat said.

Havlat set up the game-winner in overtime. He made a nice backhand pass from the side of the net to Wingels, who banged it in for his 11th goal of the season.

San Jose forward Matt Nieto suffered a bruised foot after blocking a shot in the second period and did not return. Nieto, who has six goals and nine assists in 46 games as a rookie, is questionable for Friday's game.

In other news for the Sharks, Todd McLellan will set a franchise record this evening by coaching his 435th career game behind the San Jose bench. Current Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter held the previous record of 434 games. McLellan is already the club's all-time leader in wins with 256.

02/07 10:52:57 ET

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Local
Final
CHI 5
CAR 2
Final
SAV 49
NCCU 62
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
LAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
GT
UNC
 
9:00pm Tonight
CLEM
NCSU
 
Final
MIA 7
FIU 2
 
Final
DET 12
FLASO 2
 
1:05pm Today
DET
BAL
 
1:05pm Today
MIA
MIAFLA
 
1:05pm Today
PHI
NYY
 
1:05pm Today
BOS
NEASTERN
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
PIT
 
3:05pm Today
CIN
CLE
 
3:05pm Today
OAK
SFG
 
4:05pm Today
BOS
BOSTONCOLL
 
5:10pm Tonight
ARI
ASU
 
Final
PHI 103
TOR 114
Final
BRK 110
GSW 108
Final
MIA 115
PHO 98
Final
MIN 105
LAC 110
Final
DAL 102
NOP 93
7:00pm Tonight
CLE
BOS
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
LAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYK
SAC
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
HOU
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
UTA
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
WAS
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
MIL
 
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TEX 61
BAY 59
Final
SYR 47
UVA 59
Final
SHSU 76
CARK 49
 
Final
NWST 92
SELA 79
 
Final
NCAT 67
COOK 50
 
Final
HOW 61
NORST 59
 
Final
DELST 85
HAMP 75
 
Final
STEPH 83
INCWORD 62
 
Final
MCNST 70
LAM 69
 
Final
NO 79
NICST 89
 
Final
SAV 49
NCCU 62
 
Final
ALAAM 75
TXSOU 77
 
Final
VT 59
BC 66
Final
MVSU 66
GRAM 62
 
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ISU 77
OKLA 70
Final
ALAST 65
PVU 67
 
Final
ARKPB 64
JST 62
 
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ARMY
 
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KNST
 
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NW
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UF
TEXAM
 
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KU
WVU
 
9:15pm Tonight
CREI
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Final
NYR 4
NAS 1
Final
CHI 5
CAR 2
Final
SJS 4
MON 0
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PHI
CAL
 
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NJD
NAS
 
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OTT
 
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VAN
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