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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, March 14th (All times Eastern)

San Jose Sharks (43-17-7) at New York Islanders (25-33-9), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - Having moved into a tie atop the Pacific Division the previous night, the San Jose Sharks take aim at a fifth straight victory on Friday as they resume their road trip versus the New York Islanders.

The Sharks began a three-game swing with last night's 4-3 shootout decision over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Patrick Marleau scored twice and Joe Pavelski had the lone tally in the tiebreaker.

Backup Alex Stalock continued to thrive this season in shootouts. He stopped all three skaters faced and is 3-0 in the breakaway format this season while stopping all 10 shooters faced.

"One-on-one anytime is fun," said Stalock, who made 35 saves through overtime. "It's a contest, a competition. Whether it's practice or a game, it's fun."

San Jose's fourth straight win gave it 93 points on the season, matching the Anaheim Ducks atop the Pacific Division standings. The Ducks do have a game in hand and visit the Colorado Avalanche tonight.

The Sharks wrap their three-game swing on Sunday versus the New York Rangers as they continue a string of 12 straight games versus the Eastern Conference. They are 7-1-1 over that stretch.

Antti Niemi should be back between the pipes tonight for San Jose and is 0-0-1 with a 3.42 goals against average in two previous starts versus the Islanders. That includes a 3-2 shootout defeat in San Jose on Dec. 10.

The Islanders rallied from a 2-0 deficit in that game, getting the game-tying goal and shootout winner from Kyle Okposo.

Marleau had a goal and an assist, while Pavelski added a goal as the Sharks lost to the Islanders for the first time in past five meetings. They have won their past two in New York.

The Islanders pulled off an even more impressive comeback in their last trip to the ice, scoring seven times in the third period to top the Vancouver Canucks 7-4. New York trailed 3-0 going into the third period, but got goals from seven different skaters to go 2-1-1 on a four-game road trip.

Anders Lee, Frans Nielsen and Josh Bailey finished with a goal and an assist each, while Cal Clutterbuck, Matt Martin, Ryan Strome and Calvin De Haan also scored.

Okposo ended with three assists and Evgeni Nabokov allowed four goals on 24 shots.

"It does feel good to put seven on the board and come back in the fashion that we did," said Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic.

The Islanders tied a team record for most goals in a period, matching a mark set on Dec. 23, 1978 against the New York Rangers.

New York, though, did lose Michael Grabner to a concussion in the game and will be without the speedy forward for the start of this four-game homestand as he is out indefinitely. In 63 games this season, Grabner has 12 goals and 13 assists.

Lee is likely to move up on the depth chart to replace Grabner and has five goals with two assists in seven games this season.

The Islanders will play host to the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday so it is unknown if Nabokov or Anders Nilsson will start in net. Neither has faced the Sharks.

Nabokov missed the December meeting against his former club with a groin injury, but did get a standing ovation during a stoppage in the first period when his image appeared on screen.

Nabokov was a ninth-round pick by the Sharks in 1994 and went 293-178-66 with 50 shutouts and a 2.39 GAA in 563 games with the club. The 38-year-old exited the club following the 2009-10 season as the franchise's all-time leader in wins, shutouts and games played.

03/14 10:50:44 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 4
TOR 1
Final
DUKE 66
UCONN 56
Final
CHI 103
NYK 97
Final
HOU 90
NOP 99
3rd
SAC 74
MIL 72
 
2nd
GSW 61
OKC 55
 
Final
RICE 72
STTHOMASTX 61
 
Final
UVA 70
CLST 54
Final
LIU 69
FIU 58
 
Final
STET 67
GSOUT 76
 
Final
QUIN 80
LEH 65
 
Final
SFLA 69
SHU 89
Final
RICH 65
SALA 54
Final
CAN 60
USB 59
 
Final
DEL 62
TEMPL 82
Final
WCU 56
WRST 69
 
Final
VERM 56
YALE 57
 
Final
SDKST 75
IDST 72
 
Final
RIDE 62
MRGST 48
 
Final
LATU 79
NICST 54
 
Final
CHAR 75
APP 65
Final
MISS 71
CCAR 68
 
Final
DUKE 66
UCONN 56
Final
BRAD 80
EUREK 38
 
Final
PEAY 76
OAKC 52
 
Final
JST 66
SMISS 46
 
Final
SD 55
MNTST 53
 
Final
UAB 70
LSU 79
Final
EVAN 81
OHIO 69
 
2nd
CSFU 62
CSDH 43
 
2nd
ORST 71
DEP 44
 
2nd
PAC 48
NEV 44
 
Final
USF 77
PORST 40
 
2nd
IDAHO 75
WALLA 31
 
2nd
UTST 37
CALST 28
 
Final
PIT 1
COL 0
Final
PHI 1
FLA 2
Final
CAR 4
TOR 1
Final
CLB 4
WAS 5
Final
MON 1
ANA 2
2nd
SJS 2
EDM 2
 
2nd
LOS 1
STL 3
 
Final
JAC 21
TEN 13