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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, January 11th (All times Eastern)

Boston Bruins (28-14-2) at San Jose Sharks (28-11-6), 10:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - It has been anything but fun times and sunshine for the Boston Bruins during their three-game tour of California.

The Bruins hope to salvage the finale of the trip on Saturday night when they try to hand the San Jose Sharks just their second home regulation loss of the season.

Boston has put itself in 3-0 holes in both games of its road trip, eventually falling 5-2 in Anaheim on Tuesday prior to Thursday's 4-2 setback versus Los Angeles. That has given the Bruins four setbacks in their last six games overall.

Tuukka Rask was chased in the second period of the loss to the Kings after giving up three goals on 18 shots. Chad Johnson made 16 saves in relief, while Justin Florek and Matt Fraser had the goals.

"We're just not getting it done right now," said Johnson. "I think we just need to regroup and take positives as much as you can from these games and realize what we have to do and can do to have success and win games. I think it just comes down to intensity and that passion to want to win games and I think it's consistently lacking right now."

Perhaps the return of one, or maybe even two, forwards will spark the Bruins.

Shawn Thornton is eligible to return from his 15-game suspension from his actions in a game versus Pittsburgh on Dec. 7, when he knocked down the Penguins' Brooks Orpik before landing some punches to the head. Orpik suffered a concussion as a result.

Thornton has three goals and 41 penalty minutes in 27 games this season.

Winger Loui Eriksson also suffered a concussion in that game versus the Penguins when he took a hard hit from Orpik and has missed the last 15 games. Eriksson has five goals and 14 points in 24 games this season and is nearing a return, perhaps as early as tonight, having recently been cleared for contact.

Rask, meanwhile, may get the chance to rebound against a Sharks club he beat in a thrilling game back on Oct. 24.

Facing San Jose for the first time, he made 38 saves and picked up the 2-1 victory when David Krejci scored with just 0.8 seconds left in regulation. Krejci also assisted on Jarome Iginla's goal.

Antti Niemi, who had won his first five career starts versus Boston, made 15 saves for San Jose and has a lifetime 1.81 goals against average versus the Bruins.

Patrick Marleau had the goal for the Sharks, who had won three in a row in this series before the loss and have taken four of the past six at home versus the Bruins.

Marleau is second on the Sharks with 20 goals this season, getting passed by Joe Pavelski after the latter scored twice in Thursday's 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings.

Pavelski has 21 goals on the season, including five in his past five games and 12 over the previous 15.

"He's been really good," Sharks head coach Todd McLellan said of Pavelski. "We need to keep him that way. When the team really needs him, he elevates his game."

Dan Boyle and Andrew Desjardins each scored once, while Niemi made 24 saves. Joe Thornton added two assists for San Jose, which improved to 16-1-3 at home this season.

The Sharks have also split six games following a four-game win streak in late December.

01/11 11:28:02 ET

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8:30pm Tonight
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NYM 4
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1:05pm Today
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TOR
 
1:10pm Today
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1:35pm Today
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1:35pm Today
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1:40pm Today
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2:10pm Today
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2:10pm Today
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2:10pm Today
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2:20pm Today
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3:35pm Today
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4:05pm Today
OAK
PHI
 
4:10pm Today
COL
ARI
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
SFG
 
8:05pm Tonight
STL
CIN
 
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BGU 17
Final
MSU 73
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Final
VT 24
GT 27
Final
PITT 20
IOWA 24
Final
RICE 42
ODU 45
Final
UGA 66
TROY 0
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MD 34
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
Final
COL 21
HAW 12
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AKR 17
MARS 48
Final
WAKE 24
ARMY 21
Final
KU 24
CMICH 10
Final
ALA 42
UF 21
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FIU 3
LOU 34
Final
ECU 70
UNC 41
Final
NAVY 24
RUTG 31
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SMU 6
TEXAM 58
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MICH 10
UTAH 26
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BYU 41
UVA 33
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MIZZ 27
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PSU 48
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GASTATE 14
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OHIO 36
IDAHO 24
 
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HOU 47
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FSU 23
CLEM 17
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ARZ 49
CAL 45
 
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ORST 28
SDST 7
 
Final
WASU 31
OREG 38
 
Final
BSU 34
LALAF 9
 
1:30pm Today
CAR
CLB
 
5:00pm Tonight
WAS
BUF
 
6:30pm Tonight
CLB
STL
 
8:00pm Tonight
EDM
CAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
CAL
EDM
 
1:00pm Today
CLE
BAL
1:00pm Today
STL
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1:00pm Today
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NEP
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1:00pm Today
BUF
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CIN
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PHI
WAS
4:05pm Today
ARI
SFX
4:25pm Today
SEA
DEN
4:25pm Today
MIA
KAN
8:30pm Tonight
CAR
PIT
Final
TOWSN 31
NCCU 20
 
Final
NCSU 42
PRES 0