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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, December 17th (All times Eastern)

San Jose Sharks (20-7-6) at St. Louis Blues (22-6-4), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Jose Sharks hope to avoid a fifth straight setback on the road on Tuesday night when they attempt to sweep their season series with the St. Louis Blues.

The Sharks have lost five of their past six overall and are coming off a 3-2 setback to the Nashville Predators on Saturday. Patrick Marleau and Dan Boyle had a goal and an assist each in the third period, while Antti Niemi made 20 saves.

Marleau's 15th goal of the season came with 55 seconds to play in regulation to make it a one-goal game.

"Anything that got near the net, we were on the outside," said Sharks coach Todd McLellan. "You're not going to win like that."

Tuesday marks the third and final meeting of the regular season between the Sharks and Blues. San Jose has outscored St. Louis 12-5 in winning the first two after having dropped six of the previous seven meetings in the series.

Niemi got the start in the two earlier meetings, giving up five goals on 51 shots. He is 7-6-0 versus the Blues lifetime with a 2.57 goals against average in 14 meetings.

Sharks forward Brent Burns netted his first career hat trick in a 6-3 victory over the Blues at home on Nov. 29, but has not scored in eight games since.

St. Louis is returning home after dropping a 3-2 overtime decision in Ottawa last night.

Chris Stewart scored twice in a 2:57 span in the second period to put the Blues in front, but the Senators tied the game 5:44 into the third frame and won it on Cody Ceci's first career goal 3:59 into overtime.

"I thought the way we played in the second was one of the best road periods we played all year," Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We really took it to them and really hemmed them in, and at times overwhelmed them with our forecheck, so I was really happy. I was happy with the point."

Brian Elliott made 29 saves against his former team as the Blues saw their three-game winning streak snapped.

St. Louis may be without captain David Backes tonight after he left Monday's game with an upper-body injury. He left the ice late in the second period following a collision with Ottawa's Colin Greening and did not return.

Backes is second on the Blues with 16 goals and 30 points.

St. Louis was also without Vladimir Sobotka and Jaden Schwartz on Monday due to injury.

Jaroslav Halak is likely to get the start tonight for the Blues and is 4-3-0 with a 2.56 GAA and two shutouts in nine previous encounters with the Sharks, including eight starts.

Halak made the start in a 6-2 home loss on Oct. 15, pulled following two periods after allowing four goals on 26 shots. He then relieved Elliott on Nov. 29, yielding a goal on 19 shots faced.

12/17 10:47:19 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
4th
WAS 86
CHA 82
 
2nd
LOU 45
NCSU 41
 
9:45pm Tonight
DUKE
UTAH
Final
ATL 4
BOS 2
Final
STL 5
NYM 4
Final
PHI 0
NYY 10
Final
MIN 2
PIT 4
Final
WAS 1
STL 1
4th
BAL 0
TAM 0
 
Final
TOR 4
DET 1
Final
CHC 6
CWS 3
Final
OAK 7
TEX 6
Final
ANA 2
ARI 7
Final
ARI 3
CLE 2
6:05pm Tonight
HOU 0
MIA 0
 
9:05pm Tonight
KAN
SEA
 
10:05pm Tonight
SDP
COL
 
10:05pm Tonight
CIN
MIL
 
10:05pm Tonight
LOS
SFG
 
4th
WAS 86
CHA 82
 
4th
ORL 89
DET 101
 
4th
PHI 68
LAC 94
 
3rd
NYK 50
BOS 51
 
3rd
BRK 68
CLE 70
 
3rd
TOR 61
LAL 57
 
3rd
ATL 65
MIA 49
 
2nd
MEM 42
GSW 47
 
2nd
HOU 46
MIN 38
 
Half
NOP 46
SAC 42
 
1st
SAN 25
DAL 18
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
UTA
10:00pm Tonight
PHO
POR
2nd
GONZ 64
UCLA 47
 
2nd
LOU 45
NCSU 41
 
9:45pm Tonight
DUKE
UTAH
10:00pm Tonight
NARZ
KSU
10:07pm Tonight
OKLA
MSU
2nd
MIN 1
CAL 1
 
1st
CHI 2
CLB 3
 
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
DAL