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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, March 18th (All times Eastern)

Florida Panthers (25-35-8) at San Jose Sharks (45-17-7), 10:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - After winning the first five games of their current hot streak with offense, the San Jose Sharks rode goaltender Antti Niemi to a sixth straight victory the last time out.

Niemi and the hard-charging Sharks will aim for their longest winning streak of the season when they host the Florida Panthers in Tuesday's battle at SAP Center.

San Jose outscored the opposition by a 23-11 margin in the first five games of its current six-game winning streak, but picked up the last victory with Sunday's 1-0 decision in New York City. Niemi turned aside 41 shots for his fourth shutout of the season, while Logan Couture recorded the lone goal in the win over the Rangers.

Niemi's whitewash marked the first time San Jose blanked New York in Manhattan since entering the NHL in 1991.

"He was unbelievable. Some of the stops he made were incredible," Sharks captain Joe Thornton said of Niemi. "That may be his best game all year."

The Sharks, who enter Tuesday tied with Anaheim atop the Pacific Division standings, are on their fourth six-game winning streak of the 2013-14 campaign. San Jose hasn't won seven in a row since March 25-April 5 of last season.

The Ducks hold a game in hand over San Jose in the division title race and Anaheim is scheduled to host the Washington Capitals on Tuesday.

The Sharks are 11-2-1 since the beginning of February, but they shouldn't take the visiting Panthers lightly on Tuesday. Although Florida is 18 points out of a playoff spot in the East and has lost four of its last five games, the South Florida club has had success against San Jose in recent years.

The Panthers had won four straight over the Sharks before San Jose ended the slide with a 3-0 win in Sunrise on Jan. 16. Alex Stalock stopped 24 shots to record the shutout in that one, while Joe Pavelski had a goal and an assist.

Florida also has won its last two games at the Shark Tank, as San Jose hasn't claimed a home win over the Panthers since a 6-2 victory on Dec. 8, 2005.

The Panthers are coming off a shootout loss Sunday against the visiting Vancouver Canucks. Nicklas Jensen beat Roberto Luongo once in regulation and again in a shootout as the Canucks edged Florida, 4-3. It was Luongo's first game against the Canucks since they dealt him on March 4.

Jensen had the only goal of the shootout after Jimmy Hayes scored his second goal to tie the game for Florida with 1:35 left in regulation. Jensen's shot hit the post, then trickled in after going off Luongo's back.

Luongo fell to 2-2-1 in net since he was acquired from Vancouver along with forward Steven Anthony in exchange for goalie Jacob Markstrom and forward Shawn Matthias. Luongo became the all-time wins leader in Panthers history during his first five-season stint with the team before he was traded to Vancouver in 2006.

"I saw a few guys before the game, had a little chat. But once we were out there it felt like a normal game, especially once you get the first few minutes under your belt," said Luongo. "It felt like any other game."

Florida is beginning a four-game road trip on Tuesday. The Panthers are just 12-20-3 as the visiting team this season and have dropped seven of their last eight on the road.

03/18 11:02:07 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
STL
 
Final
ORL 100
MIL 115
Final
IND 103
NYK 82
Final
MEM 99
DEN 69
Final
LAL 123
CHI 118
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
MIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
HOU
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
POR
 
7:30pm Tonight
CLE
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7:30pm Tonight
BRK
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIA
DAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
LAC
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
GSW
 
10:30pm Tonight
PHO
CHI
 
Final
PROV 83
DEP 72
Final
RUTG 51
MSU 71
Final
ARMY 71
BU 67
 
Final
RFLSH 75
BRY 68
 
Final
MERC 75
CHAT 72
 
Final
LIU 67
CCST 55
 
Final
TOWS 74
COC 70
 
Final
UMASS 66
DAY 64
Final
FUR 59
ETST 55
 
Final
ODU 71
FIU 56
Final
RMU 87
FD 65
 
Final
CHAR 86
FATL 61
Final
LIB 53
HIGH 72
 
Final
UNF 86
KNST 67
 
Final
FLGC 78
LIP 62
 
Final
OSU 80
MD 56
Final
Terriers 73
MNTER 67
 
Final
STET 85
NKENTUCKY 75
 
Final
WAGN 75
SHU 64
 
Final
GMAS 68
STLU 60
Final
JVU 65
USCU 78
 
Final
VMI 70
WCU 85
 
Final
LATU 69
WKENT 56
Final
UNCG 42
WOFF 58
 
Final
DET 93
YOUNG 87
 
Final
GSOUT 83
APP 46
 
Final
TENNM 81
EILL 51
 
Final
GHND 64
HC 54
 
Final
CIN 70
UCONN 58
Final
NDST 61
DEN 54
 
Final
SD 55
MAST 66
 
Final
UWMIL 71
ILLCH 65
 
Final
BEL 103
JVST 82
 
Final
SMISS 54
MARS 69
Final
TXSA 69
MTST 58
Final
PETE 49
RIDE 58
 
Final
SEMIZ 61
SIUE 75
 
Final
TENST 64
TENT 56
 
Final
NDAK 60
WEBER 67
 
Final
SALA 89
LALAF 85
 
Final
ARKST 65
ARKLR 75
 
Final
TROY 55
LAMON 58
 
Final
TXARL 74
UGST 88
 
Final
MURST 85
EKENT 78
 
Final
NCOL 79
IDST 76
 
Final
MIZZ 53
KENT 69
Final
GONZ 64
PORT 46
Final
UTEP 71
UAB 69
Final
GRCN 78
UMKC 57
 
Final
WLVRN 78
CHIST 62
 
Final
USC 94
COL 98
Final
UCI 67
CPSL 57
 
Final
CSNO 73
HAW 84
 
Final
PAC 43
PEPP 50
 
Final
SDU 69
SCU 64
 
Final
UCD 70
UCSB 64
 
Final
UCLA 69
UTAH 59
Final
PORST 54
MONT 73
 
Final
SACST 75
MNTST 59
 
Final
CSFU 85
LBSU 91
 
Final
GAELS 68
LMU 54
 
Final
WASU 67
CAL 76
Final
BYU 78
USF 74
 
6:00pm Tonight
PRIN
HARV
 
7:00pm Tonight
CORN
BRO
 
7:00pm Tonight
PENN
DART
 
7:00pm Tonight
NIAG
MAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAN
QUIN
 
7:00pm Tonight
MAN
SIENA
 
8:00pm Tonight
WILL
IUPUI
 
8:00pm Tonight
FAIR
MON
 
8:00pm Tonight
ARST
OREG
 
8:00pm Tonight
CLMB
YALE
 
10:00pm Tonight
BUF
KSU
 
10:00pm Tonight
ARZ
ORST
 
Final
NYI 2
BOS 5
Final
NYR 0
MON 1
Final
PHI 5
WIN 2
Final
TOR 1
ARI 3
Final
FLA 3
CLB 2
Final
TAM 5
DET 1
Final
STL 5
NAS 4
Final
CAL 0
MIN 1
Final
EDM 3
BUF 2
Final
SJS 6
ANA 3
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
PIT
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
STL
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
NAS
 
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
BUF
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
CHI