Detroit Red Wings (+113) at San Jose Sharks (-125, 5 o/u)
Two teams that are used to sitting near the top of the NHL standings will clash tonight as the Detroit Red Wings continue the California portion of their six-game road trip against the San Jose Sharks at the SAP Center (10:30 p.m. Eastern).
The Red Wings are currently third in the Atlantic Division (77 points) and have a ten-point cushion over fourth-place Boston. Detroit is three points back of Tampa for second in the div., but also have three games in hand on the Lightning.
The team is coming off a 1-0 loss against the Los Angeles Kings in their last game (on Tuesday). Backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson stopped 26 shots in his fourth start of the season.
“I just want to do whatever I can when I get the chance and show that I can be out there,” Gustavsson said. “I don’t know how many chances I’ll get, but in the end, it’s all about the team getting points and getting a good position in the standings to go on a playoff run.”
According to NHL.com, starting goalie Jimmy Howard is expected to make the start tonight.
Detroit center Henrik Zetterberg (head) will miss his third straight game.
San Jose has had a lot of success against the Wings recently – winning eight of the last ten – but the team is just 3-6-1 in their last ten overall and has fallen to tenth in the Western Conference. The Sharks are two points behind the Calgary Flames for the last playoff spot.
Like the Wings, the Sharks also lost to the Kings (2-1 at home) in their last game – which took place outdoors at Levi’s Stadium as part of the NHL’s Stadium Series and saw 70,000 fans in attendance.
L.A. leapfrogged San Jose in the standings with the win.
“This was a little more significant, obviously because this was our show,” Sharks coach Todd McLellan said after the loss. “These were our fans. … They showed up in droves. I know there were King’s fans here, and there were just plain hockey fans. That’s what made tonight so special. But the fact we lost was disappointing. But to be part of it, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
The Red Wings are +113 in the moneyline while the home Sharks are -125. San Jose hasn’t played since Saturday and should be well rested.
(Photo credit: Michael Miller (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo may appear cropped.)