|4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:� BRT, January 21, 2023
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio Attendance: 18,807
Opening eight-game trek, Sharks face sinking Jackets
San Jose Sharks at Columbus Blue Jackets
- San Jose has won three of the last four meetings with Columbus dating back to January 2020. However, the Sharks have dropped two of their last three trips to Columbus after winning four of the previous five there.
- San Jose overcame a 3-0 deficit against Dallas on Wednesday, its largest comeback win since Game 7 of the 2019 First Round series against the Golden Knights. It also marked the first time the Sharks overcame a three-goal deficit to win in regulation since February 1, 2011 against the Coyotes.
- Timo Meier scored the equalizing goal in Wednesday's comeback win, his team-leading 26th of the season. Meier ranks second in the NHL with 213 shots on goal (David Pastrnak, Bos -- 217) and is shooting at a career-best 12.2 percent.
- Erik Karlsson is tied for the NHL lead with 47 assists and looks to lead the NHL in helpers for the second time in his career (2015-16, 66). Only four other defensemen have led the league in assists (including ties) -- Bobby Orr (five times), Harry Cameron (twice), King Clancy (1923-24) and Lionel Hitchman (1923-24).
- Columbus blew a 3-0 first-period lead against Anaheim on Thursday for its third straight loss and 15th in its last 18 (3-15-0). The Blue Jackets have a -50 goal differential in the final two periods this season -- only the Ducks (-65) are worse.
- Jack Roslovic extended his point streak to a season-high four games in Thursday's loss with his fourth goal of the season. Roslovic has converted just 5.9 percent of his shots on goal this season after posting a 16.8 percent shooting percentage last season -- the fifth-largest decline among qualified skaters.
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It's been more than a month since the San Jose Sharks won back-to-back games.
Meanwhile, victories continue to be few and too far between for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Kicking off a season-high eight-game stretch of road games, the Sharks try to hand the Blue Jackets a fourth consecutive loss on Saturday night.
San Jose is 4-7-4 since last winning two in a row on Dec. 9 and 13 -- both against Arizona. However, the Sharks snapped an 0-2-1 slide by overcoming a 3-0 deficit to beat Central Division-leading Dallas 5-3 at home on Wednesday.
Erik Karlsson had a goal with three assists and Nick Bonino added one of each for San Jose, which totaled seven goals in its previous three contests.
"When you get deep in the season, it's easy to kind of look at the situation and just quit -- and we have done anything but that," said Sharks coach David Quinn, whose team entered Friday's play second-to-last in the Pacific Division with 14 wins and 37 points.
"It's a great group to coach. They come to work every day, they bounce back after tough nights, which we've done. And, I just can't say enough about our group."
Amid the team's collective dismal showing this season, Karlsson has been the brightest star, recording a team-leading 62 points in 46 games - including six in the last two. He's the first defenseman since Paul Coffey in 1988-89 to reach at least 60 points in 46 or fewer contests.
With Ottawa and San Jose, Karlsson has totaled nine goals and 15 assists in 22 career games versus Columbus. Entering the first meeting between these two clubs and opening an extended stretch of road games that spans both sides of the All-Star break (Feb. 2-5), the Sharks have won three of the last four against the Blue Jackets.
With Thursday's 5-3 home defeat to Anaheim, Columbus has dropped 15 of its last 18. The Blue Jackets, with one fewer win than San Jose, have been outscored 14-6 during a three-game losing streak at home, where they blew a 3-0 first-period lead to the lowly Ducks.
"That's the learning process," Columbus coach Brad Larsen said.
"This is a hard league; you can't give an inch."
Despite the loss, the Blue Jackets' Jack Roslovic registered his fourth goal of the season to extend his point streak to four games. He has four goals with an assist in his last five games against the Sharks.
Columbus' Elvis Merzlikins made 28 saves Thursday but has allowed 17 goals over his last four starts. Meanwhile, backup Daniil Tarasov owns a 3.14 goals-against average during his current 0-6-1 starting slide.
San Jose's James Reimer stopped 33 shots against the Stars to post his 200th career win. However, he's allowed 14 goals while losing his last three road starts in regulation. Backup Kaapo Kahkonen (3.87 GAA) made 34 saves versus Edmonton in his most recent start on Jan. 13 but yielded each Oilers' goal during the 7-1 defeat.
San Jose has scored 16 goals while going 2-1-1 on the road this month.
--Field Level Media
Updated January 20, 2023