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Sharks close out road trip vs. Devils

(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Jose Sharks will try to close out a three-game road trip on a positive note Sunday afternoon as they visit the New Jersey Devils.

The Sharks opened up this trip with a 7-3 rout of Philadelphia on Thursday, but dropped a 4-2 decision to the Buffalo Sabres the following night. San Jose has lost 15 of its 16 all-time games in Buffalo and lost to a Sabres club that dealt goaltender Ryan Miller and captain Steve Ott to the St. Louis Blues before the game.

James Sheppard and Patrick Marleau notched San Jose's two goals and Antti Niemi allowed three goals on 19 shots.

"It's a game. They were going to come out and play. They got a little shake up. They lost a couple of really good players. They were going to come out and play hard," San Jose's Joe Pavelski said.

The Sharks failed to claim a victory in Buffalo for the first time since Dec. 2, 2005 and sit seven points behind the Anaheim Ducks for first place in the Pacific Division.

"We couldn't quite get the second opportunities. (Thursday) night I think we did a good job of finding pucks in front of the net and tonight really we couldn't find any," said Sharks forward Joe Thornton.

"They just have our number for whatever reason. They play well against the Sharks, what can I say?"

San Jose will look for better luck in New Jersey, where it had lost five in a row prior to a shootout victory on Oct. 21, 2011.

The Sharks have won three of their past four versus the Devils overall, including a 2-1 home win on Nov. 23.

Niemi made 18 saves in that victory, moving to 3-1-0 with a 1.70 goals against average in his career versus New Jersey. Thornton had an assist.

Martin Brodeur stopped 28 shots in the loss for the Devils.

Brodeur made what could have been his final start for New Jersey on Saturday, posting 18 saves in a 6-1 win over the New York Islanders. It was his first appearance since giving up six goals in two periods versus the New York Rangers at Yankee Stadium on Jan. 26.

Having lost the No. 1 job in net to Cory Schneider, the veteran Brodeur could be moved before Wednesday's trade deadline.

"There are only two games left before the trade deadline. We'll see what that's going to bring," said Brodeur. "If I do get traded, this is probably going to be my last game. If I don't, hopefully there will be more (games)."

Fellow elder statesman Jaromir Jagr had a big game versus the Islanders, scoring the 700th goal of his NHL career. He became the seventh player in league history to reach that mark, joining Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, Brett Hull, Marcel Dionne, Phil Esposito and Mike Gartner.

Jagr admitted 700 is a lot of goals.

"Maybe not for Wayne Gretzky," he said, "but for the rest of us, yeah it's a pretty big number. Eight hundred is a little bit better than 700."

Adam Henrique, Ryane Clowe, Eric Gelinas, Marek Zidlicky and Jagr each had a goal and an assist for the Devils, who have won two in a row and three of four.

New Jersey is three points out of third place in the Metropolitan Division and will start Schneider today for the eighth time in nine games. He is 3-3-1 with a 3.55 GAA in seven career meetings with the Sharks.