(SportsNetwork.com) - Unable to get on track outdoors, the San Jose Sharks hope to rebound on Thursday night as they play host to the Detroit Red Wings.
The Sharks are in action tonight for the first time since a 2-1 setback to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night in the 2015 Stadium Series game. They got a goal from Brent Burns in defeat, but also yielded the deciding tally early in the third period.
Marian Gaborik's deciding marker for the Kings was a hard-earned effort as he came off the bench, stripped Burns of the puck and slapped a shot through the pads of Antti Niemi from the top of the left circle 4:04 into the final stanza.
Niemi had 27 saves as the Sharks lost for the sixth time in eight games while playing in front of 70,205 fans at Levi's Stadium.
"We made a couple mistakes. The last one on Gaborik's goal was disappointing because we had talked about that exact situation," said Sharks head coach Todd McLellan. "Playing a very aggressive north-south game. We wanted to eliminate the neutral zone. It wasn't a good zone for us because the passes were ragged. The puck was flopping all over, and whoever established a forecheck for any given timeframe, two minutes at a time, had the advantage. We turned it over and it was in our net. So I'm disappointed in that."
San Jose now sits two points out of a playoff spot, but does have recent success over Detroit on its side tonight.
The Sharks have won four in a row and 10 of the past 12 meetings overall, going 5-0-1 in the past six encounters at home.
Also, Niemi is an excellent 12-2-2 lifetime versus Detroit with a 1.64 goals against average, .944 save percentage and three shutouts in 16 games (15 starts).
Detroit will be looking to rebound from a setback to Los Angeles as well, falling 1-0 to the Kings on Tuesday.
Jonas Gustavsson played strong in the loss as he stopped 26 shots for the Red Wings, who fell to 2-1-1 on a six-game road trip. They had lost a shootout in Anaheim the previous night.
"Gus gave us an opportunity, and our guys battled hard. They're a good team and we're a good team, there wasn't much room out there," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said.
Both Henrik Zetterberg and Kyle Quincey sat out a second game in a row and both could also miss tonight's game as well. Zetterberg is dealing with a suspected concussion after taking a blow to the head versus Dallas on Saturday, while Quincey is dealing with bone chips in his ankle.
After Gustavsson made his first start since Nov. 5, Jimmy Howard is likely to be back in net tonight. He is 3-6-4 with a 2.79 GAA and .910 save percentage in 13 career meetings with the Sharks.
Just three points back of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division, the Red Wings own a 10-point edge for third place in the division standings.