Published February 05, 2015
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Columbus Blue Jackets hope to avoid a third loss in four games on Thursday evening as they head out west to take on the San Jose Sharks.
Columbus won three of four to begin the season, but opened up a four-game swing on Saturday with a 3-2 setback in Ottawa. The Blue Jackets will visit Anaheim on Friday and Los Angeles on Sunday to finish off the trip.
The Blue Jackets got 40 shots on net in Saturday's loss, but Senators goaltender Robin Lehner stopped 38 of them. Only Nick Foligno and David Savard managed to beat the netminder, with Foligno also having an assist.
"That's the way we have to play, but Robin Lehner was really good tonight," Foligno said. "They made a lot of nice plays to get the lead. We probably could have had a little bit better of a start."
Curtis McElhinney turned aside 16-of-18 shots before leaving with an upper- body injury. Sergei Bobrovsky served up the deciding tally, making 17 saves in defeat.
McElhinney was placed on injured reserve on Sunday, with Anton Forsberg recalled to back up Bobrovsky, who could make the start both tonight and on Friday. The former Vezina Trophy winner is 2-1-2 lifetime versus the Sharks with a 2.53 goals against average and .924 save percentage.
The Sharks are coming home following a 2-2-1 road trip that concluded with a 5-3 loss to the Boston Bruins. Antti Niemi made 28 saves, while Logan Couture tallied twice and Joe Thornton once. Patrick Marleau added a pair of assists.
"I thought Logan had his best game of the season. He had eight or 10 shots on goal and was dangerous," Sharks head coach Todd McLellan said.
Couture has three goals and six points through seven games, while Thornton has logged two goals and five assists.
Niemi is 5-2-0 in his career versus the Blue Jackets with a stingy 1.70 GAA and .930 save percentage.
The Sharks lost all three of their meetings with the Blue Jackets in 2012-13, but swept the two-game series last season.
San Jose's 3-2 victory at home over Columbus in February marked the 14th time in the last 16 meetings it has bested the club as the hosting team.