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Preview; Bruins look to keep rolling when they host Joe and the Sharks

February 5, 2011

After the Bruins won their fight-ridden back-and-forth 6-3 victory over the Stars, it was immediately pointed to as a potential season-changer and a rallying point for team unity. Today, the Bruins will hope to prove those assumptions right when they take on Jumbo Joe Thornton and the struggling but always potent San Jose Sharks.

The Sharks are currently fifth in the hotly contest West but are also two points away from dropping out of the playoffs altogether. The Sharks are used to being in first or second place at this time but their offense has been surprisingly lack luster this year. Their backbone to success is in the middle of the pack in goals scored while the Bruins are a top ten scoring team on this season. Who saw that coming? The increase in offensive output hasn’t hampered the Bruins back end either. The Bruins are the top team in goals against per game

The Sharks have won six out of their last seven games after losing six straight before that. Today’s game will be the second in a seven game road trip for the Sharks who are 7-2-1 in their last 10 road games. The Bruins are 6-3 at home in their last nine games, turning around their struggles at home with relative success of late.

The Sharks leading goal scorer is, you guessed it, Logan Couture. The Calder hopeful has 22 goals this season, three more than both Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau. Couture also leads the team in +/- at +11. In fact, of the seven players with 30+ points only Couture and Ryane Clowe are + players. That means that while the Sharks first line is dangerous at scoring they are more likely to give up a goal. With Zdeno Chara shadowing the first line all game, the difference will most likely come down to power-play efficiency.

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