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7:00 PM PT8:00 PM MT9:00 PM CT10:00 PM ET3:00 GMT11:00 8:00 PM MST10:00 PM EST7:00 UAE (+1)22:00 ETNaN:� BRT, January 15, 2019
SAP Center at San Jose, San Jose, California  Attendance: 17,292

Streaking Sharks figure to get test vs. Penguins

Pittsburgh Penguins at San Jose Sharks

  1. The Penguins fell to the Kings, 5-2, in Los Angeles on Saturday, just their second loss in their last 12 games. They've now allowed nine goals in their last two games, after allowing more than two goals just once in the previous ten.
  2. Jake Guentzel scored both Pittsburgh goals (one on the power play, one shorthanded) one night after recording his first career regular-season hat trick. His 23 goals this season have surpassed his previous career high of 22, set last year.
  3. Since the 2013-14 season, Pittsburgh is 10-5-1 against San Jose, including its 4-2 series win in the 2016 Stanley Cup Final. The Pens have scored at least three goals in nine of those games, while the Sharks have done so in just four.
  4. The Sharks beat the Senators, 4-1, at home on Saturday, their sixth straight win. San Jose has averaged 4.14 goals per game since December 1, behind only Tampa Bay (4.45) in the NHL, and gone 15-4-2 in that span.
  5. Joe Pavelski scored his 26th goal of the season in the win over Ottawa, his 47th game. That puts him on pace for 45 goals -- he's only broken the 40-goal mark once in his career, in the 2013-14 season when he had 41.
  6. Both teams have strong starts to thank for much of their success this season. They're tied atop the league with a +18 goal differential in the first period -- no other team has better than a +12 differential.

Emotion has been running high for the San Jose Sharks, and it's been a good thing.

Going into their game at home Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins at SAP Center, San Jose (27-13-7, 61 points) has a season-best six-game winning streak and is 13-2-2 in its past 17 games.

The Sharks are coming off a stretch of five games in eight days, including an emotional night celebrating defenseman Brent Burns' 1,000th game, defenseman Erik Karlsson playing against his former club Ottawa, and the franchise reaching 1,000 victories in its history.

"It gives us a little bit of extra spring," Karlsson said about the boost the milestones gave the tired squad. "These are the days where every team is a little bit tired and everybody's battling through something. We're no different here, but we're doing a good job in finding ways to be successful even though we're not playing our best hockey.

"We've been coming together more as a team as of lately."

The winning streak stems from momentum that has been building.

"A while back, we were kind of (saying) our game was trending in the right direction," said Joe Pavelski, who leads the Sharks with 26 goals. "We started winning two and three (straight), and lately we've been able to turn three into four or five. If we lose a game, we've bounced right back and won the next couple. It's good to see because there are tough stretches. We went through one early in the year.

"It definitely took us a little bit to get going. Sometimes that's the case. We had five games in eight days here and against some good teams and some emotional wins and everything that goes along with it."

San Jose goaltender Martin Jones has won seven straight starts, one shy of the career high he set in the first eight starts of his career, Dec. 3-21, 2013.

Pittsburgh (25-14-6, 56 points) has won 10 of 12 games and 15 of 20 to thrust itself into contention for the Metropolitan Division title, but a nagging problem has plagued the club lately.

The Penguins have given up a short-handed goal in back-to-back games -- one Saturday was a turning point in a 5-2 loss at Los Angeles -- and they lead the NHL with 10 allowed.

That prompted Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan to lash out following the loss.

"It can't happen. It just can't happen," he said of his talented power play allowing goals the other way. "We've got to have more diligence. We're not heeding the lessons, and we've got to start (doing that)."

Many times, the short-handed opportunities and goals the Penguins have allowed are sparked by turnovers and mistakes by the power-play personnel, including stars Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang.

"It's not so much what penalty kills are doing to us; it's what we're doing to ourselves," Sullivan said.

The Penguins are still winning, though. A lot. One of their hottest players is top-line winger Jake Guentzel, who has five of his 23 goals in the past two games and 10 points in the past six games. He also recently signed a five-year, $30 million contract extension.

Guentzel was named the NHL's No. 3 star of the week.

--Field Level Media

Updated January 14, 2019

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