St. Louis (10-10-5) at San Jose (19-6-4)

Cloudy Currently: San Jose, CA
Temp: 63° F
  • Game info: 10:30 pm EST Thu Dec 3, 2009
  • TV: FSMW, CSCA
Preview | Box Score | Recap

With a balanced offensive attack that is the NHL’s best, the San Jose Sharks continue to pile up wins.

The Sharks go for their fourth straight victory overall Thursday and fifth in a row at home over the St. Louis Blues, who are trying to avoid a third straight loss.

San Jose, which finished a league-best 53-18-11 in 2008-09, leads the NHL with 42 points. The Sharks (19-6-4) won their third straight Tuesday, 5-2 over Ottawa to open a five-game homestand.

Facing his former teammates for the first time since being traded to San Jose in the offseason, Dany Heatley(notes) recorded a season-high eight shots on goal but did not score for the fourth consecutive game. Heatley, though, assisted on both of Patrick Marleau’s(notes) goals.

“It’s fine with me as long as someone scores every night,” said Heatley, who had four goals and five assists in his last six games.

The Sharks have scored 101 goals, most in the league.

Heatley, who trails Marleau (19) by one for the team lead in goals, had the tying score in San Jose’s 3-1 win at St. Louis on Nov. 14. Despite being outshot 39-17, the Sharks extended their unbeaten streak to 11 while snapping a two-game slide to the Blues.

San Jose is 15-2-2 versus St. Louis since Jan. 3, 2004.

The Sharks have won four straight in the series at HP Pavilion since a 1-0 loss Jan. 20, 2007.

Joe Thornton(notes) will try to help San Jose continue that home-ice dominance as he looks to extend his point streak to 10. Thornton, with 14 assists during the stretch to give him a league-leading 32, began the streak with an empty-net goal in the final minute of the Nov. 14 victory at St. Louis.

Thornton tops the Sharks with 39 points and has recorded seven goals and 24 assists in 26 games versus the Blues.

St. Louis (10-10-5) is coming off a 5-2 loss at Columbus on Monday, its second straight defeat following a 4-1-0 stretch. The Blues outshot the Blue Jackets 29-27, but matched their season high in goals allowed.

“We made three individual checking mistakes that resulted in plays in the back of our net,” coach Andy Murray said. “We must have shot the puck over the top of their net six times when we had tremendous scoring opportunities. Those things can’t happen.”

Erik Johnson(notes) scored a power-play goal in the first period, but St. Louis remains one of the league’s worst with the man advantage, converting 12.9 percent.

Improving that number could be difficult against a San Jose club that has killed off an NHL-high 92.9 percent of power plays at home.

Chris Mason(notes), likely to get the start for St. Louis on Thursday, is 0-5-1 with a 3.18 goals-against average in San Jose. Mason stopped 14 shots on Nov. 14.

Backup Ty Conklin(notes) is 3-2-1 with one tie and a 1.68 GAA versus the Sharks.

Evgeni Nabokov(notes) should be back in net for the Sharks after Thomas Greiss(notes) gave him his first game off in two weeks Tuesday.

Nabokov, 6-1-2 with a 1.80 GAA in nine home starts this season, made 29 saves in St. Louis’ last visit to HP Pavilion - a 5-4 Sharks victory Dec. 13.

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Thursday, Dec 3