Flyers-Sharks Preview

The Associated Press

In the midst of one of their ugliest stretches of the season, the San Jose Sharks are counting on a couple of newly acquired forwards to help get them back on track.

A visit from the Philadelphia Flyers could also help.

The scuffling Sharks return home Tuesday night looking to extend their winning streak over the Flyers to nine, but they won't have coach Todd McLellan on the bench.

San Jose (32-22-7) stumbles back to the Bay Area after dropping six of the last seven contests on its 2-6-1 road trip. The Sharks allowed two goals in the final six minutes Sunday en route to a 4-3 loss at Minnesota.

During that game, McLellan was hit in the head with a stick, and he's been experiencing concussion symptoms. Assistant coaches Matt Shaw and Jay Woodcroft will lead the team Tuesday.

San Jose - currently seventh in the Western Conference - acquired Daniel Winnik and T.J. Galiardi from Colorado on Monday in exchange for Jamie McGinn and two prospects, hoping to bolster its postseason push.

"It's nice when things have not been going the way you want to get some new life in the locker room," said injured defenseman Douglas Murray, who left the trip early after being hit in the throat with a puck. "Hopefully this will kick-start us out of our funk."

Winnik had five goals and 13 assists in 63 games with the Avalanche while Galiardi compiled eight and six, respectively, in 55 contests. While the duo doesn't figure to provide the Sharks with much scoring punch, the extra depth should be beneficial.

"Once you put all the pieces in the puzzle in proper roles and add T.J. and Daniel, we like our team a lot," general manager Doug Wilson. "But it's not how it looks on paper, it's how it performs on ice."

San Jose has performed splendidly recently against Philadelphia (34-20-7), taking the last eight meetings while outscoring the Flyers 39-22.

After sending two draft picks to Dallas in exchange for Nicklas Grossman on Feb. 16 and getting fellow defenseman Pavel Kubina from Tampa Bay two days later, Philadelphia remained quiet Monday.

"We made our moves a couple weeks ago and I think adding size and experience on defense that we were looking for with the absence of Chris Pronger for the rest of this year, we felt good with our group," general manager Paul Holmgren told the Flyers' official website.

Grossman, who had five assists in 52 games with the Stars, has recorded three in four games with his new team - including a career-high two during Saturday's come-from-behind 5-4 shootout win at Calgary.

"The tenacity of sticking with it shift-by-shift," said Grossman, who helped the Flyers erase a 3-0 deficit. "It doesn't matter if we're down a goal or two, we just keep pounding away. I think that shows good character of a team."

Scott Hartnell scored twice while Claude Giroux added two assists for his team-leading 71st and 72nd points of the season.

Ilya Bryzgalov made 17 saves Saturday, improving to 3-1-0 despite a shaky 3.19 goals-against average over his last five games. Bryzgalov went 1-4-3 with a 2.81 GAA in his last eight meetings with the Sharks while with Phoenix.

San Jose's Antti Niemi, who was pulled from Saturday's 6-2 loss at Nashville after allowing three goals on seven shots and rested Sunday, hasn't faced the Flyers since defeating them in the 2010 Stanley Cup finals while with Chicago.

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