Sharks-Jets Preview

The Associated Press

Though they rallied twice late, the San Jose Sharks didn't get the result they wanted in the opener of their four-game road trip.

The Pacific Division-leading Sharks continue their swing by heading north of the border Thursday night to face the Winnipeg Jets, who have been tough to beat during the first season in their new home.

This will be San Jose's only matchup this season against the relocated Jets. The Sharks are 9-1-1 with two ties all-time versus the former Atlanta Thrashers, going 4-0-1 with a tie on the road.

San Jose (23-11-5) had its four-game winning streak snapped after kicking off its trip with a 5-4 shootout loss to Minnesota on Tuesday.

The Sharks were down by two twice in the third period before tying the score at 4-all on goals by Logan Couture and Patrick Marleau 22 seconds apart late in regulation.

"We'd like to have a better start and make teams chase us. We've got to get back to that," said captain Joe Thornton, who leads the Sharks with 27 assists and has 35 points to tie Marleau for the team lead.

Thornton has three goals and five assists in a five-game point streak against the Jets franchise. Marleau has had six multipoint games in his career versus the team with the Sharks going 6-0-0.

Marleau is tied with Joe Pavelski for second on the team with 16 goals, one behind Couture.

San Jose, which has a two-point lead over Los Angeles in the Pacific, faces a Winnipeg club set to play its first home game this month.

The Jets went 9-2-1 at the MTS Centre in December, boosting their home record to 14-6-1. That strong play has Winnipeg (20-17-5) within five points of Southeast-leading Florida.

"We made hay," coach Claude Noel told the Jets' official website. "We really played well through the month, and we have to carry that through."

The Jets are glad to be back home after losing three of four on their most recent road trip, capped by Tuesday's 5-3 defeat to Boston.

Clinging to a 3-2 lead, Winnipeg surrendered the tying goal eight seconds into the final period. Ondrej Pavelec then allowed two goals less than four minutes apart later in the third.

"It's disappointing. It's a disappointing game," Noel said. "You play pretty solid for 40 minutes and you miss an open assignment on the opening shift of the third and you're tied."

Blake Wheeler had three of Winnipeg's eight goals on the road trip, but Evander Kane notched just two assists despite a team-high 16 shots over the last four games.

Kane has scored 10 of his team-best 18 goals at home, and he has goals in each of his two previous games versus San Jose.

Kane's next goal will match a career best set in 2010-11. He needs one point to tie Wheeler for tops on the team.

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