San Jose
Sharks
51-20-11
Chicago
Blackhawks
52-22-8

14 SOG
47 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
SJS
CHI
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game preview

Blackhawks, Sharks battle for conference lead

Tuesday, 12.22.2009 / 4:00 PM

NHL.com

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Blackhawks, Sharks battle for conference lead
San Jose Sharks vs. Chicago Blackhawks
SHARKS (21-8-7) at BLACKHAWKS (23-8-3)

Last 10: San Jose 5-2-3; Chicago 7-2-1.

Season Series: This is the third of four meetings between the teams this season. The Blackhawks have taken the first two games -- a 4-3 overtime win in Chicago on Nov. 15 before a 7-2 thrashing at HP Pavilion just 10 nights later.

Big Story: First place in the Western Conference is on the line in this one following the Sharks' 4-2 win against the Dallas Stars on Monday. It also is a chance for San Jose to avenge the first two meetings between these powerhouses this season.

Team Scope:

Sharks: Todd McLellan's club appears to be back on the right track as San Jose has notched back-to-back victories after losing five straight. McLellan's decision to reunite the trio of Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton and Dany Heatley on Monday paid immediate dividends as Marleau scored twice and Heatley had a pair of assists at Dallas.

''We wanted to shake some things up,'' McLellan said. ''Putting them back together was a natural.''

Blackhawks: Chicago is rolling, as it improved to 4-0 on its five-game homestand with Sunday's 3-0 win against the Detroit Red Wings at the United Center. Cristobal Huet made 20 saves for his second straight shutout, earning him NHL First Star of the Week honors.

"We respect Detroit very much, even though they're missing a lot of top guys, and key guys," Huet said. "We knew it would be a tight game, so we were disciplined and it paid off."

Who's Hot: Marleau's pair of goals on Monday give him a team-leading 23 for the season, while Thornton notched his 49th point. … Huet has turned aside all 47 shots in his last two appearances and hasn't allowed a goal in 141:21. Jonathan Toews has a four-game points streak.

Injury Report: Sharks forward Brad Staubitz (face) is awaiting clearance from doctors to return to action, while Jody Shelley (hand) is day-to-day. … Blackhawks forward Adam Burish is out until at least March with a knee injury, while Dave Bolland (back) is out 12-16 weeks. Ben Eager (upper body) is day-to-day, as is defenseman Cam Barker (lower body).

Stat Pack: Chicago has notched three shutouts during this four-game winning streak. The Blackhawks have also won five in a row and 13 of the last 14 in the Windy City.

Puck Drop: "We always want to be our best. This (Detroit) team has been a good for a long time. Do we want to measure ourselves? I think we want to do that against every team, every time." -- Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith after Sunday's 3-0 win against the Red Wings

Sharks TV Broadcast Information

Tonight’s game will air exclusively on VERSUS which means CSN-CA can not televise the game.

Click here to find the VERSUS channel listing in your area.

The game will be available on Comcast Cable and Dish Network and others who do carry VERSUS, however it will not be broadcast on DirecTV.

Stanley’s Sports Bar at Sharks Ice at San Jose will be broadcasting the game. If you are a DirecTV subscriber, come join your fellow Sharks fans at Stanley’s and watch San Jose take on Chicago at 5:00 PM.

Sharks Radio Broadcast Information
With Tuesday’s game at Chicago televised nationally on Versus, Sharks fans looking for a local broadcast description will flock to flagship radio station 98.5 KFOX for the play-by-play call of the Sharks-Blackhawks game.

Dan Rusanowsky and Jamie Baker will begin coverage with the popular “Sharks Warm-Up” pre-game show at 4:30 Pacific time on most affiliate stations. For today's game, flagship station 98.5 KFOX begins coverage with “Coach’s Chalkboard with Todd McLellan” at 5:00, followed immediately by play in the first period between the Sharks and the Blackhawks.

Fans will be able to hear the Sharks Radio Network broadcast on sjsharks.com, kfox.com, khtk.com, and many affiliate station websites. The KFOX broadcast is also available in most of the Bay Area on Comcast digital cable music channel 975.

Tuesday’s game at Chicago is scheduled to air on the following Sharks Radio Network stations:

KUFX 98.5 FM (KFOX) San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland

KAHI 950 AM Auburn-Sacramento
KATA 1340 AM Eureka-Arcata
KFPT 790 AM Fresno-Clovis
KRKC 1490 AM King City
KXBX 1270 AM Lakeport
KESP 970 AM Modesto
KOMY 1340 AM Monterey-Salinas-Santa Cruz
KVON 1440 AM Napa
KNCI 105.1 FM HD-3 Sacramento

Due to other programming, the Chicago game will not air on the following Sharks Radio Network station:

KKDV 92.1 FM Walnut Creek-Concord

NHL
The NHL is getting involved in the VERSUS issue and put out the following information.


2009-2010 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Jan 28 '10CHI 4 at SJS 3 - OTT. Brouwer
Dec 22 '09SJS 3 at CHI 2J. Demers
Nov 25 '09CHI 7 at SJS 2P. Sharp
Nov 15 '09SJS 3 at CHI 4 - OTB. Seabrook
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
J. Thornton37104151+131231
D. Heatley37221941+1126104
P. Marleau37231639+14455
D. Boyle3772431+72431
R. Clowe3781725+55900
J. Pavelski2261117+81210
J. Demers3021214+51211
M. Malhotra377613+61422
D. Setoguchi259312+2041
K. Huskins3711011+43300
M. Vlasic372810+41500
J. Ortmeyer36448+22001
R. Blake26268+32410
D. Murray35167+73700
J. McGinn31505-41601
R. Vesce8325-1001
B. Ferriero22235+4600
S. Nichol37134-73600
B. Staubitz15213-14701
F. McLaren19123+44900
D. Joslin20033+21200
J. Shelley17033+15200
L. Couture11112-2400
J. Callahan1011+1000
T. Mitchell11000+1400
J. Leach8000-1700
S. Zalewski3000-2000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
E. Nabokov3219-5-7749782.33.924
T. Greiss73-3-0161782.79.910
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
P. Kane35112536+111412
D. Keith3562329+72011
P. Sharp35101626+101222
J. Toews29101323+151250
K. Versteeg34101020+71432
B. Campbell3531619+131221
B. Seabrook3331316+101502
T. Brouwer358715+43044
D. Byfuglien3510313-15032
M. Hossa136612+4200
A. Ladd355712+73700
C. Barker334812+21831
J. Madden355611-21000
N. Hjalmarsson34167+131000
D. Bolland13246+31400
B. Sopel34145-11800
B. Eager19213+24500
T. Kopecky33123-81001
C. Fraser35033-32600
J. Hendry13033+3400
J. Skille5112-2000
A. Ebbett12101+0200
B. Bickell9101+3501
J. Dowell2000+0500
R. Smolenak1000+0500
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
C. Huet2716-8-2546212.05.913
A. Niemi97-1-1162201.76.927