Sharks open homestand against Lightning

After seeing their three-game winning streak come to an abrupt halt, the Sharks look to return to their victorious ways today when they open a five-game homestand versus the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Sharks wrapped up a 3-1-1 road trip with a 5-1 setback against Chicago. Antti Niemi struggled versus his former team and the Sharks didn’t have much in the tank after finishing their lengthy trek in the Windy City following four games in western Canada.

Captain Joe Thornton saw his seven-game point streak snapped versus the Blackhawks, but has recorded 36 points (15 goals, 21 assists) in 32 career contests against Tampa Bay.

The former Hart Trophy winner has 807 assists in his career — five behind Pierre Turgeon for 29th place on the all-time list — and his 1,140 points are just two back of Nicklas Lidstrom for 50th in career scoring.

Tampa Bay enters today’s tilt on the heels of back-to-back losses for the first time this season. Defenseman Victor Hedman collected a goal and an assist to reach the 100-point plateau and captain Martin St. Louis also set up a tally in his 1,000th career game in the Lightning’s 5-2 setback to Los Angeles on Tuesday. Tampa Bay wraps up its four-game West Coast road trip in Anaheim on Friday before returning to the Sunshine State to open a three-game homestand versus the New York Rangers on Monday.

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