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Reply To: NHL • Tuesday Service Plays • 12/1/15

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Preview: Pittsburgh at San Jose

When: 10:30 PM ET, Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Where: SAP Center at San Jose, San Jose, California

The Pittsburgh Penguins have stumbled since recording six straight victories, losing two in a row and six of 10 heading into a place where they haven’t won since 1997. The Penguins look to right the ship when they open a four-game road trip against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.

Evgeni Malkin is hardly to blame for Pittsburgh’s recent troubles, as the 2012 Hart Trophy winner scored a highlight-reel goal among his two tallies in a 3-2 shootout loss to Edmonton on Saturday. “He’s been in the groove lately. He’s really been playing on top of his game,” coach Mike Johnston told reporters of Malkin, who has collected seven goals and three assists in his last six contests. The Sharks have been on top of their game as well, winning seven of eight overall and 10 straight when the Penguins pay a visit. San Jose hasn’t been setting the world on fire at home this season, but did skate away with its fourth win in 10 outings at SAP Center on Saturday with a 5-2 triumph over Pacific Division-rival Calgary.

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, ROOT (Pittsburgh)

ABOUT THE PENGUINS (13-8-2): After scoring just two goals and setting up nine others in his first 18 contests, captain Sidney Crosby has three tallies and as many assists during his season-high five-game point streak. The two-time Hart Trophy winner has struggled in his career versus San Jose, scoring just once in 10 meetings while posting a minus-8 rating. Marc-Andre Fleury has had his own troubles versus the Sharks, as his 26 saves were not enough in Pittsburgh’s 3-1 setback on Nov. 21 to fall to 3-4-3 in his career versus the club.

ABOUT THE SHARKS (14-9-0): Defenseman Brent Burns scored twice and veteran Patrick Marleau notched a pair of assists in the first meeting to begin their respective four-game point streaks. Burns has four goals and two assists during that stretch while Marleau has three tallies and set up four others. Former Penguins blue-liner Paul Martin had a goal and an assist in the first meeting, but has been held off the scoresheet in each of his last three contests.


1. San Jose has four power-play goals in the last three games and has killed off all nine short-handed opportunities in that stretch.

2. Pittsburgh D Olli Maatta (upper body) practiced on Monday for the first time since being hospitalized following a hit from Minnesota’s Nino Niederreiter on Nov. 17.

3. San Jose D Justin Braun will miss his third straight game due to an elbow infection.

PREDICTION: Sharks 3, Penguins 2