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Reply To: NHL • Saturday Service Plays • 1/9/16

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Preview: Toronto at San Jose

When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, January 9, 2016
Where: SAP Center at San Jose, San Jose, California

The San Jose Sharks are wrapping up a five-game homestand, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing given the team’s startling inability to win at SAP Center. San Jose has dropped two in a row and three of four to fall to a league-worst 5-12-0 at home as they prepare to host the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are concluding a three-game California road trip.

The Sharks launched a 36-shot barrage against Detroit on Thursday but came away with a frustrating 2-1 loss. “That’s the way things are going right now,” San Jose coach Pete DeBoer said. “We have to be resilient and know that if we play that way over the long term, that we’ll be all right.” The Maple Leafs had a three-game winning streak snapped in a 2-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday. Goaltender James Reimer, making his first start in more than a month, had 39 saves in his return.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, CBC, CSN California (San Jose)

ABOUT THE MAPLE LEAFS (16-16-7): Goaltender Jonathan Bernier, who was winless in his first 11 decisions (0-8-3) after an overtime loss against San Jose on Dec. 17, continued his turnaround with a 4-0 shutout of Anaheim on Wednesday. Bernier has won six of eight since and will carry a three-start winning streak into Saturday’s rematch against the Sharks. “In general he appears more confident in net,” Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly said. “He’s playing the puck better, he’s talking to guys on the ice more, he’s just more comfortable. That really goes a long way.”

ABOUT THE SHARKS (18-18-2): With his team off to the second-worst 17-game start at home in franchise history, DeBoer made some lineup changes Friday, moving slumping Tomas Hertl on the top unit with captain Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton. “I think it’s time, we’re at the point of the season where we need some production. Not just Tomas Hertl, but a lot of those guys,” DeBoer said. “We’re at the point of the season now where if you’re getting 12, 14, 15 minutes a night, we need some production and the good teams get that.” Hertl has only one goal and three assists in his last 14 games.


1. San Jose is 0-11-0 at home this season when allowing the first goal.

2. The Maple Leafs are 2-for-23 on the power play over the past six games.

3. Pavelski has six goals and six assists in 12 games versus Toronto.

PREDICTION: Sharks 4, Maple Leafs 2