Thursday, November 30, 2023

NHL Preview: San Jose Sharks (0-6-1) at Carolina Hurricanes (4-4-0)


LAST TIME OUT Game 7 – 10/26 SJS 0 at TBL 6…Jan Rutta tied his career best with five blocked shots and the Sharks were paced by Tomáš Hertl with four shots on goal but were shut out by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Mario Ferraro logged a game-high 24:17 TOI, while Hertl and Nico Sturm continued their strong performances at the faceoff dot going 15-for-22 and 6-for-9, respectively, in the game.

SF: 23 SA: 31

SJS PP: 0-2

SJS PK: 3-4

W: Johansson L: Blackwood ND: Kahkonen


Goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood turned in a remarkable first two games in teal, stopping 51 shots while helping the Sharks earn a point against the Colorado Avalanche on Oct. 14 and following up with a 36-save effort Oct. 17 against Carolina. His save total in his first game, which included stops on his first 48 shots faced in the game and is the most by a NHL netminder in any game this season, represents the most by any NHL goalie in a debut with a new team since at least 1955-56, per NHL PR, and was the most by a Sharks netminder in this millennium (Steve Shields – 51, Oct. 14, 1999, 5-1 W at NSH). Blackwood finished the contest one save shy of his career best of 52, set against Columbus on Feb. 16, 2020, a 4-3 shootout win. Through his first four appearances, Blackwood has amassed 148 saves on 162 shots faced (.914 SV%), matching Wade Flaherty (1991-92 to 1992-93) for most saves through his first four games as a Shark, per NHL PR. According to NHL Edge statistics, as of games ending Oct. 26 Blackwood has made the second-most high-danger saves in the NHL with 46, averaging more than nine per start.


Forward Fabian Zetterlund scratched the goal column for the first time with the Sharks since being acquired as part of the trade that sent Timo Meier to New Jersey in February, opening the scoring in San Jose’s Tuesday (Oct. 17) tilt with Carolina. Adding an assist later in the contest, Zetterlund tallied his first multi-point game in teal and sixth of his career. The Swedish forward followed up with his second goal in teal a week later, scoring on the power play in the Sharks’ contest at Florida (Oct. 24). Zetterlund’s production against the Hurricanes came along with his highest shift count of the year. He boasts three points through seven games and is tied for the team lead with two power play points.


Thomas Bordeleau and William Eklund have each registered career firsts early in the season, with Bordeleau earning his first NHL goal in San Jose’s second contest of the year (Oct. 14), a deflection that beat Colorado’s Alexandar Georgiev for a 1-0 lead and Eklund banging home a rebound for his first power play goal in the NHL during San Jose’s Tuesday tilt against Carolina (Oct. 17), a score that gave the Sharks a 3-2 lead at the time. Eklund and Bordeleau combined to assist Zetterlund’s marker on Oct. 24 at Florida, each registering an assist on the power play strike. The duo entered the season after posting strong 2022-23 campaigns, with Eklund earning Sharks Rookie of the Year honors and Bordeleau being named to the AHL All-Star Classic. They finished tied with 41 points last season with the Barracuda, Bordeleau registering 22 goals and 19 assists in 65 games while Eklund netted 17 goals and added 24 helpers.


LAST GAME The Hurricanes earned a 3-2 overtime win against the Seattle Kraken at PNC Arena on Thursday, scoring three unanswered goals to overcome a 2-0 first-period deficit. Martin Necas tallied three points (2g, 1a), including his eighth career overtime winner, and Jesperi Kotkaniemi added two points (1g, 1a). Sebastian Aho, Michael Bunting, Tony DeAngelo and Brady Skjei each also registered an assist, and Frederik Andersen stopped 24 of 26 shots faced in net to improve to 3-0-0 in 2023-24. INJURY REPORT Brett Pesce, lower-body, missed three games (10/21-10/26) Andrei Svechnikov, knee, missed eight games (10/11-10/26) 2023-24 Man-Games Lost Due to Injury: 16


Oct. 26 Reassigned Pyotr Kochetkov to Syracuse (ECHL)

Oct. 25 Reassigned Blake Murray to Florida (ECHL)

Oct. 22 Reassigned Callahan Burke to Colorado (AHL)


Oct. 27 vs. San Jose 7 p.m. BSSO HRN

Oct. 30 at Philadelphia 7 p.m. BSSO HRN

Nov. 2 at NY Rangers 7 p.m. BSSO HRN

Nov. 4 at NY Islanders 7:30 p.m. BSSO HRN

Nov. 7 vs. Buffalo 7 p.m. BSSO HRN

* All times are Eastern | BSSO = Bally Sports South | HRN = Hurricanes Radio Network


— Carolina and San Jose are facing in the second and final meeting between the teams during the 2023-24 season.

— The Hurricanes and Sharks are meeting for the 48th time in their regular-season histories. Carolina holds a 25-20-0-2 overall record, including a 15-8-0-0 home record and a 20-14-0-2 record since relocation.

— The Hurricanes lead the regular-season series 1-0-0 in 2023-24 (Sharks: 0-1-0).

— Carolina earned a 6-3 win over San Jose at SAP Center on 10/17. Michael Bunting (2a), Seth Jarvis (2g), Jesperi Kotkaniemi (2a), Martin Necas (1g, 1a), Stefan Noesen (1g, 1a) and Brady Skjei (2a) each tallied two points as the Hurricanes scored four unanswered goals in the third period to overcome a 3-2 deficit. Frederik Andersen made one save in the first period before leaving the game due to an upper-body injury, and Antti Raanta stopped 12 of 14 shots faced the rest of the way to register his first win of the season in relief.

— Sebastian Aho has registered nine points (6g, 3a) in 12 career regular-season games against San Jose.

— Jesper Fast has recorded 10 points (6g, 4a) in 16 career regular-season games against the Sharks.

— Martin Necas has earned five points (4g, 1a) in six career regular-season games against San Jose.

— Brady Skjei has tallied 11 points (2g, 9a) in 13 career regular-season games against the Sharks. — Brent Burns played for the Sharks from 2011-22, recording 594 points (172g, 422a) in 798 games. He was acquired by Carolina along with Lane Pederson in exchange for Steven Lorentz, Eetu Makiniemi and a conditional third-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft on 7/13/22. During his tenure in San Jose, he played in five All-Star Games and won the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman in 2017. He leads all Sharks blueliners in career goals, assists, points, power-play goals (54), game-winning goals (27) and overtime goals (10).

— Brendan Lemieux’s father, Claude, played the final 18 games of his NHL career with San Jose, tallying one assist with the Sharks during the 2008-09 season.

— Stefan Noesen was claimed off waivers by San Jose from PIT on 12/19/19 and earned eight points (6g, 2a) in 39 games with the Sharks from 2019-21.

— Sharks Assistant Coach Ryan Warsofsky served as an assistant coach with the Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate Charlotte Checkers in 2018- 19 before taking over as head coach of the Checkers in 2019-20 and later the Chicago Wolves from 2020-22. He helped Charlotte and Chicago win the franchise’s first two Calder Cup championships in 2019 and 2022.


After posting a 2-4-0 record on their six-game road trip from 10/14-10/24, Carolina earned a win over SEA at PNC Arena on Thursday to improve to 2-0-0 on home ice this season. The Hurricanes went 28-10-3 on home ice in 2022-23, with the league’s fourth-highest home points percentage (.720), and their .704 home points percentage under Rod Brind’Amour (2018-present: 122-46-18) trails only BOS (131-37-21: .749) and TBL (134-40-16: .747) for the league lead over that span.


The Hurricanes are closing their second of 14 sets of back-to-back games in 2023-24. They enter Friday’s contest with a 2-0-0 record in the first game and a 0-1-0 record in the second game of back-to-backs this season. Carolina also played 14 sets of back-to-backs in 2022-23, posting an 8-5-1 record in the first game and a 10-2-2 record in the second game.

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