Sharks continue road trip against Carolina

( – The San Jose Sharks will continue their road-heavy
schedule Sunday when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes for an interconference
clash at PNC Arena.

San Jose has been the guest in 14 of its 19 games so far this season and is
playing the sixth test of a seven-game road trip on Sunday. The Sharks are
7-5-2 on the road, but have dropped three of four since beginning their
current swing with a victory in Dallas. San Jose will complete its trip
Tuesday in Buffalo.

The Sharks dropped a 2-1 regulation decision at Columbus on Saturday. Sergei
Bobrovsky returned to the lineup for the Blue Jackets and stopped 36 shots for
the victory.

Joe Pavelski netted San Jose’s lone goal and Antti Niemi made 26 saves in
defeat. Pavelski scored with 55 seconds left in the second period to cut the
deficit to 2-1, but San Jose couldn’t notch the equalizer despite outshooting
Columbus 16-10 in the third period.

“We had a number of opportunities to put the puck in the net and we didn’t,”
said Sharks head coach Todd McLellan.

It’s unclear if Niemi will start on back-to-back days Sunday or if Troy
Grosenick will make his NHL debut. Grosenick was called up to the NHL club
after Alex Stalock went on injured reserve due to a knee injury.

The Hurricanes will try to halt a two-game slide in Sunday’s game. After going
without a win in the opening month of the season, Carolina began November on a
six-game point streak (5-0-1) before losing its past two games in regulation.

The ‘Canes played Saturday afternoon in Boston and dropped a 2-1 decision to
the Bruins. Tuukka Rask made 33 saves for the hosts and Seth Griffith and
Patrice Bergeron scored first-period goals for Boston after the Hurricanes
took the early lead.

Jiri Tlusty scored for Carolina, giving his club a 1-0 edge just over seven
minutes into the contest. Cam Ward made 23 saves in defeat.

“We gave ourselves an opportunity … but we just couldn’t find the
equalizer,” Ward said. “We were pushing it right to the end. We just have to
emphasize that we need to play a full 60 minutes. We can’t afford to have
lapses in the game.”

Anton Khudobin will get the start in net today for Carolina. Khudobin won his
only career appearance against the Sharks, helping the Hurricanes post a 3-2
win in San Jose on March 4 of last season.

Carolina has dominated the Sharks in recent years, winning four straight and
six of the last seven meetings. San Jose also has tasted defeat in five of its
past six trips to Raleigh.