After a disappointing loss to the New York Rangers on Saturday, the Pittsburgh Penguins begin their first of three games in five days against the Western Conference tonight at 10:30 PMET against San Jose.
Penguins' backup goaltender, Dany Sabourin, will make his second start of the season tonight at the Shark Tank.
Sabourin stopped 35 shots in a shootout victory over the Boston Bruins in his first start of the season last Monday.
Penguins' defenseman Hal Gill will be out of the lineup for the third consecutive game with what has now been determined to be an injury to his right hand. Gill was apparently hit in the hand by a puck game against Boston last Monday.
Veteran defenseman Darryl Sydor, who has recently asked the Penguins' management for a trade, will once again fill in on the blue line in Gill's absence.
Penguins' GM Ray Shero has been hesitant to discuss any possible trade opportunities for Sydor. Shero is likely waiting until Ryan Whitney is ready to return to action before sacrificing any depth on the blue line. After Whitney returns to the ice, Sydor will probably be shipped out of Pittsburgh. He has not been content with being the seventh or eighth name on the defensive depth chart.
The Sharks are currently sitting among the top teams in the Western Conference, with a 7-2-0 record.
As would be expected, Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton are among the top scoring Sharks so far this season, but a few not-so-obvious names have been appearing quite regularly on the Sharks' score sheet.
Defensemen Dan Boyle and Christian Ehrhoff and right wing Devin Setoguchi have each recorded eight points this season, putting them in a four-way tie with Thornton for second among the teams' leading scorers.
Setoguchi has been playing on the Sharks' first line, alongside Thornton and Marleau, which could suffice as a reason for his five goal start to the season.
Dan Boyle, acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning, has recorded 11 points in 29 games in his career against the Penguins and should be the player to watch for the Sharks tonight.
San Jose is coming off of an East coast road trip last week which saw them go 2-1-0 against Philadelphia, Florida, and Tampa Bay.
The Penguins will continue their road trip on Thursday at Phoenix and Saturday at St. Louis before returning home to host the Edmonton Oilers next week at Mellon Arena.