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About the Sharks - 12-05-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

A preview of the Sharks.

When and where: 7 p.m. EST. Consol Energy Center.

TV: Root Sports, CSN California.

Record: 19-3-5, 43 points. The Sharks are in first place in the Pacific Division.

Leading Scorer: Joe Thornton, 30 points (5 goals, 25 assists).

Last Game: 4-2 road win against the Maple Leafs, Tuesday. Antti Niemi made 28 saves for the Sharks.

Last Game against the Penguins: 4-3 home shootout loss, Nov. 3, 2011 . Thomas Greiss made 29 saves for the Sharks.

Sharks Player We Would Bet Money On Scoring: Logan Couture. He has points in three consecutive games.

Ex-Penguins on the Sharks: Jim Johnson, assistant coach; Tyler Kennedy (above), RW.

Ex-Sharks on the Penguins: Tony Granato, assistant coach.

Useless Sharks Trivia Vaguely Related to the Penguins: The Sharks have three active players on their roster who were drafted in 1997 at the Civic Arena. They are defenseman Scott Hannan, left winger Patrick Marleau and captain Joe Thornton.

Best Sharks Video We Could Find: Granato, then of the Sharks, scoring a very determined goal to complete a hat trick against the Avalanche in the 1996-97 season:

Probable goaltenders: Marc-Andre Fleury (15-7-1, 2.06 GAA, .918 SV%) for the Penguins. Antti Niemi (16-3-5, 2.20 GAA, .918 SV%) for the Sharks.

Injuries: For the Penguins, center Evgeni Malkin ("lower body") is out. Right wingers Beau Bennett (hand/wrist) Chuck Kobasew ("lower body"), defensemen Paul Martin (leg), Rob Scuderi (broken ankle), left winger Tanner Glass (hand) and goaltender Tomas Vokoun (blood clots) are on injured reserve. For the Sharks, right winger Adam Burish (back) and left winger Raffi Torres (knee) are on injured reserve.

Potential lines and defensive pairings: Based on the the Penguins' morning skate, consider this is a guess at their lines and defensive pairings:

14 Chris Kunitz - 87 Sidney Crosby - 9 Pascal Dupuis
12 Chuck Kobasew - 36 Jussi Jokinen - 18 James Neal
25 Andrew Ebbett - 16 Brandon Sutter - 23 Chris Conner
38 Zach Sill - 46 Joe Vitale - 27 Craig Adams

3 Olli Maata - 58 Kris Letang
44 Brooks Orpik - 5 Deryk Engelland
2 Matt Niskanen - 47 Simon Despres

-The Sharks did not hold a full morning skate. Consider this a guess at their lines and defensive pairings based off Tuesday's game against the Maple Leafs:

48 Tomas Hertl - 19 Joe Thornton - 88 Brent Burns
12 Patrick Marleau - 39 Logan Couture - 57 Tommy Wingels
9 Martin Havlat - 8 Joe Pavelski - 81 Tyler Kennedy
15 James Sheppard - 10 Andrew Desjardins - 18 Mike Brown

7 Brad Stuart - 22 Dan Boyle
44 Marc-Edouard Vlasic - 61 Justin Braun
27 Scott Hannan - 5 Jason Demers

Notes:

-The last time the Penguins played the Sharks, this happened:

-The last time the Penguins beat the Sharks was a 2-1 home shootout win, Feb. 11, 2009. It was Michel Therrien's final win as the Penguins' coach.

-Crosby has appeared in 499 career games.

-Kennedy has appeared in 400 career games.

-Boyle has appeared in 899 career games.

-Couture has 99 career goals.

-Our live blog begins at approximately 6 p.m. Please tune in.

(Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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