Author: James O'Brien

San Jose Sharks v Pittsburgh Penguins

WATCH LIVE: Penguins at Sharks

The Pittsburgh Penguins have plenty to play for with the Metropolitan Division title still up for grabs, but there’s no doubt that the San Jose Sharks should be the more desperate team on Monday.

The Sharks are currently six points out of the West’s final wild card spot, and with the Los Angeles Kings three points ahead of them with a game in hand, things look dire.

San Jose needs to make the most of its remaining 16 games, which means taking care of business at home against the Penguins.

You can watch this significant game for San Jose on NBCSN and also stream it via NBC Live Sports Extra.


Read the game preview here.

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    Ducks GM brings Wisniewski’s knee brace so he can play

    Anaheim Ducks v Florida Panthers

    In what has to be one of the odder game-time decision situations, it looks like James Wisniewski can play for the Anaheim Ducks on Monday … because GM Bob Murray showed up with his knee brace.

    That’s the word from the OC Register’s Eric Stephens.

    The 31-year-old will make his second Ducks debut (this main image comes from his first Anaheim stint) a week after Anaheim acquired him in a big trade from the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Ducks face the Canucks in Vancouver on Monday night.

    The Ducks defense seems on the verge of some big upgrades, in general, as Sami Vatanen may be zeroing in on a return in the near future, according to the Los Angeles Times.

    Avs recall Pickard in case Varlamov can’t play Tuesday

    Semyon Varlamov

    The Colorado Avalanche recalled Calvin Pickard in case Semyon Varlamov (pictured) decides he can’t dress after taking Tuesday’s morning skate.

    Actually, it sounds like it goes beyond just being the backup against the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday, as the Denver Post’s Mike Chambers reports that Pickard will start if Varlamov cannot.

    (Sorry, Reto Berra.)

    Varlamov, 26, was just named one of the three stars of the past week. He’s a huge reason why the Avalanche are on a three-game winning streak and a nice tear since mid-February.

    On the bright side, Pickard played well in his brief opportunities with the Avalanche. The 22-year-old should have Colorado’s confidence if Varlamov is out, which apparently can’t be said for Berra at this point.

    Dinged-up Detroit scratches Weiss for Jurco, Gustavsson undergoes concussion protocol

    Stephen Weiss

    The Detroit Red Wings are making some adjustments amid a challenging run of three games in four nights (having lost the first two in that span).

    For one thing, it appears as if Jonas Gustavsson to be going through concussion protocols (GM Ken Holland said he’s day-to-day and feels a little “off”). He may have be injured thanks to a second-period collision with Milan Lucic in Sunday’s 5-3 loss to the Boston Bruins, according to the Detroit Free-Press. Petr Mrazek was recalled as Gustavsson is on the shelf.

    That same report indicates that two blunders explain why Stephen Weiss is exiting the Red Wings’ lineup for Tomas Jurco.

    Here are the two goals Mike Babcock pointed to in order to explain why Weiss (pictured) is taking a seat:

    The Red Wings try to avoid a three-game skid as they host the Edmonton Oilers tonight.

    Pens prospect sets new AHL shutout streak record


    Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins goalie Matt Murray set a new AHL shutout streak record with a remarkable run of 304 minutes and 11 seconds.

    Occasional NHLer Dana Tyrell was the player to end that streak. Murray, the 83rd pick of the 2012 NHL Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins, bested the previous mark by a wide margin; Barry Brust previously set a record at 268 minutes and 17 seconds back in 2012 for the Abbotsford Heat.

    Those numbers might seem a little hard to put into context, so think of this way: Murray’s run would last a little more than five regulation games.

    The 20-year-old has nice numbers overall in the AHL this season, going 17-8-2 with an impressive .939 save percentage. He already has nine shutouts, so it’s not as if this streak is out of the ordinary for his first AHL season.

    (Photo via the AHL.)