Series (Game 1 of 1)

San Jose leads 1-0

Game 1: Saturday, November 7th

Penguins 0

(12-5-0, 24 pts)

Sharks 5

(12-4-2, 26 pts)

10:30 PM ET, November 7, 2009

SAP Center, San Jose, California

1 2 3 T
PIT 0 0 00
SJ 2 2 15

E. Nabokov (Sharks - G): Saves: 27, Save Pct.: 1.000

D. Boyle (Sharks - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

J. Pavelski (Sharks - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Penguins-Sharks Preview


The Pittsburgh Penguins' impressive winning streak away from home is over, as is the San Jose Sharks' similarly lengthy string of victories that was built largely during a road-heavy stretch.

San Jose's streak of home dominance over Pittsburgh, however, is very much intact.

The Penguins haven't won in their last eight visits to HP Pavilion, a drought they'll hope to snap Saturday night in a matchup of two of the NHL's early season heavyweights.

Pittsburgh (12-4-0) reeled off seven consecutive road victories to begin the season, tying the second-best start in league history, before blowing a 2-1 third-period lead Thursday in a 5-2 loss to Los Angeles.

"We didn't play great, and sometimes you get away with that," captain Sidney Crosby said after being held without a point for a third straight game. "It's a good lesson for us. We have gotten away with bad periods in the past, but tonight we didn't. We didn't capitalize on our chances and we didn't play well in the third, and in a tight game like that, you can't afford for that to happen."

San Jose (11-4-2) was looking for its seventh straight win Thursday in Detroit, but also gave up a lead in the final 20 minutes. Henrik Zetterberg's goal tied it at 1-all, then he and Pavel Datsyuk beat Evgeni Nabokov in a shootout to hand the Sharks a 2-1 loss.

Saturday's game against the Penguins will be the first of three in a row at home for San Jose after playing nine of 11 on the road.

"We fought hard for the one point, and we got five out of six on the road," defenseman Dan Boyle said. "We would have taken that before the road trip started."

Pittsburgh is playing without reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner Evgeni Malkin and All-Star defenseman Sergei Gonchar, but those absences aren't the reason San Jose should feel good about its chances of extending its home record to 5-0-1.

The Sharks have beaten the Penguins six straight times at HP Pavilion and are 7-0-0 with a tie against them there since Pittsburgh last won Oct. 22, 1997.

Crosby, who doesn't have a goal in three career games versus San Jose, has never gone four in a row without a point.

He'd have a better chance of breaking those droughts if the Penguins can improve their power play. Pittsburgh is 0 for 17 with the man advantage in the four games it's played without Malkin, and its 15.5 percent rate of success is among the bottom third of the league.

San Jose has allowed one goal in its last 17 times short-handed.

Penguins forward Tyler Kennedy sat out against the Kings -- his fourth absence in five games -- with an undisclosed injury, but the Sharks also have a few injury issues.

Defenseman and captain Rob Blake was placed on injured reserve Thursday with an upper-body injury, meaning he'll miss at least a week. Right wing Devin Setoguchi -- who has seven goals in 11 games -- hasn't played since Oct. 24 with a leg injury, but Patrick Marleau and Dany Heatley have picked up the slack with a combined 21 goals.

Marleau doesn't have a point in his last four games against the Penguins, but Heatley scored 10 goals in his last nine versus Pittsburgh while with Atlanta.

Nabokov is 7-1-0 with a 1.84 goals-against average in eight starts against the Penguins.