|Lightning looking to avenge defeat to Sharks|
Earlier this month, the San Jose Sharks ended one of the longest point streaks in Tampa Bay Lightning history.
The Lightning now have a chance for some payback Saturday night against the visiting Sharks, who look to get back on track following the end of their longest winning stretch of the season.
Despite missing injured defensemen Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Justin Braun, San Jose delivered a complete effort in its 5-2 home victory over Tampa Bay on Jan. 5. The loss was the Lightning's first in regulation since Nov. 27 and snapped their 16-game point streak.
Tampa Bay had won the previous two meetings with San Jose, but will get the opportunity to avenge that defeat before enjoying a weeklong break that concludes with the NHL's All-Star festivities.
"It's huge, center Brayden Point told the Lightning's official website. "Just got to play hockey."
Both clubs will also attempt to rebound from defeats in their most recent outings.
San Jose's seven-game winning streak ended with a frustrating 6-3 loss at Arizona to open a four-game trip Wednesday. Though the Sharks are in the mix for the top spot in the Western Conference, it was the lowly Coyotes who controlled the play most of the evening, leading 2-0 and 4-1 at points in the contest. Arizona's goal total matched the second-most allowed this season by the Sharks, who gave up 10 in their previous six games.
"We were on a roll, and you always want to win as many games as possible, keep that going," San Jose winger Timo Meier told NHL.com. "We're obviously not happy about the loss, we've done some good things, played some great hockey, and we've got to go back to that."
While the Sharks look to avoid losing consecutive games for the first time since an 0-1-2 slide from Dec. 20-23, Tampa Bay will try to get back on track at home before the down time.
The NHL-leading Lightning won nine in a row at home before being stymied by Frederik Andersen (36 saves) and Toronto in a 4-2 loss on Thursday. It marked just the fifth home defeat this season for Tampa Bay, which has also dropped two of three following an 18-1-1 overall stretch.
"We want to win every night," said Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos, who has seven points in the last five games, and had an assist at San Jose this month.
"We don't care what the standings are. We come into each game expecting to win. And that's our attitude. And we're not happy when we lose."
Point recorded his 30th goal Thursday, and is two shy of equaling his career high from last season.
Andrei Vasilevskiy could again be in net for the Lightning. He's allowed seven goals in his two games sandwiched around a shutout victory at Dallas on Tuesday. He stopped 28 shots at San Jose two weeks ago.
The Sharks' Evander Kane scored twice against the Lightning two weekends ago, and has six goals with nine assists over his last 10 contests. Teammate Martin Jones, meanwhile, has a .918 save percentage and a 2.26 goals-against average while winning his last eight starts.
--Field Level Media