|7:00 PM PT8:00 PM MT9:00 PM CT10:00 PM ET3:00 GMT11:00 8:00 PM MST10:00 PM EST7:00 UAE (+1)22:00 ETNaN:� BRT, February 18, 2019
SAP Center at San Jose, San Jose, California Attendance: 17,562
Sharks host Bruins in heavyweight tilt
In this corner, wearing teal, are the San Jose Sharks. They are tied for the top spot in the Western Conference and have won seven of eight games.
In the other corner, wearing black and yellow, are the Boston Bruins. They have won five consecutive outings and are on a 7-0-3 roll.
Are you ready for this heavyweight tilt when the Sharks play host to the Bruins on Monday night?
Maybe a tougher question to answer before the puck drops is: Which team has the advantage?
Sure, you can say it's the Sharks, since they are on home ice and yet again are one of the league's best home clubs. However, the Bruins are coming off impressive wins over both the Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings on consecutive nights to kick off their road trip and are well aware how big a California sweep can be.
"You win on the road, it always carries into the next game," Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said after his club's 4-2 victory over the Kings on Saturday night. "For us, (Friday) that was a monkey off our back. ... We come into here feeling good about ourselves."
While it would take a nearly unfathomable collapse for the Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay Lightning to relinquish control of the Atlantic Division lead, the Bruins have plenty to play for these days. They're in a dogfight with the Toronto Maple Leafs for second place in the Atlantic Division.
So, this winning streak -- especially with victories coming on the road (Boston has a 13-10-5 mark away from Beantown) -- is a huge boost at the right time.
"I think we're just confident in our group," Brad Marchand told the Boston Globe. "They got an unfortunate bounce there to tie it up, but guys did a great job of sticking with it. That's what we're going to need if we're going to make a push here."
Meanwhile, the Sharks are also in a knock-down-drag-out battle with the Calgary Flames for top place in the Pacific Division -- as well as the Western Conference.
San Jose, which sports the NHL's best winning percentage since the start of the 2003-04 season (Detroit is second and Boston is third), is coming off a 3-2 win at home over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night, which followed a 5-1 defeat at the hands of the Washington Capitals a couple of nights earlier.
"It wasn't an easy win," Sharks forward Timo Meier told the San Jose Mercury News. "I thought everybody battled. Especially after the game we had against Washington, we had to come out harder and play a full 60 minutes of our game."
One aspect helping the hosts is the return of star defenseman Erik Karlsson for the Vancouver game. Karlsson missed a month due to a groin injury but appeared in fine form collecting an assist and playing nearly 25 minutes.
"He looked good," Logan Couture said. "It's not an easy situation. I've been there. Coming back from an injury, especially a lower-body injury where your legs are so important in this game, it takes some time. But he's still really good."
Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer, 50, will coach his 800th NHL game.
--Field Level Media
Updated February 17, 2019
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