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Sharks Vs. Bruins: Joe Thornton Returns As Boston Hosts San Jose

The Boston Bruins continue their homestand when Joe Thornton and the San Jose Sharks come to town Saturday at 1 p.m. EST. The Bruins are coming off their win against the Dallas Stars Thursday night, a game in which they had three fights in the first four seconds and scored six goals. It should be interesting to see what energy they bring on Saturday.

The Matchup:

The Sharks come into Boston 6-0-1 in their last seven games after starting January with six straight losses. Boston, meanwhile, is 8-2-0 in their last ten games and seem to have hit their stride, also winning three in a row. But the Bruins are 3-4-1 vs the West this season, and 2-3-1 versus teams from the Pacific Division.

But they are also 13-4-3 over their last twenty games, so they have that to ride. The Bruins also have more goals per game, at 3.08 while the Sharks are 2.79. The last time the Bruins played San Jose was Jan. 14 of 2010, when they won, 2-1, on a Zdeno Chara goal in the shootout. That was the last win before the Bruins impending ten game losing streak.

The Stats:

The Sharks power play percentage over the Bruins is dominating, at 22 percent compared to the Bruins 17.2 percent. But the Bruins have the better goals against average, thanks to Tim Thomas, with the Bruins at 2.15 and the Sharks at 2.73.

The Players:

This is one of the rare occasions that Bruins fans get to see Joe Thornton again, but the Sharks have some other good offensive players, Patrick Marleau to name one. This will not be an easy game for the Bruins, with not only the Sharks as hot as they are right now, but they are also trying to claw up in the tight Western Conference Standings.

Devin Setoguchi and Ryan Clowe have been hot in the Sharks last four games, picking up six and five points, respectively. For the Bruins, their hottest players have been Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron with Marchand getting eight points in five games and Bergeron 20 in 14. Zach Hamill has been recalled for this game to replace Daniel Paille.

The Injuries:  

Marc Savard remains the only Bruin out due to injury, but Daniel Paille will also miss this game because of suspension after an illegal hit on Raymond Sawada.

As for he Sharks, Logan Couture is day to day with an illness. Antero Niittymaki and Torrey Mitchel are both on IR with lower body injuries.