Sharks aim to extend Red Wings’ road struggles

NHL Hockey

The San Jose Sharks have bounced back rather nicely from a rough performance against the Detroit Red Wings last week.

Looking for a third consecutive victory, the Sharks aim to hand the Red Wings — who have headed in the opposite direction since that triumph — a sixth straight road defeat on Tuesday night.

Detroit jumped out to a 3-0 lead and won 6-2 over San Jose at home on Jan. 4. However, the Sharks regrouped to post consecutive 3-2 wins — at Buffalo and in overtime over Philadelphia on Saturday — to split a four-game road stretch.

Tomas Hertl scored four of the Sharks’ six goals in the last two games, and recorded a hat trick at Philadelphia. Hertl has totaled 12 of his team-leading 20 goals with six assists in his last 12 games. One of those assists came at Detroit.

“It’s nice to see that I can help the team win some games with my goals,” said Hertl, who carries a seven-game home point streak into Tuesday’s game.

Hertl’s recent performance has been much needed with Sharks captain Logan Couture, the team’s third-highest point producer with 29, in COVID-19 protocol.

Meanwhile, Adin Hill has stopped 66 of the 70 shots he’s faced while starting the last two games for San Jose. Hill saved five of seven shots at Detroit last week after replacing James Reimer allowed four goals on 24 shots through two periods of that game.

With Reimer reportedly dealing with a lower-body injury, Hill could make his third consecutive start Tuesday, as the Sharks try for a third straight home victory.

Tyler Bertuzzi and Pius Suter each scored twice while Dylan Larkin had a goal with an assist against the Sharks on Jan. 4 as the Red Wings matched their highest-scoring game of the 2021-22 season. Detroit, though, fell 4-0 at Los Angeles four days later, then earned a point with Sunday’s 4-3 shootout loss at Anaheim.

The Red Wings are just 4-11-2 on the road, where they’ve been outscored 26-11 during their current 0-4-1 slump away from home.

“We’re trying,” Red Wings forward Marc Staal said. “We’re trying to change time on the road. It’s something that we’ve talked about and something that we need to do, to be where we want to be.

“We just have to take the good (from getting a point at Anaheim) and go to San Jose with some confidence.”

Detroit is 1-2-1 in its last four stops at San Jose, but hasn’t played there since November 2019. While Bertuzzi, who has seven goals with one assist in his last seven games, appears fine after receiving a cut late against the Ducks, it’s uncertain if Larkin will be available for this contest.

The Red Wings’ leader with 32 points, Larkin suffered an upper-body injury at Anaheim.

Detroit’s Alex Nedeljkovic made 24 saves against the Sharks last week, but he’s posted a 3.36 goals-against average during a 2-5-0 starting stretch. Teammate Thomas Greiss has a 3.09 GAA during his current 1-2-1 starting span.

–Field Level Media

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