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PREVIEW: San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues looking for bounce-back win

Mar 6, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (91) handles the puck while Los Angeles Kings defenseman Mikey Anderson (44) defends during the second period at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 6, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (91) handles the puck while Los Angeles Kings defenseman Mikey Anderson (44) defends during the second period at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The San Jose Sharks are set to host the St. Louis Blues on Monday night for the teams’ sixth meeting of the season.

Monday’s game marks the first time the Sharks and Blues have seen each other since a wild contest on Feb 27 that featured an NHL-record-tying six game-tying goals in a regular-season game and ended in a 7-6 victory for St. Louis.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Blues, check out #STLBlues rumors, rankings, and news here.

The Blues have since gone 3-0-1, stringing together three straight victories before losing 4-3 in overtime to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night. St. Louis had a 3-1 lead after the first 20 minutes of Saturday’s game, but Anze Kopitar and the Kings came roaring back in the second frame on their way to winning in overtime.

“We were doing a good job, but it happens in this league,” Blues coach Craig Berube said of his team losing the lead. “It’s unfortunate we let it slip away, for sure. But we got a point.”

St. Louis forward Brayden Schenn agreed.

“Obviously, we would have liked to have two (points), but you’ve got to be about to try to close those games out.”

The Sharks, on the other hand, have gone 1-2-1 since facing the Blues, including back-to-back losses to the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday and Saturday. Although San Jose was able to rally in Friday’s game and push play into overtime before losing 5-4, the Sharks were completely stymied by Marc-Andre Fleury in Saturday’s rematch, getting shut out 4-0.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Sharks, check out #SharksTerritory rumors, rankings, and news here.

“I thought we worked hard,” Sharks coach Bob Boughner told the media after Saturday’s loss. “We did a lot of good things. Fleury, I thought, was the difference in the first half of the game. I thought we wore down toward the end.”

San Jose’s offense is naturally looking to turn things around on Monday night against St. Louis, especially as it goes back up against Blues netminder Jordan Binnington. The Sharks knocked Binnington out of the Feb. 27 game after scoring four goals on 19 shots on him, which resulted in the goalie losing his temper and charging three of San Jose’s players on his way off the ice.

“I guess he was frustrated, but I don’t know why he was skating around pretending to punch guys,” said Sharks goalie Devan Dubnyk, who was one of the players Binnington tried to tussle with. “I just told him to get off the ice, calm down. He’s 160 pounds and he’s out there swinging at guys.”

Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson, who also got caught in Binnington’s line of fire, commented a couple of days after that game that the opposing goalie’s actions weren’t anything to stay angry about.

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“It’s one of those things that, looking back, I think we laugh at now,” Karlsson told reporters at the time. “I don’t think he was out there looking for certain guys. I think he just kind of zoned out for a little bit and went at whoever he saw first.”

It isn’t clear yet whether Dubnyk (1-5-2, 3.49 goals against) or Martin Jones (7-6-1, 3.84 goals against) will be in net for San Jose on Monday night.

–Field Level Media