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Preview: Sharks at Penguins

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

If they hope to extend their winning streak, the San Jose Sharks must find a way to contain the NHL's top two scorers. San Jose seeks its seventh consecutive victory when it visits Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday. The Sharks watched their two-goal lead disappear against Toronto before defenseman Brad Stuart tallied with four minutes remaining in the second period en route to a 4-2 victory on Tuesday.

Pittsburgh also overcame an early two-goal deficit Tuesday as Crosby scored the tying goal in the third period and the winner at 3:44 of overtime in a 3-2 triumph over the New York Islanders. The captain, who will play in his 500th game on Thursday, raised his league-leading total to 38 points while Malkin notched two assists to remain one point behind his teammate. The victory capped a perfect three-game road trip for the Penguins and extended their overall winning streak to four contests.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, CSN California (San Jose), ROOT (Pittsburgh)

ABOUT THE SHARKS (19-3-5): Captain Joe Thornton scored a goal Tuesday, giving him 1,148 career points. The former Hart Trophy winner trails Michel Goulet by four points for 49th place on the all-time list. Thornton extended his point streak to five games with the tally.

ABOUT THE PENGUINS (19-9-1): Malkin has collected four goals and 15 assists during his nine-game point streak. He collected 21 assists in November, the most in a month since Wayne Gretzky also had 21 in January 1996. Pittsburgh went 2-for-5 on the power play Tuesday and is 26-for-100 for a league-best 26.0 percent success rate.

OVERTIME

1. San Jose is 8-1-2 against Eastern Conference opponents.

2. Malkin has recorded an assist in each game during his point streak.

3. The Sharks are 13-0-1 with RW Brent Burns in the lineup.

PREDICTION: Penguins 4, Sharks 1

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/131206/preview-sharks-at-penguins