|Will Dale Hunter play Mike Knuble this evening?|
Antti Niemi should start for Todd McLellan's men despite losing last night. On the year, the Finnish goaltender is 23-13-5 with a 2.34 GAA, .917 save percentage, and four shutouts. He has been a big part of these new-look Sharks and is one of their best overall players; Washington's poor offense is going to be crucial to beating a team they have beaten just once in their last fifteen tries. Outside the crease, the Sharks have a few injuries. Winger Martin Havlat is on IR with a knee injury and will not play, as is defenseman Jason Demers, who will be absent with a lower body ailment.
Michal Neuvirth is expected to start the second half of the back-to-back because Tomas Vokoun is still sick. Neuvirth, who failed to come up big for his team (again) yesterday, is 6-9-3 on the year with a 3.07 GAA, .894 save percentage, and two shutouts. On the injury front, both Mike Green (sports hernia surgery) and Nicklas Backstrom (concussion) are out and will not play. After being scratched for Thursday and Sunday's losses, forward Mike Knuble has been benched again, even though he is simply a better hockey player than both Jay Beagle and Keith Aucoin. John Erskine should remain in the lineup over Jeff Schultz after playing yesterday.
That's all for now; puck drops 7:39-ish. No recap from me tonight because of school obligations.