Preview: Sharks at Blackhawks

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[February 09, 2016]  The Chicago Blackhawks are enjoying quite the surge with wins in 16 of their last 19 games as they vie for home-ice advantage in the Western Conference. After a lengthy trek on the road, the Blackhawks will compete at the United Center for the first time in 16 days on Tuesday when they open a four-game homestand against the San Jose Sharks.

"It's nice," Crawford told the team's website on Monday. "It felt like we were on the road for a month there. We had the break, came home for the night, and then went back out on the road. So, it's nice to be back." Crawford turned aside 36 shots in Chicago's 5-1 rout of Dallas on Saturday and improved to 8-2-3 versus San Jose with a victory in both November and December. The Sharks dropped a 6-2 decision to Nashville on Saturday to fall to 1-2-0 on their four-game road trip. The rough waters are unfamiliar for San Jose, which owns the best road record in the Western Conference (17-8-2).

TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, CSN California (San Jose), CSN Chicago, NHL.TV

ABOUT THE SHARKS (27-20-4): Martin Jones, who permitted five goals on 29 shots versus the Predators, is expected to make his eighth straight start on Tuesday. The 26-year-old Jones yielded four tallies in a 5-2 loss to Chicago on Nov. 25 and the same amount in a 4-3 overtime setback on Dec. 20. Joonas Donskoi scored and set up a goal in the most recent meeting with the Blackhawks and has eight points (two goals, six assists) in his last nine outings.

ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS (36-16-4): Captain Jonathan Toews, who has scored in both encounters with San Jose this season, has hit the ground running after sitting out the All-Star Game due to an illness. Toews scored twice in a 5-4 win over Arizona on Thursday before adding his 300th career assist two nights later against the Stars. Patrick Kane scored his league-leading 32nd goal on Saturday and also had a tally and three assists in two meetings with the Sharks.

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1. San Jose LW Patrick Marleau scored in the first meeting with the Blackhawks, but has just one goal in his last 16 contests.

2. Chicago hasn't played at home since skating to a 2-0 victory over St. Louis on Jan. 24.

3. The Sharks have killed off all eight short-handed situations in February.

PREDICTION: Blackhawks 4, Sharks 3

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