This article originally appeared on pittsburghhockeynow.com
The Pittsburgh Penguins (3-6-0) open a three-game California swing Saturday with a game in San Jose against the Sharks (0-9-1). The Penguins have lost five of their past six. The woeful Sharks are coming off a 10-1 home loss against Vancouver.
After a disappointing start, the Penguins are in the precarious position of needing to beat the woeful Sharks to avoid an expected storm of backlash if they are the first team to lose to San Jose.
“They’re an NHL club that’s going to be very hungry,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said.
Penguins defenseman Erik Karlsson and forward Matt Nieto return to face their former club, while Penguins captain Sidney Crosby will be playing in his 1,200th career game. Karlsson had 101 points and won the Norris Trophy last season with San Jose.
The Penguins are expected to make one change in their lines, one that might make their fan base happy. Fourth-line right winger Jeff Carter apparently will be scratched in favor of Vinnie Hinostroza, who will make his Penguins debut.
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