Sharks’ Dahlen out vs. Ottawa Senators, could miss more games

SAN JOSE – Forward Jonathan Dahlen will miss his second straight game Wednesday with an upper-body injury and could be out for the remainder of the Sharks’ homestand.

Dahlen was hurt in Saturday’s game at SAP Center with the Washington Capitals and missed the Sharks’ 2-1 overtime win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday. He will not play against the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday and is questionable for Friday when the Sharks play the Toronto Maple Leafs on the final date of a four-game homestand.

Dahlen, not yet cleared for contact, skated Tuesday afternoon after the Sharks held a brief practice to test out the injury. If Dahlen can’t play against Toronto, Sharks coach Bob Boughner believes he will be available sometime early on the team’s upcoming road trip, which starts Sunday in Chicago.

Dahlen remains the team’s co-leading goal scorer with seven goals, with two assists, in 16 games.

Instead of Dahlen, the Sharks had Rudolfs Balcers on their top line with Timo Meier and Logan Couture’s for Monday’s game and could go back to that set-up against the Senators. The trio combined for 12 of the Sharks’ 27 shots on net against the Hurricanes,

Meier, Matt Nieto, and Mario Ferraro were given maintenance days Tuesday but will play Wednesday, Boughner said.

ODD BURNS NUMBERS: Sharks defenseman Brent Burns has gone five games without a point. That’s unusual enough. But what’s even more atypical is that in three of those five games, he’s gone without an official shot on net.

Burns had a staggering 2,020 shots on goal in 549 games from the start of the 2013-2014 season to the end of 2019-2020, an average of close to 3.7 shots per game and a total only bettered by Alex Ovechkin (2,496) and Tyler Seguin (2.067).

Timo Meier now leads the Sharks with 55 shots on goal, with Burns and Tomas Hertl right behind with 53 each.

The Sharks have had just 10 power-play opportunities in the last six games, which, of course, affects the number of chances Burns is getting to shoot. He’s also typically on the ice against one of the opposing team’s top two lines and 61.4 percent of his starts this season have come in the defensive zone.

“I think there are opportunities for him to be getting points right now or at least assists where guys aren’t burying their chances,” Boughner said. “We’re having struggles with the pucks going in. He’s still getting the shots through.

“Haven’t had a lot of power plays, so he’s not getting that opportunity to put some points up. But for him, playing as much as he does against the top lines, it’s a tough assignment every night. For sure we want him to produce offensively, but there are some important things he’s doing.”

SENATORS RECOVERING: The Senators had eight players exit the NHL’s COVID Protocol on Saturday, a group that included former Sharks center Dylan Gambrell. Six of those players played Monday in the Senators’ 7-5 loss to the Colorado Avalanche in Denver.

Other Senators in the protocol were forwards Connor Brown, Alex Formenton, and Austin Watson, defensemen Josh Brown, Nick Holden, and Victor Mete, and goalie Matt Murray. Holden did not play against the Avalanche and Josh Brown was injured in the first period and will likely miss Wednesday’s game.

The Sharks on Oct. 24 traded Gambrell to the Senators for a 2022 seventh-round draft pick that was originally their own. Gambrell does not have a point in five games for Ottawa and is averaging just under 11 minutes of ice time per game.

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