SAN JOSE http://www.starsshoponline.com/authentic-devin-shore-jersey , Calif. (AP) The San Jose Sharks head back to the Midwest for their final road trip of the season looking like a far different team than the one that stumbled its way through a tour of the Central Division just last month.They have the midseason additions of Evander Kane and Eric Fehr to thank for that.With Kane provide a scoring threat and physical play as a top-line wing and Fehr solidifying the fourth line and penalty kill, the Sharks are playing as well as anyone in the NHL down the stretch with a seven-game winning streak that is the team’s longest in five years.During this streak, they have managed to win wide-open games as well as tight checking ones and have managed to negate the speed of teams such as Vegas as well as deal with more physical play like they had Saturday in a 5-1 win over Calgary.”I think that’s something we’re trying to pride ourselves on,” defenseman Brenden Dillon said. ”Playoffs you’re going to meet all sorts of teams, speed teams, teams that can play hard down low. I think we’ve got the personnel that we’re able to match up with those. We’re doing things in practice to prepare for them.”The Sharks are in prime position with just two weeks left in the regular season. They have moved within six points of first-place Vegas in the Pacific Division with seven games remaining, giving them an outside shot at a division title. But perhaps more importantly, they entered Sunday six points ahead of Anaheim and Los Angeles in the race for home-ice advantage in the first round.It’s a far cry from last March when a six-game losing streak cost San Jose a chance at the division title and the team was knocked out in the first round of the playoffs by Edmonton. Now they’re playing their best hockey in March.”We’re a desperate team Womens Esa Lindell Jersey ,” Kane said. ”We need all the points we can get. We haven’t clinched a playoff spot yet. The teams that are right behind us keep winning. We have to keep pushing forward and keep picking up points as we close out the season in order to secure a spot. It’s good to get in that playoff mindset right now.”Kane has provided a major lift since his arrival in a deadline deal with Buffalo on Feb. 26. He has stepped onto the top line with center Joe Pavelski and provided a scoring threat and some needed toughness to help make up for the absence of Joe Thornton, who has missed two months with a knee injury. Thornton has started skating again, but there is no timetable for his return.Kane has seven goals and five assists while helping the Sharks to a NHL-best 10-2 record since he arrived. The team is scoring 4.2 goals per game with Kane in the lineup after scoring just 2.8 goals per game before he arrived.”He’s a crucial part to our team,” center Chris Tierney said. ”You can see how much he brings, whether it’s the physicality side or the goal scoring. He adds a lot of depth to us and he’s been great for us so far. Just gives us an extra layer of everything.”While Kane’s play has gotten most of the attention, the addition of Fehr just a week earlier has also had a big impact. Fehr has filled a hole at fourth-line center, allowing coach Peter DeBoer the freedom to roll through his lines without fear of mismatches, and added an accomplished penalty killer to a unit that ranks second best in the NHL.That line has even provided an offensive boost of late Jamie Benn Jersey , especially since Jannik Hansen moved back into the lineup alongside Fehr and Barclay Goodrow after Joonas Donskoi went down with a shoulder injury.All three fourth-liners scored goals in a win last Tuesday against New Jersey and Hansen added another in the homestand finale on Saturday against Calgary after failing to score any goals in his first 39 games this season.”It always helps when you’re helping out and you’re producing,” said Hansen, who was a healthy scratch for long portions of the season.”It gets you momentum, it makes you feel good about the game. The puck doesn’t bounce as much, stuff like that. Obviously whenever we can chip in it’s a big part. We want to roll four lines and the fourth line is a part of that.”— NEW YORK — The New York Islanders ended the quirkiest early-season schedule in the NHL by winning three straight road games in a span of four days. Now the task for the Islanders is to produce similar success in their first extended homestand of the 2018-19 campaign.The Islanders will look to remain hot Thursday night, when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins in an early-season battle for first place in the Metropolitan Division at Barclays Center.It will be the second straight game between the rivals. The Islanders earned a convincing win Tuesday night, when Jordan Eberle scored twice in a 6-3 win over the Penguins.Article continues below ...The victory capped an impressive road trip for the Islanders (6-4-1), who outscored a trio of division rivals — the Penguins http://www.starsshoponline.com/authentic-jason-spezza-jersey , Philadelphia Flyers and Carolina Hurricanes — by a 14-5 margin. With the win Tuesday, New York (6-4-1) pulled within one point of Pittsburgh (6-2-2).“Good team over there (and) they (are) going to be ticked off,” Islanders center Anders Lee told reporters following practice Wednesday. “We’re expecting an absolute response and we’ve got to be ready to go.”Eberle said the Islanders are focused on avoiding a letdown as they return home for a three-game homestand. New York, which will face the New Jersey Devils on Saturday and the Montreal Canadiens on Monday, played just three home games in October.“A lot of times you go on the road and you have a good road trip, you come home and you’re a little bit lackadaisical,” Eberle told reporters Wednesday. “We’ve got to be back on the ball (Thursday).”The Penguins are hoping to get a little more good fortune than they did Tuesday, when the Islanders scored their six goals on just 25 shots. One of Eberle’s goals was scored on a breakaway after he collided with left winger Carl Hagelin.“I don’t think we gave them a ton of opportunities John Klingberg Jersey , but the few they had went in the net,” Penguins defenseman Jack Johnson told reporters afterward. “There’s a lesson to be learned from that.”Thomas Greiss will start at goalie for the Islanders, who lost starter Robin Lehner to what the team is calling a “strain” after the second period Tuesday. Greiss preserved Lehner’s win by stopping 12 of 13 shots.The Penguins’ starter is unknown after Matt Murray was pulled midway through the second period Tuesday in favor of Casey DeSmith. Murray took the loss after giving up four goals on just nine shots before DeSmith made 14 saves.“Sometimes you make the change. It’s not so much about the goalie as it is about the rest of the group,” Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan told reporters afterward. “We just thought it was the right thing to do at that particular time. I don’t fault Matt for the goals.”Greiss is 3-1-0 in six career games against the Penguins. Murray is 2-3-0 in five appearances against the Islanders. DeSmith faced New York for the first time Tuesday night.