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Sharks Vs. Blackhawks Preview: Chicago Faces San Jose At Home

The Chicago Blackhawks are hosting the struggling San Jose Sharks tonight as they hope to win for the sixth time in eight games.

ST. LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 3: Patrick Kane #88 of the Chicago Blackhawks looks to take a shot on goal against the St. Louis Blues at the Scottrade Center  on December 3, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 3: Patrick Kane #88 of the Chicago Blackhawks looks to take a shot on goal against the St. Louis Blues at the Scottrade Center on December 3, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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The Chicago Blackhawks have been one of the better teams in the NHL over the past few years, but playing against the San Jose Sharks at home has been one of the few challenges that they've really struggled to meet. Over the team's past 11 meetings at the United Center, San Jose is a stunning 8-1-2, losing just a single game.

The advantage should be Chicago's tonight, though, given how the two teams match up. The Blackhawks have been one of the league's best teams on the power play of late, posting an NHL-leading 31.4 percent efficiency while holding the man advantage since Nov. 10. One of the few games when they failed to convert on the power play happened to be against the Sharks, though, when they went 0-for-4 on power plays against San Jose on Nov. 23.

San Jose has one of the league's worst units at defending power plays, though. They're among the worst in the league at penalty kills, and they've lost five of their past seven games, too. Chicago, on the other hand, has won five of its past seven games.

For more on the game, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth analysis on the Blackhawks, be sure to visit Second City Hockey, SB Nation's Chicago Blackhawks blog.