Stars-Sharks Preview

March, 7, 2012
3/07/12
10:50
PM CT
San Jose Sharks at Dallas Stars
Thursday March 8
7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus
Radio: KTCK-1310 (AM)

About the Stars

The Stars (36-26-5) completed a 3-0-0 road trip through Western Canada with a 5-2 win at Vancouver Tuesday. The victory pushed the Stars’ points streak to eight games (7-0-1).

“You can’t ask for more. Our guys battled hard tonight at the end of a road trip,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “We got six points out of this thing that we desperately needed. We’ve just got to keep moving forward and stay in the grind.”

The Stars, who lead the Pacific Division, are 7-1-2 in their last 10 games overall.

Kari Lehtonen is scheduled to start in goal for the Stars.

Injuries: LW Jake Dowell (finger) and LW Brenden Morrow (neck/back) are out.

About the Sharks

The Sharks (33-24-8) are coming off a 3-2 shootout loss to Edmonton on Tuesday. The Sharks are winless in their last three games are 2-7-2 over their last 11 games.

"Our mettle's being tested, there's no doubt about it," said Sharks coach Todd McLellan. "We've been tested for a month now, since we've been on the road trip and it didn't go the way we wanted it to. We had some real stinkers. We had some good games we played in and didn't win. ... We'll dig out of it and eventually find a way. You've got to really work your way through this before you're going to win. I think we're getting close and we've got to keep going."

San Jose finished its four-game homestand with a 1-4-1 record. Thursday’s game kicks off a four-game road trip for San Jose.

Injuries: RW Martin Havlat (hamstring) is out.

Series notes

*This is the fourth of six meetings between the two teams.

*San Jose has won the first three, all in regulation.

*November 19, at Dallas: Sharks 4, Stars 1
*December 8, at San Jose: Sharks 5, Stars 2
*February 2, at San Jose: Sharks 5, Stars 2

Statistical tidbits

*San Jose is 1-5-1 in its last seven road games.

*Excluding goals awarded for the shootout, the Stars have outscored their opponents 26-12 during their eight-game points streak.

*The Stars are 23-24 (95.8%) on the penalty kill over the last eight games and are now ranked 10th in the league in penalty killing.

*The Stars have allowed two goals or fewer in nine of their last 11 games.

*Excluding the goals awarded for shootouts, the Stars have scored three goals or more in seven of their last eight games.

*The Sharks have scored four goals over their last four games (1.0 per game) and allowed six (1.50 per game).

*Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen is 5-0-1 in his last six starts with a 1.45 goals against average and .948 save percentage.

*Stars forward Michael Ryder is on a seven-game points streak (5 goals, 7 assists).

*Stars forward Loui Eriksson has 11 points (5 goals, 6 assists) in the last seven games.

*Stars center Mike Ribeiro has points in 10 of his last 11 games and has 15 points (5 goals, 10 assists) during that span.


Mark Stepneski

ESPNDallas.com
Mark Stepneski joined ESPNDallas.com in July 2010. A former news/special projects producer for KXAS-TV, he has run the Andrew's Dallas Stars Page website since 1997.

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