Stars-Sharks Preview

March, 31, 2012
3/31/12
1:50
AM CT
Dallas Stars at San Jose Sharks
Saturday March 31, 9:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: KTCK-1310 (AM)

About the Stars

The Stars (42-31-5) lost 5-2 at Vancouver on Friday night, falling from third place in the Western Conference to seventh place.

“It’s big. It just puts a little more pressure on that one tomorrow and they only get bigger after that,” Stars captain Brenden Morrow said after the loss. “We came on this road and lost one in Calgary and lost one here. It just puts more pressure and desperation on those next games.”

Saturday’s game is the first of a key home-and-home series with the Sharks. The two teams meet again Tuesday in Dallas. The Stars lead the ninth place Sharks by one point.

“We have a chance to control our own destiny and that starts tomorrow,” said Stars forward Jake Dowell. “We’ll be glum about this tonight, but tomorrow we’ll get back at it.”

Kari Lehtonen will start in goal for the Stars.

Injuries: LW Eric Nystrom (leg) and RW Radek Dvorak (ankle) and D Mark Fistric (abdominal strain) are out.

About the Sharks

The Sharks (39-29-10) lost their second straight game, falling 2-0 at Phoenix Thursday. The loss dropped the Sharks to ninth in the Western Conference standings.

"We had a ton of opportunities, some really good looks at the net, but it didn't go in for us," said San Jose coach Todd McLellan. "They capitalized on their chances, we didn't. That's the game. I keep saying that we've got to leave these (losses) behind and move on, but with four left we better make some hay quick."

The Sharks have four games left – two against Dallas and two against Los Angeles – and think it’s possible they may need to win them all to get in.

We don't have much of an option, the last two games have put us in a hole," forward Ryane Clowe said. "We can't afford to lose any games, so if that means (going) 4-0, then yeah."

Injuries: D Douglas Murray (lower body) is questionable.

Series notes

*This is the fifth of six meetings between the two teams this season.

*The Stars are 1-3-0 in the season series.

*The Sharks are 3-0-1 in the series.

*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
*March 8, at Dallas: Stars 4, Sharks 3 (SO)

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 1-3-0 in their last four road games.

*The Sharks are 5-1-0 in their last six home games.

*The Stars have allowed five goals in three of their last four road games.

*The Sharks have scored one goal on 67 shots over the last two games.

*The Stars are 1-10-2 in the second games of back-to-backs this season.


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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