Stars-Sharks Preview

December, 15, 2010
12/15/10
11:47
PM CT
San Jose Sharks at Dallas Stars
Thursday December 16
7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: KTCK

About the Stars

The Stars (18-10-2) last played Monday, when they beat the Sharks 3-2 in a shootout in San Jose. It was the Stars’ eighth win in their last 11 games (8-2-1).

“It was a huge win for us,” said Stars coach Marc Crawford. “I thought our guys did a terrific job on maintaining their composure in some pretty hostile moments in the game.”

The Stars enter the game on a ten game home points streak (9-0-1).

Goaltender Kari Lehtonen, who missed the last four games with a sore back, practiced Wednesday and could be ready to play Thursday.

Injuries: LW Brenden Morrow (nose) is expected to play. G Kari Lehtonen (back), F Toby Petersen (hand) and F Krys Barch (foot/ankle) all could be available to play.

About the Sharks

The Sharks (15-11-5) opened a three-game road trip with a 3-2 loss in Nashville Wednesday night. The Predators scored two goals 44 seconds apart late in the game to erase a 2-1 San Jose lead. The winning goal came on a three-on-one rush.

“Absolutely unacceptable.It’s called game management and it was poor," said Sharks coach Todd McLellan. "Even after it goes to 2-2 we should have enough poise and enough composure to manage the game properly to get it to overtime and see what happens from there. Unacceptable.”

The Sharks have lost three of four games (1-2-1).

Antti Niemi made his fourth straight start in goal for the Sharks and his seventh start in the last eight games. Antero Niittymaki, who could start tomorrow since it will be San Jose’s second game in two nights, last played December 8.

Injuries: D Doug Murray (lower body) and D Kent Huskins (upper body) are questionable.

Series Notes
  • This is the third of six meetings between the two teams.
  • The Stars are 2-0-0 in the season series and the Sharks are 0-0-2
  • Thursday November 18 |at Dallas | Dallas 5, San Jose 4 (OT)
    Monday December 13 |at San Jose | Dallas 3, San Jose 2 (SO)
Statistical Tidbits
  • The Stars are 9-0-1 in their last ten games at home. It’s their longest points streak at home since 2003-04, when the team set a franchise mark by picking up points in 17 straight games at home.
  • The Stars are 11-12 on the penalty kill in their last four home games and 31-35 (88.6 percent) over their last 12 games overall.
  • San Jose is 18-21 (85.7 percent) on the penalty kill over the last eight games.
  • The Stars are 12-51 (23.5 percent) on the power play in their last ten home games.
  • Stars center Mike Ribeiro has scored three of his five goals this season against San Jose.
  • Stars coach Marc Crawford will coach his 1,100th NHL game Thursday. He is one of three active coaches with that many games under his belt. His record is 525-402-172 for a .556 points percentage.

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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