Game 57: Dallas Stars @ San Jose Sharks
9:30 p.m. CT, February 5, 2014
SAP Center; San Jose, California
Sharks (35-16-6, 76 pts)
The Sharks are in the midst of one of their rougher stretches of the season. They’ve lost four of the last five games and have scored zero or one goal in four of the last five as well. Their great power play has faltered and their penalty has allowed three goals in the last four games.
In other words, a Stars team that has been playing great hockey gets a Sharks team that has been less than stellar. Both Joe Thonton and Joe Pavelski have just one point in that five-game stretch, and, without them scoring, the Sharks find it mighty difficult to win.
Adam Burish makes his season debut for the Sharks tonight. He had missed the entire season so far because of a back injury.
Alex Stalock should get the start tonight against the Stars. He was the starter in the second game between these two, a shootout victory for the Sharks back on Dec. 21. He had a great game with 44 saves on 46 shots.
The one thing to note is that San Jose is 6-0-1 in the last seven home games against Dallas. They protect home ice well against he Stars.
The Sharks will be missing Logan Couture (hand), Tomas Hertl (knee), Raffi Torres (knee), and Jason Demers (groin).
Nieto – Thornton – Burns
Marleau – Pavelski – Wingels
Sheppard – Kearns – Havlat
Hayes – Desjardins – Burish
Vlasic – Braun
Irwin – Boyle
Hannan – Stuart
Goalie – Alex Stalock
Stars (26-21-9, 61 pts)
Defense is the name of the game right now for Dallas. They’ve won five of the last seven games and have allowed only two goals in those five wins. Seven goals were allowed in the two losses.
Going up against a Sharks team that is struggling to score goals right now, Stars fans have to look at this game with some optimism.
Kari Lehtonen has been hot again and the top line has been carrying this team most of the way. The depth lines showed up against the Coyotes as Antoine Roussel and Ryan Garbutt provided some offensive punch.
Jamie Benn had his six-game point streak broken but Tyler Seguin is currently up to six games on his streak and has an assist in six straight.
The Stars are pretty healthy aside from the injury to Robidas. Robidas has been skating a bit though, and there’s a chance he could be back this season.
Jamie Benn – Seguin – Nichushkin
Peverley – Eakin – Cole
Roussel – Fiddler – Garbutt
Whitney – Horcoff – Chiasson
Goligoski – Daley
Jordie Benn – Dillon
Connauton – Gonchar
Goalie – Kari Lehtonen