Stars-Sharks Preview

San Jose Sharks at Dallas Stars
Saturday February 23
7:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: KTCK-1310 (AM)

About the Stars

The Stars (8-8-1) lost for the third time in the last four games, falling 4-3 to Vancouver Thursday night at American Airlines Center.  The two teams were tied 2-2 after two periods, but the Canucks scored two goals early in the third to take a 4-2 lead.

“I thought that we had chances to get ahead and maybe stay ahead, but we didn’t convert,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “But overall, I thought that our work ethic was strong tonight, but it’s a result-based business and we didn’t get the result.”

The Stars, who have lost the first two games of their three-game homestand, are 3-3-1 at American Airlines Center this season.

Still no word on whether Richard Bachman or Cristopher Nilstorp will start in goal Saturday.

Injuries: D Trevor Daley (neck) is doubtful.  G Kari Lehtonen (groin) and LW Ray Whitney (foot) are out.

About the Sharks

The Sharks (8-5-3) are coming off a 2-1 loss at Chicago Friday night. The Sharks scored late in the first period to take a 1-0 lead, but Chicago tied the game in second and won the game on Brandon Saad’s shorthanded goal early in the third. The Blackhawks set an NHL record by extending their season-opening points streak to 17 games (14-0-3). San Jose, which started the season 7-0-0, fell to 1-5-3 over its last nine games.

“We’re (ticked) off,” San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. “We’re not very happy with it. And we should be after a loss. It doesn’t matter when or who or where, the effort was much better, the battle was better, we still only scored one goal. We gave up the winner on the power play, so we should all be a little unhappy.”

The Sharks have scored just six goals over their last six games.

Saturday wraps up a six-game road trip for the Sharks, who are 1-3-1 in the first five games.       

Injuries:  RW James Sheppard (lower body) is out.

Series Notes

*This is the first of four meetings between the Stars and Sharks this season.

*The Stars were 1-5-0 (2 points) against the Sharks last season.

*The Sharks were 5-0-1 (11 points) against the Stars last season.

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 7-2-1 when Kari Lehtonen plays and 1-6-0 behind backups Richard Bachman and Cristopher Nilstorp.

*Over the last four games, Bachman and Nilstorp have combined for a 4.55 goals against average and .913 save percentage (17 goals on 91 shots).

*The Stars have scored three goals or more in eight straight games.

*The Sharks have scored two goals or fewer in 10 of their last 11 games.

*The Stars are 0-12 on the power play over their last three games. The Stars have failed to score on the power play in eight of their last 11 games and are 5-40 (12.5%) on the PP during that stretch.

*The Sharks 0-18 on the power play over their last four games, and 1-34 over the last eight. They have failed to score on the power play in nine of their last 11 games and are 2-46 (4.3%) on the PP during that stretch.

Statistical matchup

Category Stars Sharks
Record 8-8-1 8-5-3
Home 3-3-1 5-1-2
Away 5-5-0 3-4-1
Last 5 2-3-0 1-3-1
Last 10 6-4-0 2-5-3
Streak Lost 2 Lost 1
Goals/game 2.53 (20th) 2.38 (23rd)
Goals against/game 2.76 (17th) 2.12 (5th)
Power play 15.0 (21st) 18.0 (14th)
Penalty kill 83.1 (11th) 87.5 (5th)
Shots/game 26.4 (29th) 29.5 (13th)
Shots against/game 30.8 (21st) 29.2 (18th)
Faceoffs 47.7 (24th) 53.0 (4th)
Team Leaders Stars Sharks
Goals Benn, Ryder: 5 Marleau: 11
Assists: Roy: 8 Thornton: 13
Points: Benn, Jagr: 11 Marleau, Thornton: 17
Goaltenders Lehtonen: 7-2-1, 2.12, .934
Bachman: 1-3-0, 3.95, .857
Nilstorp, 0-3-0, 3.16, .892
Niemi: 7-3-3, 1.88, .933
Greiss: 1-2-0, 2.68, .913

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