Stars-Sharks Preview

Dallas Stars at San Jose Sharks
Tuesday April 23
9:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus
Radio: KTCK-1310 (AM)

About the Stars

The Stars (22-19-4) lost 4-3 in overtime at Los Angeles Sunday evening. The point the Stars picked up in the game kept them in control of their own destiny in the race for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

“It was a big point, maybe if we don’t get that one, maybe things don’t look as good,” said Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski. “We’ve just got to go into San Jose, get two points and go home.”

The Stars enter Tuesday’s game three points behind No. 8 Columbus and two points behind No. 9 Detroit, which beat Phoenix Monday night. The Stars play the Blue Jackets and Red Wings in the final two games of the regular season, but first order of business is San Jose.

“I expect the win, nothing else,” said Stars forward Antoine Roussel. “We need to have the win and that’s it.”

Injuries:  RW Alex Chiasson (shoulder) is out.

About the Sharks

The Sharks (24-14-7) are coming off a 4-3 loss to Columbus in San Jose on Sunday. San Jose enters Tuesday’s game needing one point to clinch a playoff spot. They are two points behind Los Angeles in the race for the fourth seed and home ice in the first round of the playoffs.

Sharks coach Todd McLellan’s primary focus right now is getting his team’s game in order.

“I go game first. I wasn’t concerned about getting a point and putting an ‘x’ by our names. I was concerned about our game,” McLellan told reporters after the loss to Columbus. “It’s our game that will get us there or won’t get us there. Forget about the clinch part. Don’t even ask me when you come to the next game because we’ll be in the same scenario.

“At this time of the year, teams are playing and getting ready to prepare for playoff hockey. There will be a team out there that figures it out and commits to playing this way from this point forward that’s going to have a pretty good run.

“There’ll be other teams that waver with it. They’ll decide to do it one night and maybe not the next and they’ll find themselves in a hole. The one team that decides to do it will go on a good run.”

Injuries: D Jason Demers (undisclosed) is questionable.

Series Notes

*This is the fourth and final meeting between the Stars and Sharks.

*The Stars are 3-0-0 in the season series and the Sharks are 0-2-1.

*February 23, San Jose at Dallas: Stars 3, Sharks 1
*April 7, Dallas at San Jose: Stars 5, Sharks 4 (SO)
*April 13, San Jose at Dallas: Stars 2, Sharks 1

Statistical tidbits

*Both the Stars and Sharks are 6-3-1 since the NHL trade deadline.

*The Sharks are 5-14 (35.7%) on the power play over the last six games.

*The Stars are 3-21 (14.3%) on the power play over the last six games.

*Stars forward Ray Whitney has 11 points (4 goals, 7 assists) over the last eight games.

*Sharks forward Logan Couture has four goals over his last six games.

Statistical matchup

Category Stars Sharks
Record 22-19-4 24-14-7
Home 11-9-2 16-2-5
Away 11-10-2 8-12-2
Last 5 2-2-1 3-2-0
Last 10 6-3-1 6-3-1
Streak OT 1 Lost 1
Goals/game 2.78 (10th) 2.44 (23rd)
Goals against/game 2.93 (23rd) 2.33 (6th)
5-on-5  F/A 1.06 (13th) 1.00 (17th)
Power play 16.7 (18th) 20.0 (11th)
Penalty kill 81.7 (12th) 85.6 (5th)
Shots/game 26.4 (28th) 31.8 (4th)
Shots against/game 30.7 (22nd) 29.9 (15th)
Faceoffs 47.2 (27th) 53.6 (2nd)
Team Leaders Stars Sharks
Goals Benn, Eriksson, Whitney: 11 Couture: 19
Assists: Goligoski: 23 Thornton: 32
Points: Benn: 33 Thornton: 30
Goaltenders Lehtonen: 15-12-3, 2.63, .916
Bachman: 6-4-0, 3.28, .880
Nilstorp, 1-3-1, 3.09, .897
Niemi: 23-11-6, 2.14, .925
Greiss: 1-3-0, 2.64, .909
Stalock: 0-0-1, 2.86, .846

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