NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, February 23rd
(All times Eastern)
San Jose Sharks (8-5-3) at Dallas Stars (8-8-1), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The slumping San Jose Sharks were the latest victims of the
record-setting Chicago Blackhawks on Friday, but they'll try to get some
positive momentum going Saturday when they visit the Dallas Stars.
The Blackhawks made NHL history Friday night, becoming the first team to
record at least one point in 17 straight games to start a season with a 2-1
win over San Jose at the United Center. Chicago is 14-0-3, surpassing the
Anaheim Ducks' 16-game run without a regulation loss at the outset of the
The Sharks, meanwhile, began the season with seven straight wins only to go
1-5-3 in their next nine outings. San Jose followed its only win of that
stretch, Tuesday's 2-1 victory in St. Louis, with the loss in Chicago.
Antti Niemi stopped 32 shots in a losing effort for the Sharks, who fell to
1-3-1 on a six-game road trip that ends in Dallas.
Patrick Marleau scored for San Jose with 15 seconds left in the first period,
but that was the visiting club's only goal of the contest.
"We knew they were going to have a push back," Sharks center Joe Thornton
said. "We tip our hats to them."
Following the end of this road trip, the Sharks will return to San Jose for a
three-game homestand, beginning with Tuesday's battle with Colorado.
The Stars, meanwhile, have lost two straight in regulation and are 1-3-0 in
four games following a season-best four-game winning streak.
Dallas has lost its last two tilts by a 4-3 score, including Thursday's
setback against visiting Vancouver. Henrik Sedin's goal early in the third
period proved to be the game winner for the Canucks.
Brenden Morrow had a goal and an assist while Jamie Benn and Michael Ryder
also scored for the Stars. Cristopher Nilstorp gave up all four goals on 22
shots in the loss.
"I thought he made some good saves," Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said of
Nilstorp. "I think there was maybe one there that he would have played a
little differently. He gave us a chance and I thought he was okay."
Either Nilstorp or Richard Bachman will get the start on Saturday since No. 1
goaltender Kari Lehtonen is expected to miss a third straight game with a
groin injury. Lehtonen practiced on Friday and is considered day-to-day.
Defenseman Trevor Daley sat out Thursday's game with a neck injury and may
miss Saturday's test for Dallas.
The Stars will try to salvage the finale of a three-game homestand on
Saturday. Dallas is 3-3-1 as the host this season.
The Sharks and Stars are meeting for the first time this season, but San Jose
went 5-0-1 against Dallas in 2011-12. The Sharks have won seven of eight
overall in the series and four of five in Big D.
02/23 11:02:35 ET