NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, February 5th (All times Eastern)
Dallas Stars (26-21-9) at San Jose Sharks (35-16-6), 10:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Jose Sharks will try to win for only the second time in six games when they welcome the surging Dallas Stars for Wednesday's battle at SAP Center.
The Sharks are 1-4-0 over their past five games and have managed to score just five goals during that stretch. Despite the recent struggles, however, San Jose is still sitting second in the Pacific Division and is 10 points ahead of third-place Los Angeles.
San Jose is playing its last four games before the Olympic break on home ice, where the Sharks boast a 20-4-3 record this season. The club opened the residency with Saturday's 2-1 shootout win over Chicago before falling 5-2 in Monday's game against the Philadelphia Flyers.
After Wednesday's test against the Stars, the Sharks will welcome Columbus to Silicon Valley on Friday.
The Sharks carried a 2-1 lead over the Flyers into the third period on Monday before things fell apart. Matt Read, Michael Raffl and Claude Giroux all scored in the first four minutes of the final stanza to help Philadelphia pick up its first win in San Jose since 1999.
Matt Nieto had two goals for the Sharks, notching both markers in the first period. Antti Niemi gave up all four goals on 23 shots before being pulled in the third for Alex Stalock, who gave up a goal on five shots the rest of the way.
"It's a team-wide issue and yeah, (Niemi) has to stop some of those," said Sharks head coach Todd McLellan. "It's as simple as that. Even in the second period, we weren't the better team. We were playing with fire. It was a matter of time. If we continued to play that way, we were going to get burnt and we did."
San Jose could get some players back in the lineup tonight, as defenseman Jason Demers and forward Tyler Kennedy are questionable for Wednesday's tilt. Demers has sat out the last two games with a groin issue and Kennedy has missed three straight due to an unspecified lower-body injury.
Sharks forward Adam Burish also could make his season debut on Wednesday. Burish injured his back during the preseason and has been recovering from surgery to repair a herniated disc. The 31-year-old only had only one goal and two assists in 46 games for the Sharks last season.
Dallas, meanwhile, has won two straight and is 5-1-1 over its last seven games. The recent surge has moved the Stars within two points of Vancouver for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The Stars recorded a 3-1 road win Tuesday against the Phoenix Coyotes. The regulation win pulled Dallas within one point of the ninth-seeded Coyotes in the West standings.
Antoine Roussel scored the winner early in the third period for the Stars on Tuesday. Ryan Garbutt had a goal and an assist and Shawn Horcoff scored the other goal for the Stars. Kari Lehtonen made 27 stops to record the win.
In the third with the score tied, Garbutt sent a pass from the right wing on the fly. It missed its intended target, but found Roussel and he wristed it home at 3:25.
"We were trying to get a little too fancy there for a while," said Roussel. "That last period we just wanted to get some more chances on net and it worked for us."
Dallas will try to cap a three-game road trip with a perfect record tonight. The club is 13-12-3 as the guest this season.
After Wednesday's tilt, the Stars have one game left before the Olympic break -- Saturday's home rematch against the Coyotes.
Dallas and the Sharks have split a pair of meetings so far in 2013-14 with each club recording a shootout win on home ice. The Stars have claimed four of six overall in this series, but Dallas has dropped two in a row and six of its past seven games at the Shark Tank.
02/05 11:00:38 ET