(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
"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
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
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.
The Sports Network