DALLAS -- When the San Jose Sharks and Dallas Stars hit the ice Saturday night at American Airlines Center, the Pacific Division foes will square off with power-play units that are a combined 0-for-their-past-30.
Dallas is 0-for-12 with the man advantage over its past three games and heads into Saturday on a two-game losing streak. For Stars coach Glen Gulutzan, the way to remedy his club's is pretty simple.
"We need a shooter's mindset," Gulutzan said. "Shots cause confusion, and if you look at San Jose, they like to put a lot of shots on net and they have success in their power play. We need a lot of that mentality. We've got sometimes the pass-first mentality. We're going to put more pucks towards the net. We're going to work a lot harder."
The Sharks also have had their share of issues on the power play. San Jose is 0-for-18 over its past four games. In Feburary, San Jose is 2-for-39 with the extra attacker, a definite cause of concern for Sharks coach Todd McLellan, whose club has lost seven of its past eight.
DALLAS -- For a variety of reasons, the lineup Vancouver Canucks coach Alain Vigneault puts on the ice for Thursday night’s Western Conference game against the Dallas Stars will be different from previous games.
One reason for the shakeup is that the Canucks (8-3-4) will be without second-line wing Jannik Hansen. He received a one-game suspension from the League office for a blow to the head of Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa during a 4-3 overtime loss Tuesday at United Center.
To compensate for the loss of Hansen, Vigneault will move wing Zack Kassian, who earlier this year played on a line with Daniel and Henrik Sedin, up to the second line alongside recently returned Ryan Kesler and wing Chris Higgins.
DALLAS -- After last Friday's 4-3 comeback win at the Vancouver Canucks, the Dallas Stars (8-7-1, 17 points) were riding high. Glen Gulutzan's club had taken two of three in a swing through Western Canada, and Dallas was now looking at the start of a three-game homestand Sunday against the Calgary Flames at American Airlines Center.
Dallas found another gear in that game; after trailing 1-0 at the first intermission it scored three unanswered. The Stars looked in control of the game with a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes of play. However, Calgary countered with three unanswered of their own and left the Lone Star State with two points thanks to a 4-3 win.
Gulutzan gave his players Monday off, but in practice the past two days, he and his staff have focused on the Stars' attention to detail and on cleaning up the various issues that led to that defeat.
"Our guys practiced hard these last two days. I can tell you from a year-and-a-half of being here, the practices we've had in the last two weeks have been high-tempo, hard practices," Gulutzan said. "The guys have went and competed hard, but we do need to clean up those details. We had a chance in this little break to address some of those things, and now we have to put what we've learned and saw, tonight we have to do it in games."
DALLAS -- After playing on the road 10 times in their first 15 games, the Dallas Stars (8-6-1, 17 points) are now looking forward to the start of a three-game homestand on Sunday afternoon against the Calgary Flames (4-5-3, 11 points) at American Airlines Center. The contest Sunday also marks the start of a stretch where Dallas will play nine of their next 13 games on home ice.
"We're kind of looking at this as a road game, as a quick turnaround. We're traveling, we're back home and we play early," Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said. "We have a day off tomorrow but that's tomorrow so today we've got a good work day ahead of us."
Dallas is 3-1-1 at home this season but heads into Sunday just two days removed from a 4-3 comeback win at Vancouver, a solid ending to a three-game swing through Western Canada that saw the Stars take two out of three.
T.J. Brodie – Dennis Wideman
Injuries: Cam Fowler (upper body)
Notes: Anaheim is 3-0-1 on the road. The Ducks went just 1-5-0 in their six games against the Stars last season. Defenseman Sheldon Souray, who spent last season in Dallas, has four goals for Anaheim early on. Fellow defenseman Ben Lovejoy, acquired in a trade with Pittsburgh earlier in the week, figures to make his debut for the Ducks on Friday night in Dallas.
Injuries: Ray Whitney (foot).
Notes: The Stars head into this Pacific Division tilt on a two-game winning streak, their most recent win coming on Wednesday night in Edmonton (3-2). Center Jamie Benn has five points (3-2-5) in the Stars’ last two games. After Friday, Dallas won’t play at home again until Sunday, Feb. 17 when the Stars play host to the Flames at American Airlines Center.
NOTES: St. Louis has posted shutouts in two of its first four games, including a 4-0 blanking of Nashville at Scottrade Center on Thursday. Wade Redden made his Blues debut against the Predators, seeing 17:23 of ice time in his first NHL action since 2010. Heading into the contest Saturday, St. Louis has the NHL’s second-ranked power play, converting at a rate of 53.8 percent (7 of 13) and is tied for second in the League with seven power-play goals. Blues coach Ken Hitchcock was behind the Dallas bench between 1996 and 2002, leading the Stars to the 1999 Stanley Cup. RW Jamie Langenbrunner has spent two stints in Dallas, the first from 1994 through 2002 and the latter coming in 2011 when he skated in 39 games after coming over prior to the trade deadline.
NOTES: This concludes a short, two-game homestand for Dallas, who lost 3-2 to Chicago in overtime on Thursday night. Through their first four games, the Stars have been on the power play six fewer times than their opposition. Dallas put the Blackhawks on the PP seven times in the OT loss with Chicago converting on three of those opportunities. Rookie goaltender Christopher Nilstorp gets his second NHL start against the Blues. Nilstorp was also between the pipes for Dallas in a 1-0 loss Sunday at Minnesota and stopped 31 of the 32 shots he faced from the Wild.
FRISCO, Texas -- After leaving the ice late in the third period of a 3-2 overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night, Dallas Stars wing Jaromir Jagr missed practice Friday, putting his status in doubt for Saturday's game with the St. Louis Blues at American Airlines Center.
"Yeah, he'll probably be day-to-day. [His] lower back today is a little stiff," Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said after practice. "So we'll see how he is in the next couple days. But he knows himself better than we do and he's stiff in his lower back today, hip."
Jagr had two goals and two assists in his Dallas debut last Saturday in a 4-3 win over the Phoenix Coyotes, his first four-point game since 2007. However, the 41-year-old wing hasn't registered a point since that victory. He had been playing right wing on Dallas' top line alongside Loui Eriksson and center Derek Roy.
The Stars conclude a quick two-game homestand on Saturday night against the Blues, and Gulutzan isn't quite ready to rule Jagr out for that game.
"We'll see what he’s like tomorrow. Right now, I would have to say it's 60/40 no, I would say right now, or maybe even more. But we'll see how he is in the morning and we'll re-evaluate," Gulutzan said. "So you never know. He's a fit guy and he knows what he can and cannot do. So we'll wait and see how Jags is tomorrow."
Jagr, who wasn't at the team's practice facility and thus did not speak to the media, wasn't the only Stars player to miss practice Friday. Fellow newcomers Roy and Ray Whitney also missed the session at the team's Frisco headquarters with what Gulutzan termed as a maintenance day for both players. The Stars coach said Roy and Whitney should be ready to go against St. Louis.
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I challenged him to a goalie fight when we chatted before the game, but he didn't want to go. It was strange to see him at the other end of the ice, but I'm sure he felt the same way looking down at our end.