Apparently the only thing that may slow down the San Jose Sharks or St. Louis Blues is the All-Star break.
The Sharks will try to continue their recent dominance over surging St. Louis and match their season-high five-game winning streak when they meet the Blues at HP Pavilion on Saturday.
San Jose (32-15-0), which won five in a row from Nov. 22-Dec. 2, also has won seven of its last eight to move closer to overtaking Anaheim in the Pacific Division. Against St. Louis (18-21-8), the Sharks have won seven of the last eight meetings outscoring the Blues 31-14.
Rookie Ryane Clowe and Patrick Marleau each had a goal and two assists, and San Jose extended its win streak with a 5-2 victory over Phoenix on Thursday.
San Jose has outscored its opponents 37-17 over the last eight games, a stretch that followed a three-game slide punctuated by an 8-0 rout at Phoenix on Dec. 30.
"When you look back, that was the best thing that happened to us, losing 8-0 in Phoenix," said Sharks coach Ron Wilson. "We were able to address a bunch of issues and get ourselves back on track."
One player who's gotten back on track is reigning Maurice Richard Trophy winner Jonathan Cheechoo. A starter for the Western Conference at Wednesday's All-Star game in Dallas, Cheechoo is an a season-high eight-game points streak totaling five goals and seven assists.
He has just 16 goals in 41 games this season after posting a career-high 56 in 2005-06. Cheechoo had a pair of assists in the Sharks' 5-4 overtime win over St. Louis in Oct. 5 in the season opener for both teams.
Joe Thornton has three goals and 14 assists in eight games since Dec. 31 and will start alongside Cheechoo in Dallas. The top overall pick in 1997, Thornton leads the league with 47 assists and the Sharks in scoring with 60 points.
The Blues hope to enter the break on a positive note by winning their third in a row and sixth in seven games. Dallas Drake scored two first-period goals and St. Louis beat Los Angeles 3-1 on Thursday to give coach Andy Murray a win in his first game at Staples Center since he was fired by the Kings in March.
"It was very important," Drake said. "He coached here for seven years and he's got great memories here. He turned that franchise around and made them real competitive. Now he's starting a new tradition with us, so it was gratifying for us to get a win for him. We all knew deep down that this meant a lot to him."
Murray replaced the fired Mike Kitchen on Dec. 11 and has guided the Blues to an 11-4-4 mark since.