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Dallas Stars vs. San Jose Sharks @NHLdotcom
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GAME: Dallas Stars (40-24-13-1) at San Jose Sharks (40-20-12-6).

TIME: Sunday, 9 p.m. EST.

The San Jose Sharks will look to put a little more distance between themselves and the Dallas Stars in the hotly contested Pacific Division when the teams meet at HP Pavilion.

The Sharks beat Phoenix 3-0 on Friday for their third straight win and seventh in nine games (7-1-1).

San Jose leads second-place Dallas by four points in the Pacific. Both teams have four games left in the regular season.

"This puts pressure on them a little bit," said Sharks right wing Jonathan Cheechoo, who scored his ninth goal in nine games in the win over the Coyotes. "When we meet them, the pressure will be all on them."

Vincent Damphousse had a goal and an assist Friday, and Nils Ekman also scored for San Jose, which is just one point shy of its franchise record of 99, set in 2002-03.

Backup goaltender Vesa Toskala, who stopped 30 shots on Friday, praised his team's defense.

"I was able to see almost every shot," said Toskala, who recorded his first shutout since March 27, 2003. "I think I was screened only once, and no rebounds. The team played really good."

The Stars picked up one point Saturday, falling 3-2 to Vancouver in overtime. The overtime defeat was their first of the season.

Brenden Morrow and Pierre Turgeon scored for Dallas, which was without suspended starting goalie Marty Turco.

Turco, who leads the league in wins (36) and appearances (72), was serving the first game of a four-game suspension for hitting Edmonton's Ryan Smyth in the mouth with his stick.

Turco's backup, Ron Tugnutt, made 27 saves Saturday in just his eighth game of the season.

Dallas, which is just one point ahead of fifth-place Vancouver in the race for home-ice in the first round of the playoffs, had its six-game unbeaten streak (5-0-1) snapped.

The Stars also lost for the first time in 70 games when leading after two periods, snapping the longest active streak (61-0-8) in the NHL and third longest in history.

Dallas failed to score at least three goals for the first time in seven games.

STANDINGS: Stars - 94 points, 2nd place, 4 PB, Pacific Division. Sharks - 98 points, 1st place, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Stars - Bill Guerin, 33 goals and 65 points; Jason Arnott, 36 assists; Steve Ott, 152 PIM. Sharks - Patrick Marleau and Cheechoo, 28 goals; Ekman and Brad Stuart, 29 assists; Marleau, 56 points; Scott Parker, 101 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 26): Stars - Power play: 16.1 percent (50 for 311), 16th in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.8 percent (248 for 289), 3rd. Sharks - Power play: 16.8 percent (54 for 322), 12th. Penalty killing: 84.7 percent (261 for 308), 7th.

GOALTENDERS: Stars - Turco (36-21-13, 9 SO, 1.98 GAA); Tugnutt (3-4-0, 1, 2.12). Sharks - Evgeni Nabokov (28-19-8, 8, 2.26); Toskala (12-7-4, 1, 2.02).

SEASON SERIES: Stars, 3-1-1.

LAST MEETING: March 16; Tie, 3-3, OT. At Dallas, Cheechoo scored both of his goals in the final 1:37 of regulation to force overtime. Arnott scored twice for the Stars.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Stars - 15-18-5-1 on the road; Sharks - 22-7-7-2 at home.

Associated Press
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