GAME: Dallas Stars (11-12-3-0) at San Jose Sharks (8-7-9-2).
TIME: Saturday, 10:30 p.m. EST.
The Dallas Stars look to avoid a third straight loss when they visit the San
Jose Sharks -- a team they completely dominated last season.
Dallas went through an 0-5-2 stretch from Nov. 4-19, but got back on track
by winning four of its next five games.
The Stars, however, have reverted back to their losing ways with defeats in
their last two contests.
Dallas had its season-high, three-game winning streak snapped with a 2-1
home loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday, then fell 3-0 to the Kings on
Thursday in the opener of a four-game road trip.
The Stars, who finished with the league's second-best record last season,
were shut out for the fifth time this season.
"We have high-end skill players who can make a difference -- and they're not
even coming close right now," Dallas coach Dave Tippett said.
"Skill is a great gift. But if you're not working hard enough, it will get
nullified. This (Thursday's) loss was about skill players not playing hard
enough to make their skill effective. It was about making mistakes that end up
in the back of your net."
This is the Stars' first meeting with the Sharks this season.
Dallas outscored San Jose 16-6 in winning all five matchups with the Sharks
last season, including 10-5 in three games at HP Pavilion.
San Jose, however, has been playing well of late after starting the season
with just three wins in its first 16 games.
The Sharks skated to a 2-2 tie with the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday to
improve to 5-1-3 in their last nine contests. Since Oct. 30, San Jose has
earned at least one point in 15 of 17 games.
"If we come out and win (Saturday), it will be three out of four points on
the homestand and that's good," Sharks center Mike Ricci said.
San Jose goaltender Evgeni Nabokov is expected to return after being placed
on injured reserve on Nov. 22 with a groin injury. Sharks coach Ron Wilson said
Nabokov will dress as Vesa Toskala's backup.