GAME: Dallas Stars (18-18-8-0) at San Jose Sharks (18-10-11-4).
TIME: Tuesday, 10:30 p.m. EST.
The San Jose Sharks, unbeaten in regulation in 14 straight at home, try to
extend their overall point streak to five games when they meet the Dallas Stars
at HP Pavilion.
San Jose earned a point in its fourth straight game (3-0-0-1) on Saturday,
beating the Atlanta Thrashers 5-2.
The Sharks also extended their run without a loss in regulation at HP
Pavilion to 14 games (8-0-4-2), dating to a Nov. 11 loss to the Colorado
Against the Thrashers, Evgeni Nabokov made 31 saves to earn his 100th career
win and San Jose got first-period goals from Alex Korolyuk, Nils Ekman and Niko
"We've been playing good in the first period all year," Ekman said.
"Getting early leads gives you the opportunity to play solid defense."
The win was the Pacific Division-leading Sharks' 15th in their last 24
games, and San Jose is 17-5-8-4 since Oct. 30.
"If you play good defense, that makes good offense," San Jose center Alyn
McCauley said. "I think if you are thinking about defense then you can see the
other team's defensive holes and then take advantage of them."
Nabokov, 100-85-28 with a 2.35 goals-against average in his career, is 8-3-2
with three shutouts since returning from a strained groin on Dec. 11.
"I honestly had no idea that it was my 100th," Nabokov said. "I was just
trying to stay focused and win the game. I figure if I work hard, I can win
Dallas' recent struggles continued on Saturday when it lost 4-2 at home to
the Avalanche, falling to 1-2-4 in its last seven contests.
The Stars have played poorly on the offensive end, scoring two goals or
fewer in 18 of their last 22 games.
Dallas already has 18 losses, one more than it had all of last season when
it finished with a Western Conference-best 111 points. The Stars have 44 points
through 44 games this season.
"We feel we have the capabilities to work our way up if we can put together
a string," Stars right wing Bill Guerin said. "We can't really let this
affect us. There is too much hockey left."