DALLAS -- It’s been six days since the San Jose Sharks and the Dallas Stars last met with Dallas prevailing 5-4 in a shootout at HP Pavilion last Sunday.
Dallas has now won four straight games, and Sharks coach Todd McLellan is impressed with how well Glen Gulutzan’s club has performed during their current streak.
"Well, they’re working hard, they’re a fast team. I don’t know if a lot of people realize they’re No. 10 in offense in the league," McLellan said. "And they have played very free, very loose, excited. Now they’re into a stretch where there’s probably going to be some pressure, so they’ll have to deal with that. But they’re a hard-working team that gets it done five-on-five."
But it’s not like San Jose, who is 8-1-1 in their past 10 games, is exactly struggling, a run which Sharks wing Adam Burish chalks up to some fairly simple things he and his teammates have been doing well.
"I think we’re playing with a little more depth. Everybody’s going now, everybody’s contributing. We’re sustaining momentum in games, but I think too we’re playing with confidence," Burish said. "We’re playing a little simpler too. This team, with all the skill we have, we tend to want to make cute plays and pretty plays. We’re just playing simpler now, more straight ahead, more direct and then you mix that in with continuing to gain confidence you’re going to play better."
Being on the second night of a back-to-back, the Stars did not hold a morning skate, but injured goaltender Kari Lehtonen (groin) and injured winger Lane MacDermid (chest) were both on the sheet at American Airlines Center prior to the Sharks’ morning skate.
With Lehtonen still out, Gulutzan will most likely go with backup Richard Bachman, who stopped 26 of 28 in the win over Nashville on Friday, in goal for a second straight game. Bachman stepped in for Lehtonen late in the first period of a win Monday over the Kings and has stopped 48 of the 50 shots he has faced since then.
Here are the projected lineups for both teams:
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Martin Havlat
T.J. Galiardi – Joe Thornton – Brent Burns
Raffi Torres – Joe Pavelski - Tommy Wingels
Andrew Desjardins – Scott Gomez – Adam Burish
Matt Irwin – Dan Boyle
Brad Stuart – Jason Demers
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Scratched: Tim Kennedy, James Sheppard, Matt Tennyson
Injured: Scott Hannan (neck)
Ray Whitney – Jamie Benn – Alex Chiasson
Matt Fraser – Cody Eakin – Loui Eriksson
Eric Nystrom – Vernon Fiddler – Erik Cole
Antoine Roussel – Tom Wandell – Ryan Garbutt
Trevor Daley - Stephane Robidas
Brenden Dillon - Alex Goligoski
Aaron Rome – Philip Larsen
Scratched: Jordie Benn
Injured: Kari Lehtonen (groin), Lane MacDermid (chest)