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San Jose Sharks vs. Dallas Stars @NHLdotcom
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GAME: San Jose Sharks (33-17-11-6) at Dallas Stars (34-22-11-0).

TIME: Sunday, 4 p.m. EST.

The Dallas Stars are closing in on the San Jose Sharks for the Pacific Division lead, and goaltender Marty Turco, for one, is very excited about it.

The surging Stars look to go unbeaten on their season-high eight-game homestand when they take on the Sharks.

"We're going to be pretty pumped up to play these guys no matter if there's two people in the stands or we're on ESPN," Turco said Friday night after his team beat Calgary 5-1 to improve to 6-0-1 on the homestand.

Dallas, 7-0-1 in its last eight games overall, extended its home unbeaten streak to a franchise record-tying 13 games (9-0-4) - the league's longest active streak. The Stars' other three 13-game home unbeaten streaks came when the franchise was in Minnesota.

The Stars have kept pace with the Sharks by going 12-2-3 in their last 17 games. San Jose has won seven of its last 10 (8-2-0-1) to maintain a four-point lead over Dallas.

On Friday, Turco made 22 saves, stopped a penalty shot and set the team record for minutes played in a season. Mike Modano, Pierre Turgeon and Jason Arnott each had a goal and an assist for Dallas.

"The past couple of months, we've been playing better and better," Turgeon said. "We've been getting into the game right away and we feel like we're going to do good out there. We're playing hard and getting points."

Dallas' 22 home wins are tied for the second-highest total in the NHL.

The Sharks rolled into Denver on Friday riding a three-game winning streak, but were routed 5-1 by the Colorado Avalanche.

More damaging to the Sharks, however, was the season-ending injury suffered by forward Marco Sturm, who broke his left leg in the first period when he was ridden feet first into the boards by Colorado defensemen Adam Foote.

"I looked away," Sharks center Vincent Damphousse said. "You're talking about the most dangerous play in hockey where guys are going a hundred miles an hour going in to touch up the puck."

Sturm is the team's second-leading scorer with 21 goals and 20 assists.

San Jose's only goal came from Alex Korolyuk in the second period after the Sharks already trailed 4-0.

San Jose and Dallas meet again March 16 at the American Airlines Center, and conclude their season series March 28 at HP Pavilion.

The Sharks placed Sturm and defenseman Kyle McLaren on the injured list Saturday and recalled top prospects Brad Boyes and Miroslav Zalesak.

STANDINGS: Sharks - 83 points, 1st place, Pacific Division. Stars - 79 points, 2nd place, 4 PB, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Sharks - Patrick Marleau, 27 goals and 50 points; Damphousse, 25 assists; Scott Parker, 96 PIM. Stars - Bill Guerin, 30 goals and 56 points; Sergei Zubov, 33 assists; Steve Ott, 134 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 5): Sharks - Power play: 16.0 percent (45 for 281), 15th in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.1 percent (228 for 268), 6th. Stars - Power play: 17.3 percent (47 for 271), 9th. Penalty killing: 85.4 percent (217 for 254), 4th.

GOALTENDERS: Sharks - Evgeni Nabokov (23-16-7, 8 SO, 2.07 GAA); Vesa Toskala (10-7-4, 2.14). Stars - Turco (31-19-11, 6, 2.03); Ron Tugnutt (2-3-0, 2.43).

SEASON SERIES: Stars, 2-1.

LAST MEETING: Jan. 30; Stars, 3-1. At Dallas, Jere Lehtinen scored the tiebreaking goal with 2:49 remaining as the Stars pushed their unbeaten streak to five (4-0-1).

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Sharks - 15-12-4-4 on the road; Stars - 22-6-7-0 at home.

Associated Press
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