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Sharks' Burish eager to make up for lost time

by Eric Gilmore

SAN JOSE -- San Jose Sharks forward Adam Burish will make his season debut Wednesday night against the Dallas Stars after missing the first 57 games with a herniated disk in his back that required surgery.

The slumping Sharks have lost four of their past five games and are coming off one of their worst performances of the season, a lackluster 5-2 loss Monday night against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Burish is known for his passion and intensity on the ice, two ingredients that were missing against Philadelphia. He said he'll try to give the Sharks what he's given teams throughout his NHL career, which included stints with the Chicago Blackhawks and the Stars.

"Just some contagious energy, just some passion, just some fun," Burish said after an optional morning skate. "I'm not going to come in here and light the world on fire and come in here and be somebody I'm not. I'm just going to do the things that I've always kind of done here, what the guys expect of me. Give 'em some life, give 'em some energy."

Last season, his first with the Sharks, Burish had only one goal and two assists in 46 games. This season he was injured in the Sharks' first preseason game on Sept. 16 against the Vancouver Canucks and underwent surgery on Oct. 17.

"Going into this year I was hungry," said Burish, who expects to skate on the fourth line between Andrew Desjardins and Mike Brown. "I wasn't happy with the way the year went last year. I wanted to bring more. So going into this year I had some hunger. Then I guess getting injured in the first preseason game and then having to sit and watch now for (57) games, yeah, there's a lot of hunger there. There's a little anger, there's a little hunger. When you're sitting out you're useless, you feel really useless, you feel disconnected. I want to be a part of this. I want to be a part of these guys. I want to help these guys win a championship here."

Burish received medical clearance to play after being examined Tuesday by a doctor.

"I'm going out there and it's on, it's 100 percent," Burish said. "I wasn't going to come back unless I was 100 percent. I wasn't going to come back and ease my way into it. I don't think you win like that. You don't help anybody like that."

Sharks forward Tyler Kennedy (lower body) will miss his fourth straight game after having what coach Todd McLellan called "a little setback." Defenseman Jason Demers (groin), who returned to practice Tuesday and skated Wednesday morning, will miss his third straight game.

Sharks backup goaltender Alex Stalock, who relieved Antti Niemi early in the third period Monday with the Sharks trailing 4-2, will start against Dallas.

Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen is expected to start one day after making 27 saves in a 3-1 road victory against the Phoenix Coyotes.

The Stars started their three-game road trip with a 2-0 victory against the Anaheim Ducks and have gone 5-1-1 in their past seven games. During that seven-game stretch, Dallas has allowed just nine goals. The Stars had gone 1-8-1 before their turnaround.

"I think it starts with defending," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said of team's recent play. "We're defending pretty well. We made some bigger mistakes in [Tuesday] night's game than we've typically been making, but overall the defense, it starts there."

Here are the projected lineups for San Jose and Dallas:

SHARKS

Matt Nieto - Joe Thornton - Brent Burns

Patrick Marleau - Joe Pavelski - Tommy Wingels

James Sheppard - Bracken Kearns - Marty Havlat

Andrew Desjardins - Adam Burish - Mike Brown

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun

Matt Irwin - Dan Boyle

Scott Hannan - Brad Stuart

Alex Stalock

Antti Niemi

Scratched: Matt Tennyson

Injured: Logan Couture (hand surgery), Tomas Hertl (knee surgery), Raffi Torres (knee surgery) Adam Burish (back surgery), Jason Demers (lower body), Tyler Kennedy (lower body)

STARS

Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Valeri Nichushkin

Erik Cole - Cody Eakin - Rich Peverley

Antoine Roussel - Vernon Fiddler - Ryan Garbutt

Ray Whitney - Shawn Horcoff - Alex Chiasson

Alex Goligoski - Trevor Daley

Jordie Benn - Brenden Dillon

Kevin Connauton - Sergei Gonchar

Kari Lehtonen

Dan Ellis

Scratched: Aaron Rome, Dustin Jeffrey

Injured: Stephane Robidas (leg)

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