Jhonas Enroth is expected to make his second consecutive start as the Dallas Stars take on the San Jose Sharks tonight at SAP Center. Enroth is coming off a solid 33-save performance in the Stars’ 4-3 overtime win at Nashville Saturday night.
It was Enroth’s first win as a starter for the Stars and the first time a goaltender other than Kari Lehtonen has won a start for the Stars in more than a year.
The Stars had an optional skate this morning, so there were no line rushes. Coach Lindy Ruff said he was still deciding on a lineup and going with the same group from Saturday’s game was an option.
“Possibly,” Ruff said of going with the same lineup. “We are going to dress them all for warm-up and then make a decision.”
Ruff did indicate that he would probably try to get Shawn Horcoff, who sat out Saturday’s game due to illness, back into the lineup. Defenseman Patrik Nemeth, who was a scratch Saturday, is also an option to return to tonight.
Stars defenseman Jason Demers will play his first game in San Jose since being traded from the Sharks to the Stars in exchange for defenseman Brenden Dillon back in November. Demers spent five-plus seasons with the Sharks.
“It will be weird,” said Demers. “It’s going to be different for sure. We’ll see how it is. I couldn’t tell you. But it will be fun.”
Demers has registered 21 points (five goals, 16 assists) in 58 games since joining Dallas.
“I like the right-handed shot, the puck moving, the pucks off the wall,” Ruff said. “I think he has given us that option on the power play that has been good. I like where his offensive numbers are for us. He’s got a good shot.”
The Stars come into tonight’s game on the brink of elimination in the playoff race. They need to win to stay mathematically alive and hope that both Winnipeg and Los Angeles fail to pick up a point in their games tonight. Winnipeg plays at Minnesota, and Los Angeles plays at Vancouver.
Alex Stalock will get the start in goal for the Sharks, who are also on the brink of elimination. San Jose is five points out with three games remaining and will be eliminated if it loses in regulation tonight or if Winnipeg or Los Angeles wins. Forward Tomas Hertl is doubtful due to illness. Defensemen Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Scott Hannan remain out due to injury. The Sharks recalled forward Bryan Lerg from Worcester of the AHL. He is expected to make his NHL debut tonight.
Who: Dallas Stars at San Jose Sharks
Where: SAP Center
When: 9:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM
Stars projected lineup
Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Patrick Eaves
Valeri Nichushkin – Jason Spezza – Ales Hemsky
Antoine Roussel – Cody Eakin – Ryan Garbutt
Travis Moen – Vernon Fiddler – Colton Sceviour/Shawn Horcoff
Alex Goligoski – John Klingberg
Jyrki Jokipakka – Trevor Daley
Jordie Benn – Jason Demers
Scratched: To be determined
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.