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Stars-Sharks Preview

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

San Jose Sharks at Dallas Stars
Friday, March 23
7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (29-33-11) are coming off a 3-2 shootout loss at Chicago Thursday. The Stars controlled play most of the night, outshooting Chicago 44-26 but couldn't finish some big opportunities, especially late in regulation and overtime.

"You have to give [Chicago goalie Corey] Crawford some credit on some of the saves," said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. "But, at the same time, we missed some beauties. You know, we probably doubled them up 2-1 in chances. We missed the net on a couple of breakaways. I thought we worked hard. We deserved a better fate."

The Stars fell to 3-11 in games that have gone beyond regulation this season.

Ales Hemsky scored both goals in regulation for the Stars.

Stars center Jason Spezza missed a second straight game due to back spasms.

Friday's game is the lone home game in a stretch of six of seven on the road for the Stars.

Injuries: C Jason Spezza (back) is doubtful. LW Antoine Roussel (hand) is out. C/LW Mattias Janmark (knee) is on injured reserve.

About the Sharks

The Sharks (42-24-7) lost their fourth straight game, falling 3-2 at Minnesota Tuesday. Patrick Marleau scored both goals for the Sharks, who have scored just four goals during the four-game slide.

"To be honest, we're not that concerned [about the losing streak]," San Jose captain Joe Pavelski said. "We've played games that are close games, a lot of these games are one-goal games. It's such a fine line of being on the winning side or losing side that I think we all understand that we can be a little bit better."

Defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic, who missed Tuesday's game due to illness, practiced Thursday. Forwards Melkder Karlsson and Jannik Hansen, who both have been out with injuries, practiced as well and will be game-day decisions.

San Jose's lead over Anaheim for first place in the Pacific Division is down to two points.

Friday's game is the third of a four-game road trip for the Sharks.

Injuries: D Marc-Edouard Vlasic (illness), F Melker Karlsson (lower body) and F Jannik Hansen (upper body) are questionable.

Season Series

*This is the third and final meeting of the season between the Stars and Sharks.

*The Stars are 1-1-0 in the season series.

*March 12, at San Jose: Sharks 5, Stars 1
*March 20, at Dallas: Stars 1, Sharks 0

Statistical Tidbits

*The Stars are 19-12-6 at home.

*The Sharks are 19-14-3 on the road.

*The Stars are 11-6-2 vs. the Pacific Division.

*The Sharks are 9-9-0 vs. the Central Division.

*The Stars have scored two goals or fewer in seven of their past nine games.

*The Sharks have scored two goals or fewer in seven of their past nine games.

*The Stars are 2-20 on the power play over their past nine games.

*The Sharks are 2-20 on the power play over their past seven games. 

This story was not subject to 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.

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