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Stars-Sharks Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Saturday, October 31

2:00 p.m.

TV: Fox Sports Southwest

Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

The Stars (8-2-0) are coming off a 4-3 overtime win over Vancouver Thursday at American Airlines Center. Jamie Benn scored 2:28 into OT for the Stars, who overcame a 3-1 deficit in the third period. The victory came on the heels of Tuesday’s 4-3 win over Anaheim when the Stars battled back from a 3-0 hole.

“I think it’s a good thing that we believe in each other and that we can [come back], but I don’t want to make this a habit or routine,” Benn said. “We want to be going into third periods with leads and locking down those games.”

The Stars are 7-1-0 in their past eight games.

Saturday’s game wraps up a four-game homestand for the Stars, who have won two of the first three games.

Injuries: RW Patrick Eaves (lower body), LW Travis Moen (upper body) and LW Curtis McKenzie (hip) are out.

The Sharks (5-4-0) are coming off a 2-1 loss to Nashville on Wednesday. After the Sharks scored early in the third to make it a 1-1 game, Predators forward Calle Jarnkrok broke the tie with 11:08 remaining.

“I didn’t like our start, giving up the first goal is critical in a game like that,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. “We pushed back after the first ten minutes, and it was a good hockey game. We had our chances, and they had their chances. Good goaltending at both ends. It was a hard-fought game.”

The loss was the fourth in the last five games for the Sharks following a 4-0-0 start to the season.

Saturday’s game is the first of a two-game road trip that will see the Sharks play at Colorado on Sunday as well.

Injuries: F Logan Couture (fibula) is out.

*This is the first of three meetings between the Stars and Sharks this season.

*The Stars were 1-2-0 vs. San Jose last season.

*The Sharks have won four of the last five meetings between the two teams.

*The Stars are 60-44-13 all-time vs. San Jose.

*The Stars are 3-0-0 vs. the Pacific Division.

*Central Division teams are 17-3-1 vs. the Pacific Division this season.

*The Sharks have played against the Central only once, losing 2-1 to Nashville on Wednesday.

*The Stars are 4-1-0 at home.

*The Sharks are 3-2-0 on the road.

*The Stars rank fourth in goal scoring at 3.50 per game.

*The Sharks rank tenth in goals against at 2.22 per game.

*The Stars are tied for third on the power play at 27.3 percent (9-33).

*The Sharks rank 25th on the power play at 11.1 percent (3-27).

*Stars captain Jamie Benn led the NHL in goals (9) and points (17) through Thursday’s game.

*Stars defenseman John Klingberg is on a six-game points streak (two goals, five assists).

*Joel Ward leads the Sharks in goals (5) and points (8).

*Stars goaltender Antti Niemi has never faced San Jose, his former team, in the regular season.

*Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen is 5-8-3 vs. San Jose with a 3.40 goals-against average and .906 save percentage.

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.

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