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Stars-Sharks Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Saturday, January 16

9:30 p.m.

TV: Fox Sports Southwest

Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM


The Stars (29-12-4) lost 4-2 at Anaheim Friday. The Stars, who hadn’t played since Saturday, fell behind 2-0 three-and-a-half minutes into the game and were down 4-0 after the first period.

“[The Ducks] came out hard with a lot of desperation. Their compete was a lot better,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “We’ll win when we deserve to win. We didn’t deserve to win. Didn’t compete hard enough. They beat us up ice. We didn’t backcheck. The whole league is pretty well in playoff mode except for us.”

The Stars have lost five of their past six games overall (1-4-1), and they have dropped six straight on the road (0-4-2).

“We’re looking for easy, and it’s been a trend on the road,” Ruff said. “We’ve been getting behind, and our desperation ramps up halfway through the game. For me, it’s frustrating.”

The Stars have dropped to second place in the Central Division, two points behind Chicago.

Saturday’s game will be the second of a three-game road trip for the Stars.

Injuries: None


The Sharks (22-18-2) won their fourth straight game, defeating Edmonton, 2-1, in a shootout Thursday at SAP Center. The Sharks, who have struggled at home, won back-to-back games in San Jose for the first time this season.

“It's important to put a couple wins together,” said Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic, who scored in regulation. “Now we've got four in a row. We're climbing in the standings. You want to keep it going.”

The Sharks improved to 5-2 in games that have gone beyond regulation, including 2-0 in shootouts and 3-2 in three-on-three overtime.

San Jose, which has won six of its past nine games (6-3-0), currently sits in third place in the Pacific Division.

Saturday’s game is the second of a three-game homestand for San Jose.

Injuries: C Dainius Zubrus (upper body) is on injured reserve.


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

*The Stars won the first meeting, 5-3, on Oct. 31 as goaltender Antti Niemi stopped 26 shots in his first game against San Jose since the Sharks traded him to Dallas in the offseason.

*The Stars are 2-1-2 in their past five games in San Jose.


*The Stars are 4-2-1 in the second game of back-to-backs this season.

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

*The Sharks are 2-6-1 vs. the Central Division.

*The Sharks are tied for the fewest home wins in the NHL (7).

*The Stars have lost six straight on the road (0-4-2) and are 1-5-3 in their past nine games away from home.

*The Stars have scored six goals in their past four games.

*The Sharks have allowed two goals or fewer in five of their past seven games.

*The Stars have allowed 16 goals over their past three road games.

*Jamie Benn leads the Stars in goals (26) and points (54).

*Joe Pavelski leads the Sharks in goals (22) and points (43).

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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