Series (Game 5 of 6)

Dallas leads 4-2

Game 1: Thursday, November 12th
Game 2: Friday, December 11th
Game 3: Monday, December 21st
Game 4: Tuesday, March 16th
Game 5: Thursday, March 25th
Game 6: Wednesday, March 31st

Stars 0

(32-28-14, 78 pts)

Sharks 3

(45-19-10, 100 pts)

Coverage: NHL

10:30 PM ET, March 25, 2010

SAP Center, San Jose, California

1 2 3 T
DAL 0 0 00
SJ 0 2 13

E. Nabokov (Sharks - G): Saves: 27, Save Pct.: 1.000

D. Boyle (Sharks - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

D. Setoguchi (Sharks - RW): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

Stars-Sharks Preview


After enduring their most trying road trip of the season, the San Jose Sharks are probably relieved to be returning home.

Given their recent success in San Jose and last week's lopsided win over the Sharks, the Dallas Stars are likely also pleased to be heading to the HP Pavilion.

Looking to keep pace in the playoff race, the Stars will try to earn their fourth win in five tries at San Jose on Thursday night.

In Tuesday night's finale of a six-game trip, the Sharks (44-19-10) snapped an 0-5-1 skid -- their longest in four seasons -- with a 4-1 win over Minnesota to move back atop the Pacific Division by one point over Phoenix.

The Sharks are one point behind Western Conference-leading Chicago.

After scoring eight goals in a win over Nashville on March 11, the Sharks scored 12 times during their skid and allowed opponents to score first in five of those defeats. They were never threatened Tuesday after Joe Pavelski and Dany Heatley notched the game's first two goals.

"We've been wanting to score first for a while and it happened tonight," Pavelski said. "With that momentum, we can win a lot of games."

While he was relieved with the end of the losing streak, coach Todd McLellan wants his team to maintain its edge as it will face another opponent trying to make a final push toward the playoffs.

"You say, 'Oh, we're out of it. Whew!' That doesn't work," McLellan said. "When we go home, we've got to have this same mindset."

The Stars (32-27-14) are in danger of missing back-to-back postseasons for the first time since 1987 and '88, when the franchise was located in Minnesota. They've earned five points in their last three games, winning 3-1 over red-hot Nashville in the opener of a four-game trip Tuesday.

Dallas ended the Predators' six-game win streak as Loui Eriksson and Matt Niskanen scored 30 seconds apart in the third period. Starting for the fourth time in five games, Kari Lehtonen stopped 34 shots.

"Tonight was one that could have gone either way," defenseman Trevor Daley said. "We found a way to win tonight, but obviously our goalie was unreal tonight."

The Stars will try to find another win against a team they routed 8-2 at home March 16.

Dallas scored four goals in the first 28 minutes then added its final four over a span of 8:57 in the third period, including two short-handed goals. Seven players had multiple points, with Brenden Morrow and Mike Ribeiro each collecting two goals and two assists.

Leading scorer Brad Richards added a goal and two assists during a point streak that reached six games Tuesday. He has three goals and seven assists over that span, giving him 23 points in his last 18.

Richards is one of four Stars to record five points against the Sharks this season. Dallas is 3-1-0 versus San Jose, posting two shootout wins at the HP Pavilion.

The Stars are 9-2-1 in San Jose since December 2006.