Series (Game 1 of 6)

San Jose leads 5-1

Game 1: Saturday, November 19th
Game 2: Thursday, December 8th
Game 3: Thursday, February 2nd
Game 4: Thursday, March 8th
Game 5: Saturday, March 31st
Game 6: Tuesday, April 3rd

Sharks 4

(11-5-1, 23 pts)

Stars 1

(11-8-0, 22 pts)

8:00 PM ET, November 19, 2011

American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas

1 2 3 T
SJ 1 2 14
DAL 0 0 11

L. Couture (Sharks - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

J. Thornton (Sharks - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

P. Marleau (Sharks - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

Sharks-Stars Preview


The Dallas Stars have lost four straight since their hot start, and have been shut out twice in a row.

Getting on the power play against the San Jose Sharks could get them back on track.

These Pacific Division rivals meet for the first time this season Saturday night in Dallas, with the Stars hoping to break their scoring drought as they face the visiting Sharks -- owners of the league's worst penalty-kill unit.

Dallas (11-7-0) won 11 of its first 14 under new coach Glen Gulutzan before totaling three goals during the current four-game slide. The Stars have gone seven straight periods without scoring after Friday's 3-0 loss at Colorado.

This is the first time the Stars, who fell 6-0 at home to Florida on Tuesday, have been shut out in back-to-back games since Jan. 8 and 10, 1999.

"The Florida game was terrible all the way around," said goalie Kari Lehtonen, who made a season-high 42 saves against the Avalanche. "We were better (Friday)."

Dallas is 1 for 8 on the power play during the skid, although its 18.6 percentage on the season is one of the NHL's better marks. The Stars are 8 for 27 (29.6 percent) with the man advantage over their last six home meetings with the Sharks, scoring at least once in each contest.

That streak may be likely to continue because of San Jose's league-worst 73.2 percent penalty kill. Sharks coach Todd McLellan has generally been unhappy with his defensemen other than Dan Boyle and Douglas Murray.

"I think you'll see us juggling them around," McLellan said. "The one consistent pair that we have right now is 3 and 22, obviously 'Cranky' (Murray) and Danny Boyle, they've played together now for three years and they feel comfortable."

A defenseman came through with a rare offensive display for San Jose (10-5-1) in Thursday's 5-2 win over Detroit. Marc-Edouard Vlasic had a goal among his career-high four points.

"Maybe he's our secret weapon," captain Joe Thornton said. "He played a great game and was in the offensive zone a lot more."

Five different Sharks scored as the team bounced back from last Saturday's 3-0 loss to Phoenix.

"It's good to see a lot of guys on the scoresheet, every line scoring goals and we'll need that for the rest of the year," Vlasic said.

Antti Niemi made 40 saves for his third straight win. Niemi is 4-1-2 with a 2.50 goals-against average in seven career starts against the Stars while backup Thomas Greiss has never started against them.

The Sharks are beginning their fourth set of back-to-back games after being swept in the first set and sweeping their next two.

Dallas has dropped the second halves of its first three back-to-backs, with backup Andrew Raycroft posting a 3.39 GAA while getting all three starts.

Gulutzan said before Friday's defeat that his plan was to start Raycroft on Saturday.

These teams split their six-game series in 2010-11, with four of the contests decided by one goal.

Joe Pavelski, owner of a six-game road point streak, had nine to lead the Sharks in last season's series while Patrick Marleau had a team-high four goals among his seven points. Jamie Benn led Dallas with seven points and Mike Ribeiro had a team-best four goals in the matchups with San Jose.