The Dallas Stars go in search of some consistency tonight when they take on their divisional rivals, the San Jose Sharks, at the American Airlines Center.
This is a big divisional game, with the Pacific currently being very tight. The Ducks have started to take control, but just three points separate the Sharks in second from the Kings in fifth.
Dallas’ last game was on Thursday night when they fell agonisingly to the Vancouver Canucks 4-3.
Since Kari Lehtonen picked up his lower body injury, goaltending has been an alarming aspect of the Stars’ game. Prior to his injury, Lehtonen recorded a .934 save percentage and a goals against average of 2.12. Since Kari’s absence, Richard Bachman and Christian Nilstorp have combined for a .813 save percentage and a goals against average of 4.55. It has to be a case of grinding out some wins and limiting the damage until Lehtonen returns to the lineup.
Trevor Daley and Ray Whitney continue to be out of action for the Stars.
Looking at the Sharks, they started their campaign in an admirable fashion, winning the first of their seven games. Since then, they have gone on a horrible skid, losing eight of their last nine. Their schedule has been tough to say the least, and they will be eager to get back to winning ways tonight.
Offense has been hard to find for the Sharks of late, scoring just 11 goals in their last nine games. The Stars will need to wary of their threats with the puck though. Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton have combined for 34 points, with Joe Pavelski notching 16.
Antti Niemi has been phenomenal in between the pipes for San Jose so far. After having a heavy workload in the loss to the Blackhawks last night, it seems as if Thomas Greiss will get the start tonight.
It is sill unknown who will man the pipes for the Stars.
A great game is in prospect tonight, as both teams are in desperate need of a win. Adam Burish will make his first appearance at the AAC in Sharks colours. Face off is at 7.00pm CT.