San Jose Sharks at Dallas Stars
Thursday, October @ 7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM
The Stars return to their home ice after being handed their third loss of the season Tuesday night against the Colorado Avalanche. Despite out shooting the Avs 41-26 at the Pepsi Center, forward Matt Duchene scored with the game-winner in the second period, meanwhile, Semyon Varlamov made 38 saves to lead the Avs to their first 6-0 start since moving to Denver.
“The effort was there, but we can’t give goals away,” said Stars forward Ray Whitney via the team website. “That’s two games in a row we did that and that’s what cost us. But the effort was there, we created more and got more pucks to the net and had more scoring chances.”
Costly mistakes in the Stars defensive zone forced Dallas to a 1-2-0 record on their first road trip of the season. Head coach Lindy Ruff briefly told the Stars website the importance of not giving up the puck in key moments of the game.
“Those mistakes can’t be made. They just can’t be. I’ve told them that those are unacceptable,” said Ruff.
Rich Peverley kicked off the scoring early by recording his first goal as Dallas Star less than five minutes into the opening frame. Cody Eakin also notched his first goal of the season, ending a Stars power play goal drought at the Pepsi Center dating back to April 2009.
Forward Jamie Benn finished game 7 of 9 from the faceoff circle (78%). Meanwhile, defenseman Sergei Gonchard lead the Stars in total ice-time, but finished with a minus-3 overall rating and a key turnover in the defensive zone that lead to an Avalanche goal.
Tyler Seguin leads the Stars with 7 points, and is currently on a four game point streak to begin the season (two goals, five assists).
Dallas (2-3-0) enters Thursday’s game against the San Jose Sharks (6-0-0) giving up the fifth most shots per game in the league (34.2). Meanwhile, the Sharks enter tonight ranked first in the league in shots per game average (41.8) and first in goals for (30).
Dan Ellis will likely get the start in goal for the Stars after stopping 23 of 26 shots in Colorado.
The Stars are 58-42-11 all-time against San Jose, including winning three out of the last four games against the Sharks dating back to last season.
Goaltender Kari Lehtonen (lower body) and defenseman Aaron Rome (hip) are inactive. Rome is currently on a conditioning assignment with the Texas Stars (AHL).
STARS PROJECTED LINEUP
Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Rich Peverley
Ray Whitney - Cody Eakin - Alex Chiasson
Valeri Nichushkin - Shawn Horcoff - Erik Cole
Antoine Roussel - Vernon Fiddler - Ryan Garbutt
Alex Goligoski - Sergei Gonchar
Brenden Dillon - Stephane Robidas
Trevor Daley - Jordie Benn
Jack Campbell (backup)
SAN JOSE SHARKS
Coming off a 6-2 win in St. Louis Tuesday night, the former Pacific Division foe returns to Dallas as one of the hottest teams in the NHL. Leading the league in both shots for and goals per game average, the Sharks are also just second in goals against per game (1.50) and shots against per game (23.5).
Behind veteran forwards Patrick Marleau and Logan Couture’s six game point scoring streaks - alongside the emergence of rookie Tomas Hertl - the Sharks have outscored opponents 30-9 over the first six games and look to once again be a force to be reckoned with in the Western Conference.
Hertl leads the Sharks in goals (7) and co-leads the team in total points alongside veteran Joe Thornton (9).
Defenseman Dan Boyle will miss significant time after being hit from behind by St. Louis forward Max Lapierre. Boyle was taken off the ice on a stretcher Tuesday night in St. Louis.
“It's tough seeing a teammate go down like that,” said Sharks captain Joe Thornton. “We had to give a good effort for Dan tonight. I've never seen that before, you're just kind of sitting on the bench hoping Dan is OK. It takes a while to kind of get back focused again.”
Boyle spent the night in a St. Louis hospital and then headed back to San Jose for further evaluation. Boyle told the San Jose Mercury News via text: "I'm OK. That was scary. Hopefully the symptoms will be very minor if any going forward."
Lapierre faces a disciplinary hearing with the league.
Along with Boyle, forwards Adam Burish (lower body), Martin Havlat (groin) and Raffi Torres (knee) are all inactive.
Defenseman Brad Stuart is eligible to return for Thursday’s game against the Stars after serving a three game suspension for a hit on New York Rangers forward Rick Nash.