San Jose at Dallas
When: 8:30 PM
ET, Friday, March 24, 2017
Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
The San Jose Sharks' once-comfortable lead in the Pacific Division has shrunk to two points, but they hope to begin building it back up when they continue their four-game road trip Friday against the Dallas Stars. San Jose, which recently was in the thick of the race for first place in the Western Conference, has seen its advantage over Anaheim and Edmonton in the Pacific dwindle to two points thanks to a four-game losing streak.
The Sharks have scored a total of four goals during their slide, which includes a 1-0 setback at Dallas in the opener of their trek. That victory helped the Stars avenge a 5-1 loss in San Jose on March 12 that featured a two-goal performance by Sharks captain Joe Pavelski. It is part of a seven-game stretch in which Dallas has scored two or fewer goals six times — including a 3-2 shootout loss at Chicago on Thursday. Ales Hemsky netted both tallies for the Stars while registering a game-high seven shots and has recorded three goals over his last four contests.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, CSN California (San Jose), FSN Southwest (Dallas)
ABOUT THE SHARKS (42-24-7): Jannik Hansen's tenure with San Jose has been a rough one thus far, as the 31-year-old Dane has notched just one assist in six games and could miss his third contest in a row because of an upper-body injury. The right wing could return either Friday or the following night in Nashville, coach Peter DeBoer told reporters. The Sharks hope to have Marc-Edouard Vlasic in the lineup against Dallas as the defenseman sat out Tuesday's loss in Minnesota with the flu.
ABOUT THE STARS (29-33-11): Captain Jamie Benn notched a pair of assists Thursday to snap his five-game point drought that followed a string of seven straight contests in which he landed on the scoresheet. The 27-year-old enters Friday three assists away from 300 in the NHL. Patrick Sharp's point drought reached seven games Thursday, leaving him one shy of 600 for his career.
1. Stars C Jason Spezza likely will miss his third consecutive game with a back injury.
2. San Jose's Brent Burns leads all NHL defensemen with 70 points but is mired in a season-high seven-game drought.
3. Dallas C Tyler Seguin, who leads the team with 68 points, will be playing in his 500th NHL game Friday.
PREDICTION: Sharks 5, Stars 2
Stats and Records