The Dallas Stars began this week flirting with the franchise’s longest winning streak, but look to end it by avoiding a winless three-game road trip.
Meanwhile, the San Jose Sharks are also trying to momentarily halt a rough patch of their own.
The Stars aim to avoid a third consecutive loss when they visit the Sharks on Saturday night.
With Monday’s 4-1 home victory over Arizona, Dallas put itself one away from a club-record eight-game winning streak. However, the Stars blew a two-goal, third-period lead during a 5-4 loss at Vegas on Wednesday, then managed just 27 shots in their 4-0 loss at Los Angeles on Thursday night.
While Dallas has won eight straight at home, it’s 4-7-1 on the road, where it has allowed 43 non-shootout goals and won only once over the last five tries.
“It’s a tough road trip,” said forward Jason Robertson, whose seven-game point streak ended Thursday.
“We’ve got to find something … You’ve got to be dialed down to start the game. Set the tempo.”
Dallas’ Jake Oettinger (1.52 goals-against average) made 37 saves against the Kings but suffered his first loss of the season. Teammate Braden Holtby (2.42 GAA) could be in goal for this contest after a 40-save effort against Vegas ended his personal three-game winning streak as a starter.
Dallas has dropped the last two meetings against the Sharks, both at San Jose. However, the teams last met in January 2020.
Joe Pavelski leads the Stars with 21 points (nine goals, 12 assists), but was shut out when Dallas lost 2-1 on Jan. 11, 2020, at San Jose. It was Pavelski’s first and only trip back to San Jose since his 13-season run with the Sharks ended after the 2018-19 campaign.
These current Sharks lost for the third time in four games, 5-2 versus Minnesota on Thursday. The reported subject of trade rumors, Tomas Hertl scored his team-leading 13th goal of the season and Jonathan Dahlen notched his eighth early in the third period, but San Jose was already down 3-0 by that point.
“I don’t think we had our legs (Thursday night),” Hertl, who has scored five times during a three-game goal streak, told reporters. “If you don’t have your legs you have to find a way, play simple hockey and don’t turn over pucks.”
San Jose has totaled 11 goals over the last three games, but allowed 14 during the same span. Adin Hill has yielded 11 of those goals while starting each one of those contests. Teammate James Reimer has stopped 61 of the 63 shots he’s faced in his last two games, recording one shutout, but an illness has kept him from making a start in December.
Reimer is 6-1-1 with a 2.42 goals-against average during 10 career games against Dallas. Hertl, meanwhile, has just two assists over his last eight games against the Stars. Fellow Shark Logan Couture (eight goals, 16 assists) has two goals with three assists during his four-game point streak versus Dallas.
–Field Level Media