Sharks look to stay hot against Stars
The San Jose Sharks might be getting the pieces together for a sustained run.
That is what they’re aiming for after regaining their collective breath.
The Sharks try to keep the momentum going Thursday night when the potentially weary Dallas Stars visit for a game in San Jose, Calif.
For the Sharks, seeing right winger Timo Meier cranking up the production is a good sign.
“He’s a critical guy. He’s on pace for probably 40 goals right now,” San Jose coach Peter DeBoer said. “He gives us power and speed and energy. It’s nice to have him back.”
Meier, who has 16 goals and 14 assists this season, has produced seven points in four games since returning to action after missing three games.
This will be a matchup of a pair of teams with 16 wins. But the Stars are coming off Wednesday night’s 6-3 loss at Anaheim, where they gave up four third-period goals.
The Sharks have won two in a row since losing 3-2 last Friday night at Dallas. That’s San Jose’s lone loss in a five-game stretch.
DeBoer points to stability such as that provided by defenseman Radim Simek as one of the keys to the team’s success.
“I don’t want to think about any kind of drop-off (from him),” DeBoer said. “He’s a veteran guy and he has a quiet confidence about him. Fingers crossed that he’s going to keep playing the way he is.”
The Stars have players on rolls as well, including defenseman Miro Heiskanen, who has six points in a six-game span. That includes a goal last week against San Jose.
Still, the Stars are in search of improved flow on the offensive end. They adjusted their lines for Wednesday night, with right winger Valeri Nichushkin joining center Tyler Seguin and right winger Alexander Radulov on the first line.
“Hopefully, he takes advantage of it,” Dallas coach Jim Montgomery said of Nichushkin. “The way he pursues pucks is going to be good to play with those two because those two can really read well off of puck pressure.”
Part of the motivation behind the move is to try to get Seguin untracked. He’s without a goal in five straight games and pointless in the last four outings.
“No one is going to feel sorry for you,” Seguin said. “Just keep working, keep putting your nose to the grind and at some point they’ll pay off.”
DeBoer said the Sharks survived a grueling stretch by defeating the New Jersey Devils 5-2 on Monday night. Now, the team had a couple of nights off before facing the Stars.
Dallas had won four times in a five-game stretch before a disturbing third period Wednesday night. The Stars gave up three goals in a three-minute, third-period span as a one-goal lead disappeared and they eventually lost by a three-goal margin.
Thursday night’s game will mark the third road game of the week for the Stars, who’ll have four road outings in a seven-day stretch by Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Sharks recalled center Rourke Chartier from San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League. Chartier began the season with the Sharks, producing one goal for his lone point in 13 games. This move was in relation to a roster shift earlier in the week when the Sharks sent center Antti Suomela to the Barracuda.