Preview: Sharks at Stars
The San Jose Sharks attempt to match the best start in team history when they visit the Dallas Stars on Thursday. San Jose, which began last season with a franchise-record seven straight victories, posted its sixth consecutive win with a 6-2 triumph over the Blues in St. Louis on Tuesday. Captain Joe Thornton registered a goal and three assists while Patrick Marleau netted a tally and set up two others as the Sharks knocked the Blues out of the ranks of unbeaten teams.
The news was not all good for San Jose, however, as defenseman Dan Boyle left the ice on a stretcher and was hospitalized after being checked into the boards from behind by St. Louis' Maxim Lapierre early in the first period. While appearing to be unconscious for a period of time after the hit, Boyle was reported to be alert and responsive while on his way to the hospital. The Stars return home from a three-game road trip during which they lost the final two contests by a combined 8-3 score.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, CSN California (San Jose), FSN Southwest (Dallas)
ABOUT THE SHARKS (6-0-0): Center Logan Couture, who recorded a goal and an assist against the Blues, pulled no punches when commenting on Lapierre's actions. "It's just disgusting to see that type of play in hockey, when a player that probably shouldn't even be in this league is taking out one of the best players in the world," Couture said. "(Lapierre) has got a history." With Boyle expected to miss some time, Brad Stuart's return from a three-game suspension comes at just the right time. The Sharks have scored a total of 30 goals while limiting their opponents to two or fewer in each of their six games.
ABOUT THE STARS (2-3-0): After failing in its attempt to hand Colorado its first loss of the season, Dallas has a chance to do so to the only other unbeaten club in the league. It likely will have to accomplish the feat without Kari Lehtonen, who is expected to remain sidelined with a lower-body injury. Defenseman Aaron Rome began a conditioning assignment with Texas of the American Hockey League on Tuesday after undergoing two hip surgeries in the offseason.
1. Thornton, D Scott Hannan and C Joe Pavelski all scored their first goal of the season Tuesday.
2. Dallas LW Lane MacDermid made his season debut Tuesday, winning one of two faceoffs in 4:34 of ice time.
3. Five of the Sharks' six victories have been by at least three goals.
PREDICTION: Sharks 4, Stars 1