Sharks-Stars coverage starts tonight at 7:00 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on CSN California
Where they stand
Sharks: 22-18-2, 46 points, 3rd Pacific Division
Stars: 29-12-4, 62 points, 2nd Central Division
Sharks: San Jose ran its winning streak to four games with a 2-1 shootout victory over Edmonton on Thursday. For the first time this season, the Sharks have back-to-back wins at SAP Center, where they close out a three-game homestand on Monday against Ottawa.
Stars: Anaheim struck for four goals in the first period last night on their way to a 4-2 defeat of the Stars at Honda Center. Dallas has lost five of its last six (1-4-1), while its high-powered offense has scored just six regulation goals in the last four games.
Keep an eye on…
Sharks: Marc-Edouard Vlasic. The defenseman scored the only Sharks goal in regulation on Thursday, and with five goals and 20 points, could be on his way to breaking his career highs in both (9 goals, 39 points). Defensively on Saturday, he’ll surely get a healthy dose of Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. The Dallas linemates sit second and third, respectively, in the NHL in scoring.
Stars: Antti Niemi. The former Sharks goalie for five seasons will likely make his first start back at SAP Center since he was traded to Dallas in June. The 32-year-old has split time in net with fellow Finn Kari Lehtonen, and in 29 games owns a 16-8-4 record, 2.41 goals-against average and .914 save percentage. In his last six decisions Niemi is just 1-3-2, but he hasn’t gotten much run support.
Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Matt Nieto – Patrick Marleau – Joel Ward
Joonas Donskoi – Logan Couture – Tommy Wingels
Melker Karlsson – Chris Tierney – Mike Brown
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon – Dylan DeMelo
Martin Jones (confirmed starter)
Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Patrick Sharp
Mattias Janmark – Jason Spezza – Ales Hemsey
Antoine Roussel – Cody Eakin – Valeri Nichushkin
Travis Moen – Vern Fiddler – Colton Sceviour
Alex Goligoski – John Klingberg
Johnny Oduya – Jason Demers
Jyrki Jokipakka – Jordie Benn
Antti Niemi (likely starter)
Goals per game: 2.81 (8th)
Goals-against per game: 2.71 (20th)
Power play: 20.4 percent (7th)
Penalty kill: 79.8 percent (19th)
Goals per game: 3.31 (1st)
Goals-against per game: 2.62 (16th)
Power play: 22.5 percent (4th)
Penalty kill: 80.9 percent (13th)
Sharks: Dainius Zubrus (upper body) is out. Raffi Torres (right knee) is on a conditioning assignment with the AHL Barracuda.
Dallas defended its home ice on Oct. 31 against the Sharks, 5-3, getting 23 saves from Antti Niemi in the win. The Stars return to San Jose on March 26.
Odds and ends
*The Sharks have not won three straight games at home since Jan. 21 – 31, 2015.
*Joe Thornton has at least one point in 12 of the last 13 games (5g, 12a).
*The Sharks are 18-2-0 when scoring first; 15-1-0 when leading after the first period; and 2-6-1 against the Central Division.