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National Hockey League
Preview
Dallas at San Jose
When: 8:00 PM ET, Sunday, February 18, 2018
Where: SAP Center at San Jose, San Jose, California

The Dallas Stars have edged their way up the Central Division standings with six wins in the past seven contests and look to continue climbing when they begin a three-game California trip against the San Jose Sharks on Sunday night. The Stars rebounded from a rough performance against Vancouver with a 2-1 victory over St. Louis on Friday and now sit in a virtual tie for third in the Central with the Blues.

“Every game from here on out is going to be of equal importance,” Dallas goalie Ben Bishop told reporters after improving to 3-1-0 in his last four outings. “Obviously it’s nice to beat the team that you’re chasing. But it doesn’t really change anything. Now we go out to the west coast and the game against San Jose is just as important.” The Stars earned a 6-0 rout Dec. 31 to improve to 6-1-1 in the last eight meetings with the Sharks, who have won three of four overall to take over second place in the Pacific Division. San Jose knocked off Vancouver 4-1 on Thursday as goaltender Martin Jones continued his strong play with a season high-matching 43 saves. “This schedule, the injuries and things, eventually catch up to you,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer told the Mercury News. “. … We found a way, it started with our goalie, but we found a way.”

TV: 8 p.m. ET, FS Southwest (Dallas), NBCS California (San Jose)

ABOUT THE STARS (34-20-4): Veteran defenseman Marc Methot returned Friday after missing all but one game since Nov. 6 with a knee injury and posted an assist for his 100th career point. “He and (Stephen) Johns are a tough pair to play against,” Dallas coach Ken Hitchcock told reporters of Methot. “. … Methot allows Johnsy to get up on the attack more which is what we’re going to need moving forward. He’s a big add. … We’ve managed it but we’re a lot better hockey club when he’s in the lineup.” Forwards Alexander Radulov and Jamie Benn (four assists, last three games) along with defenseman John Klingberg lead the team with 53 points apiece.

ABOUT THE SHARKS (31-19-8): With injuries depleting the forward corps, reigning Norris Trophy winner Brent Burns played up front in parts of the past two games but was moved to the backend after defenseman Dylan DeMelo was injured in the second period Thursday. “The experiment didn’t last very long,” DeBoer told reporters. “He proved what I already knew - that he’s a better defenseman. He’s such a weapon back there. It felt like the right thing to do, and looking back at the game, it was the right thing to do.” Burns has eight of his team-leading 50 points in the last seven contests and Logan Couture (44) posted a goal and four assists in the past five.

OVERTIME

1. Jones owns a .941 save percentage over his last seven appearances, but is 3-3-1 during that stretch.

2. Dallas C Tyler Seguin has registered seven goals in his last nine games and needs one to reach 30 for fourth time in his career.

3. San Jose F Tomas Hertl (upper-body), who is fifth on the team with 33 points, missed Thursday’s game and is questionable.

PREDICTION: Stars 3, Sharks 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Dallas 34-20-2-2 W1 21-9-1-0 13-11-1-2 4-1-0-0 30-19-2-2 10-10-0-0
San Jose 31-19-5-3 W1 16-9-2-1 15-10-3-2 5-1-1-0 26-18-4-3 15-4-2-1
Last Meeting
Dallas San Jose
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
12/31/17 SJ 0 DAL 6 32 26 1-3 26 26 0-3
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Dallas R. Faksa 3
San Jose R. Balcers 0
Goals Player  
Dallas T. Pitlick 2
San Jose R. Balcers 0
Assists Player  
Dallas R. Faksa 3
San Jose R. Balcers 0
Saves Player  
Dallas B. Bishop 26
San Jose M. Jones 18
Season
Total Points Player  
Dallas A. Radulov 55
San Jose B. Burns 51
Goals Player  
Dallas T. Seguin 31
San Jose L. Couture 23
Assists Player  
Dallas J. Klingberg 47
San Jose B. Burns 41
Saves Player  
Dallas B. Bishop 1217
San Jose M. Jones 1064
Quickchart Matchup
Dallas Off vs  San Jose Def
2.98 GF
2.69 GA
31.6 Shots
30.3 Shots
36 PP
27 PK
San Jose Off vs  Dallas Def
2.86 GF
2.59 GA
33 Shots
30.1 Shots
44 PP
36 PK