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Reply To: NHL • Saturday Service Plays • 1/16/16

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Preview: Dallas at San Jose

When: 10:30 PM ET, Saturday, January 16, 2016
Where: SAP Center at San Jose, San Jose, California

The Dallas Stars attempt to reclaim first place in the Central Division less than 24 hours after relinquishing it when they continue their California road trip against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday. Dallas kicked off its trek in Anaheim on Friday with its second straight loss and fifth in six games this month, falling two points behind Chicago in the Central in the process.

Despite the team’s struggles, captain Jamie Benn appears to be heating up as he has scored in each of his last two contests following a four-game drought. San Jose looks to extend its winning streak to five games after edging Edmonton in a shootout Thursday in the opener of its three-game homestand. Joe Thornton has been scorching hot for the Sharks, collecting five goals and 12 assists while landing on the scoresheet in 12 of his last 13 games. Dallas posted a 5-3 home victory over San Jose on Oct. 31 as Antti Niemi made 26 saves in his first game against his former team.

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, FSN Southwest (Dallas), CSN California (San Jose)

ABOUT THE STARS (29-12-4): Dallas has struggled on the road of late, going 0-4-2 since winning in Minnesota on Dec. 21. Coach Lindy Ruff spoke bluntly when describing his team’s effort against the Ducks in its first game in six days. “We’ll win when we deserve to win,” he told reporters. “We didn’t deserve to win. Didn’t compete hard enough. … The whole league is pretty well in playoff mode, except for us.”

ABOUT THE SHARKS (22-18-2):
Brent Burns leads all NHL defensemen with 18 goals — four shy of his career high set in 2013-14. The 30-year-old ranks second on the team in scoring as he has reached the 40-point plateau third straight season and fifth in his career. Patrick Marleau is third on the club with 14 goals but has gone seven games without one.

OVERTIME

1. The Sharks are 7-0-0 when scoring first at home.

2. Dallas LW Patrick Sharp looks to begin a new point streak after having his 12-gamer snapped Friday.

3. San Jose captain Joe Pavelski leads the league with seven game-winning goals.

PREDICTION: Stars 5, Sharks 3