SAN JOSE The San Jose Sharks have won just once in their last 10 tries on the road, including a current four-game losing streak that featured a pair of ugly losses in Anaheim and Phoenix just last week, in which they scored one goal total.
The reason? Air Shark might be leaving certain players games back in the Bay Area at take off. San Jose is in eighth place in the Western Conference, one point ahead of the Stars headed into Tuesday night's game in Dallas.
When I look back at some of the most recent road games, we've been missing two or three guys, Todd McLellan said on Monday. All of a sudden you become a three line team or a two-and-a-half line team, and you can't get it done at this time of year with the energy level and that type of stuff. We need everybody involved.
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Among some of the Sharks main point producers that have struggled away from HP Pavilion in the last 10 games are Ryane Clowe (1g), Brent Burns (1g, 3a), Dan Boyle (1g, 2a) and Logan Couture (3g, 2a). Even Joe Pavelski, who has come alive recently and now leads the Sharks in goals with 31, has just two goals and two assists in the last 10 road games.
Its hard to pinpoint one thing, we've been getting a lot of shots, said Joe Thornton, who has 11 points in that same road stretch and has been anything but the problem, as the most consistent offensive threat in the past two months. Maybe getting in the goalies eyes will help. But, hopefully we'll get on this road trip and we'll throw some in the net.
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Boyle said: We just haven't won games, I dont know that it's a lack of confidence. Its execution, probably.
The Sharks are primed to get a better effort from the Stars than was put forth in Saturday nights 3-0 San Jose win at The Tank. Dallas got behind early and its energy level seemed to erode from there, after having played in Vancouver the previous night.
Still, the Sharks have accumulated nine of a possible 10 points against Dallas this season (4-0-1). Whatever theyre doing right, theyd like to repeat it.
They're going to be ready for us, Thornton said. They know how important the next game is. Tuesday night should be great; they'll probably play physical and you know it's going to be a must win for both teams.
McLellan said: They'll be a different team, playing at home and playing in front of their fans. They were playing back to back here, and won't have that problem. Im sure they'll get some healthy bodies back, and Im sure we'll get a stiffer game than we got here.
Clowe attributes the success against Dallas at least partially to special teams play, and hes right. The Sharks have had 10 more power play opportunities than Dallas in the five-game season series, and scored five man-advantage goals (5-for-22) as opposed to just a pair for the Stars (2-for-12).
That's one thing against Dallas that's been pretty good this year, Clowe said. We've come out, they've taken some penalties, we've capitalized on the power play and spotted ourselves a couple good leads early.
The Sharks have scored first in four of the five games. They didnt do it in their last visit to Dallas, and ended up losing 4-3 in a shootout on March 8.