The Dallas Stars will be hoping to halt a two-game losing streak when they entertain the San Jose Sharks at the American Airlines Center on Thursday night. Dallas is coming off consecutive setbacks against Boston and Columbus. The Sharks have picked up two straight 4-3 wins over Philadelphia and Minnesota.
Thornton still going strong
San Jose lost the first two contests of its four-game home-stand but rebounded to post a pair of 4-3 victories at the expense of Philadelphia and Minnesota. Center Joe Thornton will play in his 1,500th game on Thursday, surpassing Mike Modano for 19th place on the all-time list and for the most games ever by a No. 1 draft pick.
Why has #SJSharks Joe Thornton lasted so long in the NHL? Talent? Of course. Good health for most of his career? Sure. "But you don’t put that much work in if you don’t truly, truly don’t love it. This is a really special person.” https://t.co/8PhfXEYV4I via @mercnews
— Curtis Pashelka (@CurtisPashelka) November 8, 2018
Thornton scored his 399th career goal after being shifted to the third line alongside Marcus Sorensen and Barclay Goodrow, a move that paid off as both line-mates also lit the lamp during Tuesday’s defeat of the Wild. Sorensen also added a pair of assists for his first career three-point game, while Goodrow capped a two-point night with the game-winning goal in the third period.
“It’s an honor to play with him,” Sorensen said of Thornton. “It was fun playing with him. He was good. He was great. He made some great plays and he scored a goal.”
Finally back at home
The Stars stumbled at the end of what was a promising road trip, so they will now look to regain momentum at the beginning of this four-game home-stand. They capped their six-game trek (3-2-1) with losses to Boston and Columbus, but they have a rematch against both of those teams forthcoming at the American Airlines Center. Playing its sixth game in 10 days to close out the journey, Dallas fell at Columbus 4-1 one night after succumbing 2-1 in overtime at Boston.
Forward Alexander Radulov, the team’s fourth-leading scorer, has missed four consecutive games and eight of the last nine. Center Tyler Seguin has racked up 173 goals during his six-season tenure in Dallas, but he remains stuck on three for the 2018-19 campaign and is mired in a career-worst (tied) 12-game drought.
“If it was earlier in my career, it might bother me, but I think I can do more now,” said Seguin, who still leads Dallas with 14 points. “At times like this, you try to set up your teammates more and help anyway you can. I think I’m doing that.”
“Overall, two things come to mind,” head coach Jim Montgomery said of the recent road trip. “One, results were pretty good for us. And the other thing was I felt we came together; we worked for each other, and we became a little tougher to play against.”
The Dallas Stars are:
- 7-2 in their last nine home games
- 6-1 in their last seven games against the Western Conference
- 6-2 in their last eight games against teams with winning records
The San Jose Sharks are:
- 6-17 in their last 23 road games against teams with home winning percentages over .600
- 3-7 in their last 10 games following a win
- 6-1 Over in their last seven overall
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Stars are not exactly lamp-lighting juggernauts, but they are a respectable 11th in the NHL in power-play conversions (24.4 percent). A return home should be just what the doctor ordered, as Dallas is 7-2 in its last nine at the American Airlines Center. Dallas defenseman Brent Burns has amassed 18 points over his past 12 games. The Stars are 4-1 in the last five meetings between the two teams and 4-0 in their last four at home against San Jose.
Prediction: Dallas Stars
Full-Game Total Pick
San Jose goalie Martin Jones has not yet heated up this season, as he is sporting a modest 2.72 goals-against average and .899 save percentage. Fortunately for San Jose, it is a solid 10th in the NHL in goals per game (3.3). The over is 6-1 in the Sharks’ last seven overall and 4-1 in their last five against the Western Conference. It is also 4-1-1 in the Stars’ last six at home and 6-2-1 in their last nine against the Western Conference. Additionally, the over is 19-7-1 in the last 27 meetings between the two teams and 6-1 in San Jose’s last seven trips to Dallas. Look for this one to go over the total.