Dallas Stars (25-21-9) at San Jose Sharks (35-16-6)
|Date & Time||Wednesday February 5, 2014, 10:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: San Jose Sharks -186 / Dallas Stars +169 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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The Stars continue their Pacific division road trip in San Jose on Wednesday night as they look for their second win in as many nights after downing the Coyotes 3-1 on Tuesday.
The Dallas Stars head into Wednesday night’s show down with the San Jose Sharks as winners of five of their last 10 games with points in two more of those contests and while they still remain four points out of a playoff spot they are certainly covering some ground of late. Dallas has already exceeded expectations in my opinion this season as they were projected to be at or near the bottom of the league standings but they have shown they can still compete with the best of them and in tonight’s case they’ll have to put on a special effort if they want to upend the Sharks. Kari Lehtonen has been great in the Dallas crease once again this season as the Finnish national has 21 victories to his name including last night’s triumph over Phoenix but he is likely to be on the bench for this one as Dan Ellis will come in and serve from the backup role. Either way the Stars will have to face Antti Niemi who himself is having a spectacular season and will be joining Lehtonen in Sochi on Team Finland.
The Sharks head into Wednesday night’s encounter looking to shake off a loss and in the process jump back up the Western Conference standings that currently has them in fifth place behind the Ducks, Hawks, Blues, and Avs. San Jose is very deep up front especially down the middle and that is how they take advantage of their opponents and with the Stars having much of their strength to the wings I think we see a mismatch here for the boys in teal. San Jose is a team that is always criticized for their lack of playoff production but they should have a chance at retribution this season in a very deep and competitive Western Conference. This to me is a closer game than people think as the Stars are battling for their playoff lives as well and both teams would love to head into the Olympic break on a winning note but the victor for me will be determined by who starts in the Dallas goal. Nonetheless I think the Sharks have the leg up here and should take care of business in regulation.