Well, here's a monumental task for the Dallas Stars. They need to break a five game losing streak that has seen them fall from 5th in the Western conference to 11th, and they have to do it tonight on the road against the San Jose Sharks.
The Stars played perhaps their worst overall game of the season Sunday with a completely lackluster effort against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 4-1 loss. It culminated a disaster of a homestand and was proof of just how much this team needs it's emotional leaders in Steve Ott and Brenden Morrow. The team showed no fight, no team unity and most of all seemed to just give up once the score became 2-0. There was just too many mental mistakes and not enough grit for the Stars to have any chance over a speedy and talented team like the Penguins.
It also doesn't help when you basically hand the opposition three free goals.
Steve Ott will be back in the lineup tonight the Stars will look to play the same solid game they did last week against the Sharks at home. It was their best effort of the homestand but they came up short in a 1-0 loss to Evgeni Nabokov and San Jose. The Stars will need that same effort and more tonight if they hope to beat a team that has lost just twice in regulation at home all season. Currently the Stars sit in 11th spot in the West but once again, a win could boost them right back into eighth.
The Sharks will be without Nabokov for the third straight game who is out with flu-like symptoms. Brian Boucher has filled in, with the Sharks coming off a disappointing 3-2 loss to Minnesota on Saturday night. Overall the Sharks are 2-2-0 over their last four games.
Tonight is the first game of a three game West-coast road trip for the Stars and one during which they desperately need to find their winning ways again. A few more losses and disaster is not far off.
Dallas: C Toby Petersen (foot), RW Landon Wilson (ribs), C Brad Richards (wrist), LW Brenden Morrow (knee) and D Sergei Zubov (hip) are out. San Jose: G Evgeni Nabokov (flu), C Torrey Mitchell (leg) and C Marcel Goc (lower body) are out.
Dallas: C Toby Petersen (foot), RW Landon Wilson (ribs), C Brad Richards (wrist), LW Brenden Morrow (knee) and D Sergei Zubov (hip) are out.
San Jose: G Evgeni Nabokov (flu), C Torrey Mitchell (leg) and C Marcel Goc (lower body) are out.