Deep Stars offense set to attack Sharks

League: NHL

Posted on: 26 Mar, 2024 at 02:53 AM

Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

If the Dallas Stars hope to make a deep run in the Stanley Cup playoffs, they will need offense from all four lines.

The Stars have been benefiting from that lately, a big reason why they bring a four-game winning streak into their road game against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.

Dallas (44-19-9, 97 points) received two goals from its second line and another from the third in a 4-2 road win against the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday. In a 4-2 win against the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins two days prior, the first, third and fourth lines all contributed goals.

"We have depth scoring this year," Dallas coach Peter DeBoer said. "We really have three lines that can win you a game. (Against the Coyotes), it was the (Matt) Duchene line. On another night, it's Roope (Hintz's) line. On another night, it's (Wyatt Johnston's) line. That's what that depth scoring gives you. You don't have to have everybody clicking on a given night and you can still score enough to win."

The Stars enter Tuesday tied atop the Central Division with the Colorado Avalanche, who have won nine in a row. The Winnipeg Jets had been neck and neck with the Stars and Avalanche as well but have lost three in a row to drop four points back.

Dallas showed its resolve against Arizona after giving up the game-tying goal at the 7:26 mark of the third period and then facing a long five-on-three penalty kill after committing two minor penalties 38 seconds apart.

The Stars killed the two-man advantage before defenseman Miro Heiskanen scored the go-ahead goal with 5:28 left and Duchene tacked on an empty-netter with 1:30 to go.

"Those guys really dug in," DeBoer said of the penalty killers. "Not only a turning point, but we grabbed momentum from the kill, go out and immediately score the goal, so (the penalty kill) gets credit for the goal, too ... because we got a ton of momentum off that kill."

Dallas allows just 2.69 goals per game on the road, the fourth-lowest average in the NHL. Heiskanen said that's probably because the Stars are more disciplined on offense away from home.

"Maybe not that reckless with the puck," he said. "I think we're not really turning it over a lot on the road and that's what we ... have to do at home, too."

The Sharks (16-46-8, 40 points) continued their end-of-the-season collapse with a 5-4 overtime loss to the visiting Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night.

San Jose has lost seven in a row (0-6-1) and 16 of 17 (1-13-3), and the Sharks own the fewest points in the NHL by five "over" the Blackhawks.

In its most recent game, San Jose built a 4-0 lead against Chicago before giving up two goals in the second period and two more in the third, the last with 47 seconds remaining. The Sharks then surrendered the game-winner 18 seconds into overtime.

The loss was reminiscent of the last time San Jose played the Stars on March 5, when Dallas rallied from a 6-3 deficit with just over seven minutes left in regulation and won 7-6 in overtime.

"You can never take your foot off the pedal," Sharks coach David Quinn said.

--Field Level Media