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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, October 17th (All times Eastern)

San Jose Sharks (6-0-0) at Dallas Stars (2-3-0), 8:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - For a second straight game, the Dallas Stars will face one of the NHL's remaining unbeaten teams.

After narrowly missing out on a victory last time out, the Stars look to avoid a third straight loss on Thursday night as they host the 6-0-0 San Jose Sharks.

The Stars wrapped a three-game road trip with a stop in Colorado on Tuesday. The Avalanche came into the game unbeaten in five games and remained without a loss after edging Dallas 3-2.

Rich Peverley and Cody Eakin scored for Dallas, which has dropped three of its first five games, and Alex Chiasson had his last-second chance stopped by Semyon Varlamov.

"There's something here to build off of," said Stars forward Tyler Seguin. "Our first (period) was shaky, second was much better. Their goaltender was incredible tonight."

With Kari Lehtonen missing his second game in a row with a lower-body injury, Dan Ellis made the start and stopped 23-of-26 shots faced.

Ellis is likely to get the start tonight against the Sharks, who are looking to match last season's franchise-best 7-0-0 start.

San Jose overcame the scary loss of defenseman Dan Boyle on Tuesday to best the St. Louis Blues 6-2. Boyle had to be carted off the ice 5:22 into the game when he was checked from behind face-first into the glass by the Blues' Maxim Lapierre, who has since been suspended by the league and faces an in-house hearing.

Boyle was kept overnight in a St. Louis hospital, but returned to San Jose on Wednesday to undergo further evaluation according to the Sharks.

In a text exchange with a San Jose Mercury News reporter, Boyle said he was "OK" and called the incident "scary."

"Hopefully the symptoms will be very minor if any going forward," Boyle wrote.

The Sharks kept their composure and scored three times on the power play against the previously unbeaten Blues. Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski notched power-play goals less than a minute apart in the first period and Patrick Marleau also had a goal on the man advantage.

Marleau added two assists and Joe Thornton finished with a goal and three helpers, while Antti Niemi made 25 saves.

"It's cliche, but your mind is thinking about (Boyle). We knew we had to win for him," Couture said.

Both Couture (3 goals, 6 assists) and Marleau (5G, 3A), are riding six-game point streaks to begin the season.

While Boyle is out, the Sharks will get defenseman Brad Stuart back tonight from his three-game suspension for an elbow to the head of New York Rangers forward Rick Nash last Tuesday.

The Sharks lost three of four to the Stars last season and have dropped two straight and three of their past four in Dallas.

Ellis is 2-4-0 with a 3.44 goals against average in seven career games versus the Sharks, while Niemi is 9-4-4 with a 2.24 GAA and a pair of shutouts in 17 meetings with the Stars.

10/17 10:51:46 ET

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