Red-hot Sharks put win streak on the line against Dallas

The sizzling San Jose Sharks will try to complete a perfect seven-game homestand when they host the Dallas Stars in Sunday's afternoon battle at HP Pavilion.

The Sharks are 6-0 on the residency so far and have matched a season-best with seven straight wins overall. San Jose also won seven in a row to begin this season, but the club hasn't won eight consecutive tilts since Feb. 17-March 3, 2011.

The recent hot streak has helped push San Jose into the thick of the Western Conference playoff race, where it sits in fifth place, two ahead of Minnesota and one behind fourth-seeded Los Angeles. The Kings and Wild both are in action on Sunday.

San Jose's latest victory came Friday evening against the Calgary Flames and the win improved the Sharks' home record this season to 14-1-4. Joe Pavelski scored the winner late in the third period to lift the Sharks to the 2-1 decision over the Flames.

Dan Boyle scored the other goal while Antti Niemi made 23 stops for the Sharks, who also will put a seven-game home winning streak on the line today.

"As a group, we're playing well," said Pavelski. "Everyone's contributing."

Following the conclusion of this homestand, the Sharks will head out on a four-game road trip, beginning with Tuesday's test at Columbus. San Jose is just 6-10-2 as the visiting team this season.

San Jose has fared well recently against Sunday's opponent, as the Sharks have won four straight home games against Dallas and have claimed seven of nine overall in the series. The Stars did record a 3-1 home win against San Jose on Feb. 23 in the first of four meetings between the Pacific Division rivals.

The Stars, who are five points out of a playoff spot, halted a three-game losing streak in their last trip to the ice. Dallas salvaged the finale of a three-game series with the Anaheim Ducks, notching a 3-1 win in Friday's meeting in Orange County.

Dallas lost a 4-0 home test to the Ducks on Monday before losing a 5-2 decision Wednesday in Anaheim. However, Kari Lehtonen came through with a strong performance to help the Stars avoided getting swept in the rare three- game set.

Lehtonen posted 27 saves to help the Stars outlast the Ducks, while Alex Chiasson, Eric Nystrom and Lane MacDermid all scored in the win.

"We got a little lucky at the other end and I got a little lucky with a couple of pucks that hit the posts," said Lehtonen. "But that's how things go sometimes. We played well tonight."

Sunday's test marks the end of a three-game road trip for the Stars, who are 9-8-1 as the guest this season.

San Jose and the Stars will meet twice more this season, with Dallas hosting a meeting on April 13 before the clubs get together again at the Shark Tank on April 23.