SAN JOSE, Calif. - The Detroit Red Wings began a 4-game western road trip Saturday night with an impressive 5-1 victory over the Dallas Stars.
The Red Wings are 13-4-3 on the road and hope to improve that -- one of the best road records in the NHL -- Thursday night as they head into a hostile arena in San Jose where the Sharks have lost just one game in regulation this season for an overall home record of 15-1-3.
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (19-14-10, 48 points): It's no secret Detroit has struggled with injuries all season. Pavel Datsyuk (lower body injury), Jonathan Ericsson (fractured ribs), Johan Franzen (concussion), Darren Helm (groin) and Stephen Weiss (groin) all remain out of the lineup.
Jimmy Howard was back action Saturday night making 45 saves for a .978 save percentage. It was a solid performance from Howard who hasn't been able to find a groove yet this season. He likely will get the start in San Jose.
Defensemen Danny DeKeyser is back from his groin injury and is projected to be paired up with Kyle Quincey.
ABOUT THE SHARKS (27-11-6, 60 points): As noted, the Sharks don't lose a lot at home, but they did lose Tuesday night in Nashville where the Predators prevailed 3-2.
Led by Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture, San Jose has no problem putting the puck in the net. Yet, it's their blue line that keeps them near the top of the Western Conference standings. Marc-Edouard Vlasic is making a name for himself as one of the NHL's brightest young stars on D.
Goalie Antti Niemi has 22 wins as he remains tough to beat.
The puck drops at 10:30 p.m. ET.
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