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Doug Ward | NHL.com correspondent
Feb 6, 2007, 9:48 AM EST


As business trips go, there are worse places to be sent for two days than the Bay Area. Unless, of course, you’re business is trying to beat the San Jose Sharks at the HP Pavilion.

Your chances for a successful trip decline dramatically when show up for a meeting with the Sharks and their stingy defense (1.22 goals allowed per game, second in the league), carrying a brief case that contains the league’s 26th ranked offense, as Dallas did.

Despite appearing unprepared, the offensively challenged Stars took care of business in Silicon Valley last week by sweeping the Sharks. They even found time to mix a little pleasure with their business, doing a little sightseeing in and around San Francisco.

The Stars’ road sweep began with a 3-2 Stars shootout win. Dallas then controlled the rematch en route to a 4-2 win. The back-to-back wins represented the third time Dallas has taken consecutive road games from a divisional opponent in the last two years. They turned the same trick in both Anaheim and Los Angeles last season.

“It was,” Dallas coach Dave Tippett said, “a good week for us.”

Not so good for San Jose. Coach Ron Wilson said the Sharks went from good to great in a matter of 48 hours. If this one were a playoff series, the Sharks would be in trouble. As it is, second-place San Jose might be hearing footsteps in the Pacific Division.

After the Stars took consecutive games from the Sharks, they are now within five points of them in the standings. At stake is the fifth seed in the Western Conference playoff picture. Dallas has been able to manufacture wins despite struggling offensively. The Stars have scored just 124 goals thus far in 2006-07.

Things have been better at the other end of the rink where Marty Turco has played in 21-consecutive games in goal. The Stars are fourth in the league in goals allowed (128), and Turco’s 2.29 goals-against average is sixth best in the league, while his four shutouts tie him with six other goalies for fourth in the league.

The Stars have been efficient, posting a record of 18-9 in one-goal games.

Defenseman Philippe Boucher’s 36 points (14 goals, 22 assists) lead the Stars, but rank him 102nd overall among NHL scorers. Boucher has missed the last two games and is currently listed as day-to-day with a lower body injury.

The Stars offense should get a spark from the return of Mike Modano, who has one point in three games since returning from a knee injury that shelved him for 23 games.

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