Sharks ready for tough road

February 16, 2008 

NEW YORK -- The numbers are daunting: 16 nights, eight games, 5,755 miles.

Equally intimidating is the tradition of the company the San Jose Sharks will be keeping as they tour the Atlantic Division.

All five franchises have won the Stanley Cup -- something no other division can claim.

Then there are the particulars of the schedule. The four games in five nights, the three back-to-backs, the challenge of getting two points in Detroit.

So why is this man smiling?

"It doesn't bother me," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said of the upcoming challenge to his team's 17-5-1-2 road record. "I'm not big on an eight-game road trip kind of thing, but if you're going to play an Eastern Conference division, it makes sense to do it this way."

A year ago, for example, the Sharks had to make three trips to the Atlantic Coast to play the five teams in the Southeast Division. Nobody liked that plan.

The Sharks are accustomed to making a long trip in February because that is when HP Pavilion plays host to the pro tennis tour.

This year, the SAP Open is followed by Disney on Ice, keeping the Sharks on the road even longer. It happens elsewhere, too -- the Los Angeles Kings, for example, just finished an eight-game swing through the East and Midwest.

And, no, this trip isn't the longest in Sharks history -- in 1999, they were gone 10 games, 20 days.

This trip might be more palatable than most long ones, however, because the team is spending the first five nights in posh digs in midtown Manhattan -- where the Sharks haven't played in more than five years.

"I think it'll be fun. It's always nice to go to the big city and check it out," said center Joe Thornton, a more frequent visitor to the Big Apple during his seven seasons with the Boston Bruins. "Obviously we have some games there so it'll be a business trip, but there'll be some pleasure as well."

Friday's Games

STARS 4, DUCKS 2, at Anaheim -- Stephane Robidas scored twice in the second period and goalie Marty Turco recorded his 200th career victory in Dallas' victory over Anaheim.

The win was the eighth in nine games for the streaking Stars and ended the Ducks' five-game winning streak.

Turco made 20 saves to earn his milestone victory.

KINGS 6, FLAMES 3, at Los Angeles -- Ted Purcell scored his first NHL goal and Brian Boyle notched his fourth in seven games since his promotion from the minors, sparking Los Angeles to a victory over Calgary.

BLUE JACKETS 5, RED WINGS 1, at Detroit -- Fredrik Modin scored twice as Columbus handed NHL-leading Detroit its fifth consecutive loss.

THRASHERS 4, DEVILS 3 (SO), at Newark, N.J. -- Marian Hossa scored the tying goal for Atlanta with 18.1 seconds left in regulation and Pascal Dupuis had the decisive tally in the 10th round of a shootout.

PANTHERS 4, CAPITALS 2, at Sunrise, Fla. -- Nathan Horton and Kamil Kreps scored third-period goals for Florida. The victory snapped the Panthers' two-game skid and was their first game since Richard Zednik's frightening neck injury last Sunday.

SLAP SHOTS -- Carolina captain Rod Brind'Amour will have reconstructive surgery on a torn ligament in his left knee and will likely miss the rest of the season. ... Pittsburgh center Kris Beech was placed on injured reserve with a broken right wrist and will be out indefinitely.

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