The Sharks are already down two of their five leading scorers. They skated to a 5-2 win against the Dallas Stars on Sunday without Joe Thornton and Tomas Hertl, although the latter participated in the morning skate.
Now, they could also be without their leading scorer.
Defenseman Brent Burns skated his final shift against Dallas early in the third period, and did not return. Head coach Peter DeBoer did not have an update on Burns' status, but told reporters after the game that it was related to the same ailment that caused Burns to leave practice early on Saturday.
San Jose's largely tread water since Thornton went down, going 6-5-1 since Jan. 25, including two wins in two games without Hertl. Losing the reigning Norris Trophy winner, however, may prove to be one injury too many.
Burns has paced the Sharks with 50 points (10 goals, 40 assists), and was ninth in the league in average ice time (25:22) entering Sunday. San Jose is currently carrying Tim Heed as its seventh defenseman, but Heed has only played in one game since Jan. 13.
DeBoer told reporters that he expected Burns would travel on San Jose's upcoming four-game road trip. Defenseman Justin Braun, as well as captain Joe Pavelski, told reporters after Sunday's win that they were confident Burns would not miss any time.
POSTGAME REACTION: Justin Braun after scoring his 2nd goal of the season pic.twitter.com/7gsppAIepv— Sharks on NBCS (@NBCSSharks) February 19, 2018
"He'll be fine," Braun said. "He's just dealing with something, but he'll be fine. He's that way -- he won't miss a game."