Friday, February 3, 2012
Sharks hammer Stars, 5-2
By Mark Stepneski
The Dallas Stars’ woes in the second game of back-to-backs continued Thursday night in San Jose. The Stars lost 5-2 to the Sharks, falling to 0-8-1 this season in the second game of back-to-backs.
It didn’t help matters that they ran into a San Jose team that was clicking on all cylinders. The Sharks outshot the Stars 37-21, including 28-11 through the first two periods as they built a 4-1 lead in the game. San Jose won an astounding 40 of 52 (77 percent) in the game.
“I thought they played a real good game start to finish,” Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said of the Sharks. “I thought a good indication were those faceoffs, manhandling us on the draws. I thought they were at the top of their game.
“We didn’t win any battles starting from the faceoff circles to corner. The way they were moving the puck around, we were just chasing it. We were a step behind.”
The Stars (26-22-2) fell three points behind Minnesota for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
“There were a lot of frustrating things tonight. Obviously we didn’t get the result we wanted,” said Stars forward Steve Ott. “There were a lot of little breakdowns. Our faceoff percentage was [bad] and when that happens you are going to chase the puck a lot. We made some costly mistakes that hurt our chances of being in the game.”
The Stars, coming off a 6-2 win in Anaheim on Wednesday, were under the gun in the first 20 minutes Thursday. The Sharks outshot the Stars 15-7 on their way to building a 2-0 lead on an even-strength goal by Michael Handzus and a power play tally by Joe Pavelski.
Only some big saves by Richard Bachman kept it from getting out of hand early. He made several quality stops, including a save on a breakaway by Pavelski and then a second stop on Pavelski’s rebound attempt.
“He made some huge saves,” said Gulutzan. “I thought the first period could have been 5-0. He made some real huge saves.”
The Stars got back in the game on the scoreboard when Ott busted in on net with Dallas on the power play and Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle tried to clear the puck away and accidentally put it in his own net.
But the Sharks got their fourth power play of the night a short time later and cashed in when Patrick Marleau tipped home a Brent Burns centering pass to extend the San Jose lead to 3-1 with five minutes left in the second. The Sharks ended up 2-5 on the power play in the game.
“We took a lot of penalties and they have a lot talent and they want to get on the power play,” Dallas defenseman Stephane Robidas said. “When you give them that many power plays they are eventually going to capitalize on it. That’s exactly what happened.”
Less than two minutes after Marleau's goal, Pavelski picked off a Nicklas Grossman pass in the Dallas zone and set up Joe Thornton, who had an easy tap-in to give the Sharks a 4-1 lead.
Jamie Benn scored early in the third to cut the lead to 4-2, but Ryan Clowe scored later in the period to make it a 5-2 game.
*Stars defenseman Nicklas Grossman, who missed Wednesday’s game with the flu, played on Thursday. The Stars dressed seven defensemen and eleven forwards.
*Jake Dowell, Toby Petersen and Adam Pardy were healthy scratches.
*Stars center Jamie Benn has scored goals in consecutive games since returning from his appendectomy.
*Stars forward Steve Ott has consecutive multi-point games.
*The Stars were 1-2 on the power play Thursday and are 2-5 in their first two games since the break.
*The Stars were 3-5 on the penalty kill.
*Benn lost all seven of his faceoffs. Mike Ribeiro won one of eleven.
*The Stars are 0-3-0 against San Jose this season and have been outscored 14-5.
The Stars are now 4-12-2 in back-to-back games this season, including 0-8-1 in second games. Excluding the extra goal awarded for a shootout victory, the Stars have been outscored 36-14 in those second games.