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Thursday, March 8, 2012
Stars score late to tie, down Sharks in shootout

By Mark Stepneski

The Dallas Stars ran their points streak to nine games (8-0-1) with a 4-3 shootout win over the San Jose Sharks Thursday night at American Airlines Center. The win gave the Stars a four point lead over the Sharks in the Western Conference standings.

Kari Lehtonen made 45 shots and stopped all five shots he faced in the shootout. Tomas Vincour scored the game-tying goal with 1:15 left in regulation and then scored the lone goal of the shootout. Michael Ryder and Jamie Benn also scored for the Stars.

First period

The San Jose Sharks outshot the Stars 16-8 in the first period, but there was no scoring. The Stars had a 7-3 shots advantage through the first 12 minutes, but San Jose outshot the Stars 13-1 over the final eight minutes of the period.

Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen was sharp. His best save came on a Patrick Marleau bid from the slot with San Jose on the power play.

Stars forward Loui Eriksson came close with just over 11 minutes left in the period, but his shot grazed the outside of the post.

Both teams had one power play chance in the period.

Stars forward Steve Ott missed tonight’s game due to back spasms.

Second period

The Stars broke the scoreless tie with 7:43 left in the second period. Just moments after Kari Lehtonen made a big stop on Ryane Clowe, the Stars headed the other way and Jake Dowell set up Michael Ryder, who busted in on the San Jose goal and beat Sharks goalie Antti Niemi.

The Sharks had their second power play of the game late in the period, but couldn’t cash in.

They did tie the game 0.4 seconds left in the period when Torrey Mitchell scored a slick goal, using a forehand to backhand move to slip by Alex Goligoski before beating Kari Lehtonen with a backhand shot.

The Sharks outshot the Stars 14-9 in the second period and had a 30-17 advantage through 40 minutes.

Third period

The Sharks scored just 25 seconds into the third to take a 2-1 lead. Joe Thornton sent a pass from behind the goal line to Patrick Marleau, who skated from the right circle to the slot and beat Lehtonen with a wrist shot.

The Stars had a couple of chances to quickly tie the game, but Niemi made back-to-back stops on Dowell and Tomas Vincour, and Alex Goligoski had a shot go off the post.

Lehtonen came up big a short time later, stopping an Andrew Desjardins bid from the slot to keep it a 2-1 game.

The Stars got the equalizer at 6:42 of the third as Jamie Benn led a rush from deep in the Dallas end and then took a pass from Adam Burish at the other end and slid the puck past Niemi.

The Sharks took the lead with 3:32 remaining when Joe Pavelski knocked home the rebound of a Dan Boyle shot.

The Stars tied the game with 1:15 remaining when Tomas Vincour scored off a scramble in front of the net.


The Stars had a couple of good chances early in OT. Mike Ribeiro had a breakaway, but Marleau tracked him down and broke up the scoring chances. Niemi stopped a Loui Eriksson shot from the slot.

The Sharks went on a power play with 2:23 left in overtime when Michael Ryder was called for holding, but the Stars were able to kill it off.

Stars lineup



Lehtonen (starter)

Injured: Ott (back), Morrow (back/neck)
Scratched: Pardy, Petersen