Saturday, March 31, 2012
Stars drop to ninth after loss to Sharks
By Mark Stepneski
The Dallas Stars fell to ninth place in the Western Conference after a 3-0 loss in San Jose on Saturday night and trail the eighth-place Sharks by a point. The two teams meet again Tuesday in Dallas.
The loss was the sixth in the last nine games for the Stars, who were outshot 34-22. The Stars, who have three games left, trail seventh-place Phoenix by two points. The Stars also trail Pacific Division leader Los Angeles by two points.
Joe Pavelski scored two goals for San Jose. Sharks goalie Antti Niemi stopped 22 shots for his sixth shutout of the season. Kari Lehtonen made 31 saves for Dallas.
The Sharks struck in the first minute of the game to take a 1-0 lead. Joe Thornton sent the puck into the slot to Joe Pavelski, who whipped the puck past Kari Lehtonen at the 58 second mark.
The Sharks had three power plays in the period and cashed in on the third one to take a 2-0 lead late in the period. Martin Havlat sent a pass across the crease to Jason Demers, who scored from the right circle with 1:22 left in the first.
The Stars had one power play in the period and had a great scoring chance, but Justin Braun got a stick on Michael Ryder’s attempt on a wide open side of the net.
The Sharks outshot the Stars 12-6 in the period.
The Sharks extended their lead to 3-0 with a goal while the teams were playing at four-on-four. Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s shot from the point was tipped home by Joe Pavelski at the 9:39 mark of the second.
Stars coach Glen Gulutzan did a lot of line juggling in the second and the Stars did create some chances late in the period, but Sharks goalie Antti Niemi made a couple of sharp saves to keep them off the board.
Stars forward Jake Dowell and Sharks forward Andrew Desjardins dropped the gloves in the period.
San Jose outshot the Stars 15-8 in the second and a 27-14 advantage through two periods.
There was no scoring in the period.
The Stars did kill of a lengthy San Jose five-on-three power play.
Stars forward Ryan Garbutt and San Jose’s Torrey Mitchell dropped the gloves in the period.