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Saturday, March 5, 2011
Stars rally to down Sharks, 3-2

By Mark Stepneski

The Dallas Stars improved to 2-0-1 on their current road trip and ran their points streak to five games, rallying to beat the San Jose Sharks 3-2 Saturday night. Jamie Benn, Loui Eriksson and Jason Williams scored for the Stars, who moved into sixth place in the Western Conference with the two points. Kari Lehtonen made 29 saves. San Jose had an eight-game winning streak come to an end.

Quotable

“It was a gritty effort. Anytime you’re behind a goal in an opposition building and you find a way to win you are doing something special. We were tired tonight. It was the back end of a back-to-back and the back end of three in four nights. Again, it was a real gutsy, gritty effort by our group.” – Stars coach Marc Crawford

“We lost leads the last couple of games, so it was nice to show that we could do it. … It was a good team effort and a nice win.” – Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen.

“I thought the way we played at the end to protect the lead was much better. We did a lot of good things tonight.” – Stars coach Marc Crawford

“I didn’t’ think we were sharp enough especially early, the first period, it took us too long to get in and we wasted some valuable minutes when we thought we could maybe establish some momentum.” – Sharks coach Todd McLellan

*The Stars improved to 20-5-7 in games decided by one goal.

*The Stars are 8-18-2 when trailing after two periods. The eight wins lead the league.

*The Stars have won 11 of the last 16 games in San Jose.

*Alex Goligoski led the Stars with 27:41 of ice time, his second straight game of playing more than 27 minutes.

*Stars forward Jamie Benn has points in 10 of his last 13 games (7 goals, 7 assists).

*Benn's shorthanded goal was his third of the season and the team's eighth.

*Stars forward Loui Eriksson extended his points streak to five games (4 goals, 2 assists).

First period

The Stars went shorthanded 1:00 into the game, but scored shorthanded to take the early lead. Jamie Benn made a great play to snag a long pass from Stephane Robidas, broke in on net all alone and beat Sharks goalie Antti Niemi for his third shorthanded goal of the season at the 1:19 mark.

But the Sharks bounced make to tie midway through the period. Torrey Mitchell got to a rebound off the end boards, centered it and Kyle Wellwood tipped it past Kari Lehtonen to make it a 1-1 game.

The Stars were without Jamie Langenbrunner (upper body), Brad Richards (concussion-like symptoms) and Nicklas Grossman (hip).

The Sharks were without defensemen Dan Boyle (upper) body and Kent Huskins (upper body) and center Scott Nichol (upper body).

Second period

The Sharks took the lead at the 1:22 mark of the second period when Patrick Marleau finished off a two-on-one break to make it a 2-1 game.

The Stars got their first power play chance of the game two minutes later and created some good chances, but couldn’t cash in. Sharks goalie Antti Niemi made a nice glove save on Alex Goligoski and Jeff Woywitka hit a post.

Third period

The Stars killed off a San Jose power play to open the third period and then tied the game at the 7:37 mark when Loui Eriksson scored off the rebound of a Mark Fistric shot from the right point.

The Stars took the lead with 7:12 remaining in game when Jason Williams came out from behind the net and his centering pass bounced off traffic and through the legs of Niemi to give the Stars a 3-2 lead.

Dallas’ penalty kill, which was 3-3 in the game, came up big in the final minutes of the game, killing off a San Jose power play chance to preserve the lead.

Stars lineup

Morrow-Ribeiro-Burish/Petersen/Eriksson
Eriksson-Benn-Vincour
Eriksson-Wandell-Williams
Sutherby-Petersen-Barch

Goligoski-Robidas
Woywitka-Daley
Skrastins-Fistric

Lehtonen
Raycroft (backup)

Scratched: Injured:  Langenbrunner (upper body), Richards (concussion-like symptoms), Grossman (hip)