Dallas Stars: Logan Couture



DALLAS -- The opportunities were there for the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night, but the finish wasn’t. And now they are perilously close to being finished in the Western Conference playoff race after a 5-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks at American Airlines Center.

“It stings,” said Stars captain Brenden Morrow. “You’d like to be able to control your own fate. We had that tonight, we let it go and now we are going to need a lot of help.”

The loss left the Stars three points behind the eighth place Sharks, four points behind seventh place Phoenix and four points behind Pacific Division leading Los Angeles with two games remaining. The Stars will need to win both games and hope for at least one of those teams to falter.

“It’s going to be tough, but we just can’t quit,” said Morrow. “Stranger things have happened. We are going to need a lot of help, some people to do us some favors. “

The Stars, who have lost seven of their last ten games, didn’t do themselves any favors Tuesday night. They missed on a 57 second five-on-three power play with the game tied 1-1. San Jose scored the game-winning goal on the power play.

“They got their third goal on the power play, and that can be a big difference in the hockey game,” said Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas. “We score on the five-on-three, and we’ve got a five-on-four after that and we get another one, maybe it’s a different game. But we didn’t.”

After going up 2-1 in the game in the second period, they allowed the Sharks to tie the game just 32 seconds later.

“It’s always the shift right after a goal you need a good shift, and we just didn’t get it,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “It got them right back in the game. We had no chance to build off that momentum of that goal.”

The Stars had a great chance to tie the game with a little more than five minutes, but Jamie Benn’s breakaway bid was turned away by Sharks goalie Antti Niemi. About 30 seconds later the Sharks scored to extend their lead to 4-2.

“We got to spring Jamie on a breakaway, but we were already in trouble at that point,” said Gulutzan. “It would have been nice, but there were a few things throughout the game that we could have done better.”

The Stars had the momentum early in the game, dominating play outshooting the Sharks 8-1 midway through the first period. But the Sharks got on the board 12:09 into the game when Daniel Winnik put a rebound past Kari Lehtonen, who appeared to be interfered with just before the puck went into the net.

The Stars answered late in the period when Brenden Morrow came out from behind the goal line and beat Niemi with a sharp angle backhand shot at the 17:47 mark.

The Stars had a big chance to take the lead when they had 57 seconds of five-on- three power play time that started late in the first and had 38 seconds remaining when the second period began. But they couldn’t get a shot on net, and then failed to take advantage of the remaining five-on-four time.

“We just didn’t execute,” said Gulutzan.

The Stars did take the lead at even strength at the 11:10 mark. Jamie Benn sent a pass from behind the goal line to Alex Goligoski, who beat Niemi with a shot from the point.

But the Sharks scored just 32 seconds later when Dominic Moore sent a puck from behind the goal line to T.J. Galiardi, who roofed a shot over Lehtonen.

“About two weeks ago we were talking about those. We call them bump-up goals,” said Sharks coach Todd McLellan. “Right after you get scored on when you do, then you go out, win a draw, play in the other team’s end and get a big goal.”

The Sharks took the lead with a power play goal with 2:36 left in the second. Martin Havlat centered the puck from the right boards and Logan Couture redirected it past Lehtonen to make it a 3-2 game.

The Stars had a great chance to tie with just over five minutes remaining when Benn got a breakaway, but his backhand bid was stopped by Niemi.

“Huge, if he doesn’t make that it’s a different game,” said Sharks center Joe Thornton. “It’s a set play. We’ve seen him do it in the past. We just kind of fell asleep. He’s a world-class goalie and he makes that save. Saved our bacon again tonight.”

About 30 seconds later, Thornton scored off a wrist shot from the right circle to make it a 4-2 San Jose lead with 4:50 remaining in the game. Ryane Clowe added an empty net goal to make it a 5-2 final and give the Sharks the sweep of a crucial home-and-home series with the Stars.

“The two games against Dallas were the two biggest games of the year,” said McLellan. “We’re in a playoff series, we talked about that. When you can win back-to-back games in a playoff series – one at home and one on the road – you usually set yourself up pretty well. Very big, considering that four points went into our account and none went into theirs.”

And now the Stars will move onto play at Nashville, where they’ll need a win to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.

“You have to move forward and now we need help,” said Gulutzan. “You just start preparing and get ready for Nashville. It’s business as usual. There’s no other way to look at it. It’s business as usual. We’ve got to go win a game.”

Notes

*The Sharks won five of six games against the Stars this season. Not including the goal awarded for the shootout win, the Sharks outscored the Stars 25-10 in the season series.

*The Stars have two games remaining in the regular season. They play at Nashville Thursday and host St. Louis Saturday.

*The Stars are 0-11 on the power play over their last four games and 1-21 (4.8%) on the PP over the last seven games.

*The Stars have allowed six power play goals over the last five games and are 17-23 (73.9%) on the penalty kill during that stretch.

*Stars RW Radek Dvorak missed his fifth straight game with an ankle injury.

*Toby Petersen, Reilly Smith, Tom Wandell and Adam Pardy were healthy scratches for Dallas.

*Tuesday’s attendance was 18,584, a sellout.

Sharks hammer Stars, 5-2

February, 3, 2012
2/03/12
1:48
AM CT
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.

Notes

*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.

Back-t0-back woes

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.


Stars fall to Sharks, 5-2

February, 2, 2012
2/02/12
10:20
PM CT
The Dallas Stars quest for three straight wins fell short in San Jose Thursday night as they lost 5-2 to the Sharks. The Stars are now three points behind Minnesota for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Stars are now 0-8-1 in the second game of back-to-backs this season. Steve Ott and Jamie Scored for the Stars. Richard Bachman stopped 32 of 37 shots. San Jose outshot the Stars 37-21 and won 40 of 52 (77 percent) faceoffs.

First period

The Sharks struck 4:42 into the game to take the early lead. A Brent Burns shot from the point deflected off Sharks forward Michal Handzus and past Stars goalie Richard Bachman.

Bachman made some big stops to keep it a one-goal game. He made a nice stop on a blast from Joe Thornton and then stopped Joe Pavelski on a breakaway and then denied Pavelski’s rebound bid.

But the Sharks extended the lead by taking advantage of the game’s first power play when Pavelski’s shot from the point made its way through traffic and past Bachman at the 16:32 mark.

The Sharks outshot the Stars 15-7 in the period.

Nicklas Grossman, who missed Wednesday night's game with the flu, was back in the lineup. The Stars dressed seven defensemen scratched Jake Dowell from the fourth line.

Second period

The Stars killed off the remaining 40 seconds of a San Jose power play to open the period and then thwarted another full Sharks power play a short time later.

The Stars then got a couple of power plays and cashed in on the second one to cut the San Jose to 2-1. As Steve Ott was trying to bust in on net, Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle tried to clear the puck away and ended up it firing it into his own net at 12:41 of the second.

But the Sharks went on their fourth power play less than a minute later and scored to take a 3-1 lead. Patrick Marleau tipped in a Brent Burns centering pass at the 14:59 mark.

Less than two minutes later, Nicklas Grossman turned the puck over to Joe Pavelski, who set up Joe Thornton, who had an easy tap in to give the Sharks a 4-1 lead.

The Sharks outshot the Stars 13-4 in the second period and had a 28-11 advantage through 40 minutes.

Third period

Jamie Benn scored off a rebound at 6:22 of the third to cut San Jose’s lead to 4-2, but that was as close as the Stars would get.

Ryane Clowe scored later in the period to give the Sharks a 5-2 lead.

The Stars outshot the Sharks 10-9 in the third. San Jose had a 37-21 advantage for the game.

Stars lineup

Ott-Benn-Ryder
Morrow-Ribeiro-Eriksson
Nystrom-Fiddler-Dvorak
Wandell-Burish

Souray-Robidas
Goligoski-Larsen
Fistric-Daley
Grossman

Scratched: Dowell, Petersen, Pardy
Injured: None

Benn goes next to last in All-Star draft

January, 26, 2012
1/26/12
9:26
PM CT
Stars forward Jamie Benn was almost the last player selected in Thursday night’s NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft, but Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara decided that Benn would be the 37th player selected and not the 38th.

Benn and San Jose’s Logan Couture were the last two players left in the draft and it was Chara’s decision as to which player would be picked next and which player would be the last one left.

“It’s never easy to leave one guy standing, to be the last one,” Chara said as he made his selection. “But Jamie really deserves to be picked because he had surgery a couple days ago and he still showed up. That’s a big credit to him. So I am picking Dallas Star Jamie Benn.”

Couture, as the last player to be picked in the draft, received a car.

“It was a little bit of a win-win there. Get picked or get a car,” said Benn. “I’m happy I got picked.”

Benn said the experience was fun and a little tense.

“Coming down to the wire it was a little nerve-wracking, but fun at the same time. We’re here for a good weekend and I am looking forward to it,” Benn said. “I don’t think [where you get picked] matters. I think just getting the chance to be at an All-Star game is a pretty good honor. For Zdeno to throw out a shout out there was really nice of him.”

Chara had the first overall pick in the draft and selected Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk, meaning Benn will be teammates with one of the players he was looking forward to seeing at the All-Star festivities this weekend.

“Maybe Datsyuk, he’s pretty cool. He’s a player I like to watch,” Benn said when asked earlier this week about the players he was looking forward to skating with in Ottawa. “(Claude) Giroux, (Steven) Stamkos, all the top players in this league are pretty exciting to watch and to get a chance to skate with them is pretty cool.”

Giroux and Stamkos will skate for Team Alfredsson, which is captained by Ottawa’s Daniel Alfredsson. Alfredsson’s first pick and the second overall pick of the draft was his Ottawa teammate, defenseman Erik Karlsson.

The All-Star Skills competition is Saturday and the NHL All-Star Game is Sunday. The selections in Thursday’s draft are below.

Stars get off to bumpy start on road trip

December, 9, 2011
12/09/11
1:24
AM CT
The Dallas Stars were hoping for a strong start to their five-game road trip, but they didn’t get it in San Jose Thursday night as they fell 5-2 to the San Jose Sharks.

The Stars fell behind 2-0 in the first 82 seconds of the game, rallied to tie but then the Sharks blew the game open with three quick goals in the second half of the second period.

“They poured it to us and put bodies in front. They were going hard to the net,” said Stars captain Brenden Morrow, who had a goal and assist in his return from a back injury. “When you throw pucks at the net and you’ve got people banging and crashing, good things happen. We didn’t do it enough and they did.”

The Stars were outshot 36-20 in the game, including 26-10 over the final 40 minutes. Andrew Raycroft played the first two periods and stopped 20 of 25 shots. Richard Bachman, making his second NHL appearance, played the third period and made 11 saves on 11 shots.

“I thought he was real clean in the third,” Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said of Bachman. “It’s not easy to come into those situations. They had some good chances and he made some saves. We’ll have a decision to make tomorrow on who is going to start in LA. We’ll take a look at everything and make our decision.”

The loss was the fifth in the last six road games for the Stars, who are now 6-7-0 away from home this season.

“We’re going to come back to work tomorrow and do our best to forget about this game,” said Morrow. “We talked about it before we left Dallas that we’re going to take each game individually and try not to look ahead. We’re going to let this one sink in, be [ticked] off for the night and come back to work tomorrow.

The Stars got off to a slow start, falling behind 2-0 in the first 1:22 of the game. After a Mike Ribeiro turnover in the San Jose zone, Sharks forward Ryane Clowe set up Logan Couture, who scored from the slot off the rush 1:07 into the game.

Just 15 seconds later the Sharks made it 2-0 when Andrew Raycroft couldn’t handle the rebound of a Justin Braun point shot and Jamie McGinn scored into an open net.

The Stars cut the lead to 2-1 when a Morrow shot from the right boards deflected off Mike Ribeiro and into the net at 13:37 of the first.

The Stars tied it at 6:30 of the second when Ribeiro sent a cross-ice pass to Morrow, who scored off a one-timer from the right circle with the Stars on the power play.

But San Jose rattled off three goals in a 6:04 span of the second to break the game open. Ryane Clowe scored off the rebound of a Joe Thornton wrap-around at the 11:53 of the second. After a Thornton faceoff win, Brad Winchester tipped home a Brent Burns point shot at the 13:48. After a Jamie Benn turnover in his own zone, Torrey Mitchell scored from the right circle with 2:03 left in the third.

“I didn’t think we played too bad,” Gulutzan said. “We got off to a rough start in the first, but we got one back late and tied it up. I didn’t mind our game up to (the third goal). After that I thought we lost our luster. I wish we could have mustered more in the third. They were hungry team tonight. We have to be better than that.”

Notes

*Stars defenseman Mark Fistric served the first game of a three-game suspension for a hit on New York Islanders forward Nino Niederreiter.

*Stars captain Brenden Morrow returned after missing six games with a back injury.

*Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski returned after missing eleven games with a broken thumb.

*Stars defenseman Trevor Daley returned after missing three games with a back injury.

*Adam Pardy and Toby Petersen were healthy scratches for Dallas.

Frustration mounts as Stars' skid hits five

November, 20, 2011
11/20/11
12:01
AM CT


The Dallas Stars ended their scoreless drought Saturday night, but the losing streak continued. The Stars dropped their fifth straight game, falling 4-1 to the San Jose Sharks at American Airlines Center.

“It sucks. We all hate losing and we’re all very proud individuals,” said Stars forward Steve Ott. “Our work ethic has definitely been on the up slope the past two games and the only way we are going to get out of this funk is by continuing to play that way. There were a couple of breakdowns that ended up in the back of our net, but I thought our work ethic was 100 times better than it has been.”

But the results weren’t there for the Stars, who have been outscored 21-4 during the five-game slide and 16-1 over the last ten periods of play.

“You can see it (the frustration), especially the second half of the game. Our emotions are high. I think we’re just a little rattled,” said Stars goaltender Andrew Raycroft, who made 34 saves in the game and fell to 0 -4-0 on the season. “We just need to keep our heads down, work hard and get ourselves out of it that way - with lots of hard work and some patience.”

Special teams played a key role Saturday night. San Jose’s first two goals came on the power play. Once again the Stars were on the short end of the number of power plays handed out in the game. San Jose had five chances with the man advantage to two for the Stars. During their five-game slide the Stars have been on the power play nine times while their opponents have had 23 opportunities.

”I might sound like a whiny coach, but I had some beefs with the officiating when we were 11-3 and now we’re 11-8 and I still have them,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “I think we are on the wrong end of a lot of calls, but I think it is our fault. We whine like little babies throughout the game. … That’s going to change. We’re going to change that culture here. We’ve got to do it by zipping our mouths one step at a time. Refs are human and if you whine that much they are not going to give you calls. That’s the bottom line. And we’re not getting them. We’re not getting some calls and it’s our fault.”

Said Sharks coach Todd McLellan: "Prior to the game we talked about composure and discipline. We knew they'd taken a ton of penalties, they were the second-most penalized team in the league. We thought that would come into play at some point and we needed only two power-play goals. I was happy we responded physically but we were quite disciplined."

The Stars had a strong first period, outshooting the Sharks 14-10, but still found themselves down 1-0 heading into the first intermission. San Jose cashed in on its first power play chance when Joe Thornton hit pinching defenseman Brent Burns, who put the puck into the open side of the net 4:58 into the game.

The Sharks extended the lead to 2-0 by taking advantage of their third power play early in the second. A Thornton pass bounced off the skate of Stars defenseman Sheldon Souray and right onto the stick of San Jose forward Logan Couture, who beat Raycroft from point blank range.

It was a 3-0 game a little more than three minutes later when the Stars turned the puck over in their own zone and Brad Winchester scored from the slot.

San Jose made it 4-0 early in the third. Michal Handzus won a puck battle along the boards and centered the puck to Jamie McGinn, who scored from close range.

The Stars finally got on the board at the 6:22 mark of the third when Mike Ribeiro scored off the rush from the left circle, snapping the Stars scoreless drought at 194:11.

But that was it for the Stars, who took a lot of penalties out of frustration when it appeared Saturday’s game was out of reach.

“We have to play less frustrated when adversity hits. That’s going to change. I’ll tell you guys this honestly, I’ll use this forum to vent,” said Gulutzan. “I’ll be glad to go back to Saskatchewan if we don’t get out of this, but at the end of the day we’re going to do it the way we’re going to do it. We’re going to be men, we’re going to have character, we’re going to shut our mouths and we’re going to play. If that’s not good enough then so be it.”

Notes

*There were a total of 100 penalty minutes in Saturday’s game including three fights and four misconducts.

*New Stars owner Tom Gaglardi attended Saturday night’s game. He will be introduced at a press conference Monday afternoon.

*Jake Dowell and Philip Larsen were healthy scratches for the Stars.

*Saturday’s attendance was 13,711.

Calder Trophy finalists

April, 19, 2011
4/19/11
11:20
AM CT
The league has started releasing the finalists for the various awards. Today it was the Calder Trophy, which goes to the NHL's top rookie. The finalists are Logan Couture of San Jose, Michael Grabner of the New York Islanders and Jeff Skinner of Carolina.

Here's the release from the league:
San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture, New York Islanders right wing Michael Grabner and Carolina Hurricanes center Jeff Skinner are the three finalists for the 2010-11 Calder Trophy, awarded “to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition,” the National Hockey League announced today.

Members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association submitted ballots for the Calder Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 22, during the 2011 NHL Awards from the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel Las Vegas. The 2011 NHL Awards will be broadcast by VERSUS in the United States and CBC in Canada.

Following are the finalists for the Calder Trophy, in alphabetical order:

Logan Couture, San Jose Sharks

Couture was a key contributor in all areas on a Sharks team that captured its fourth consecutive Pacific Division title. The 22-year-old center ranked second on San Jose in goals (32), game-winning goals (eight) and plus-minus (+18); placed third in shots (253) and face-offs (888); fourth in power-play goals (10) and sixth in points (56). He led all rookies in game-winning goals, power-play goals, shots and face-offs, finished second in goals and points and was fifth in plus-minus. The Sharks' first-round pick in the 2007 Entry Draft tallied seven of his game-winning goals on the road, the most ever by an NHL rookie.

Michael Grabner, New York Islanders

Grabner didn't start the season with the Islanders, but ended it as the club's goals leader with 34, a total that also led NHL rookies. Claimed on waivers from Florida on Oct. 5, Grabner surged near the top of the rookie scoring race with a run of 16 goals in 15 games from Jan. 15 to Feb. 15, a period also highlighted by a first-place finish in the Fastest Skater event at the 2011 NHL SuperSkills. His six-game goal streak from Feb. 1-15 matched the longest by any player this season. The 23-year-old Villach, Austria native led all rookies in shorthanded goals (six), ranked second in shots (228) and seventh in plus-minus (+13).

Jeff Skinner, Carolina Hurricanes

The Hurricanes reaped immediate dividends from their top pick in the 2010 Entry Draft as the 18-year-old Skinner, selected seventh overall last June, led all rookies in scoring as the League's youngest player. His performance over the first half of the season earned him a berth in the 2011 NHL All-Star Game, played in front of a hometown crowd in Raleigh. He went on to lead all rookies in points (63), rank second in assists (32) and third in goals (31). Skinner netted his 30th goal of the season Apr. 6 against Detroit, becoming the seventh-youngest player in NHL history to reach the milestone (18 years, 325 days).

Stars blown away in San Jose

April, 1, 2011
4/01/11
1:25
AM CT
The Dallas Stars have had a lot of success in San Jose over the years, but not on Thursday night. And it was a night in which they really needed some success. The Stars missed another chance to gain ground in the playoff race, losing 6-0 to San Jose Sharks.

The Stars are three points behind eighth-place Chicago and both teams have six games remaining. The Stars trail seventh place Anaheim by six points (with one game in hand).

"[Thursday’s game] was a bit of a mess, but we still live to fight another day,” Stars captain Brenden Morrow said. “We play in a couple of days and these are the big ones, Los Angeles and Anaheim. We’re running out of games. We’ve been saying we’ve got games, we’ve got points but we’re running out of them. It’s starting to be do or die.”

The Stars didn’t “do” on Thursday. The Sharks outshot the Stars 52-29 and chased Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen early in the third period after making it a 4-0 game.

“They were the better team out there,” said Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas. “It was as simple as that.”

The Stars started strong in the game, playing a fast-paced and fairly even first period with the Sharks. San Jose scored late in the period when Dan Boyle knocked home the rebound of a Joe Pavelski spinning backhand shot off the rush.

The Sharks ramped it up in the second period, getting a power play goal from Logan Couture early in the period and then a Marc-Edouard Vlasic late the period to make it 3-0. In between those two goals the Stars had three power play chances and opportunity to cut into the lead, but couldn't take advantage.

A Patrick Marleau goal off the rush early in third ended the night for Lehtonen, who allowed four goals on 33 shots. Andrew Raycroft played the rest of the way, allowing two two goals – to Marleau and Ben Eager on 19 shots.

“The first period had lots of battle in it, but it seemed we were unable to match them in the second and third,” Stars coach Marc Crawford said. “They looked like a lot fresher club than we did. That’s no excuse for us. We got beat. We got beat soundly tonight. They were full points for the win. We’ve just got to be more determined than we showed tonight. It’s not good enough. We know it’s not good enough. The consolation is we live to fight another day and on the other side of it, it was the whole group that wasn’t good enough.”

The Sharks, who improved to 24-4-4 over their last 32 games, clinched a playoff spot and moved into second place in the Western Conference.

"I like where our team is at right now with the pressure we've had to play with the last two months," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "We've never had the opportunity to put it on cruise control and I don't want us to push that button at all. I want us to keep going so when that tournament does start, we're at the top of our game and not trying to find it."

Sharks rout Stars, 6-0

March, 31, 2011
3/31/11
10:17
PM CT
The Dallas Stars’ winless streak hit five games (0-2-3) with a 6-0 loss at San Jose Thursday night. The Stars remain three points out of a playoff spot with six games left in the season. The Sharks outshot the Stars 52-29. Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen was pulled early in the third period after giving up four goals on 33 shots. Andrew Raycroft played the rest of the game and stopped 17 of 19 shots.

Quotable

“The first period had lots of battle in it, but it seemed we were unable to match them in the second and third. They looked like a lot fresher club than we did. That’s no excuse for us. We got beat. We got beat soundly tonight. They were full points for the win. We’ve just got to be more determined than we showed tonight. It’s not good enough. We know it’s not good enough. The consolation is we live to fight another day and on the other side of it, it was the whole group that wasn’t good enough.” – Stars coach Marc Crawford

“It was a bit of a mess, but we still live to fight another day. We play in a couple of days and these are the big ones, Los Angeles and Anaheim. We’re running out of games. We’ve been saying we’ve got games, we’ve got points but we’re running out of them. It’s starting to be do or die.” – Stars captain Brenden Morrow

“We were a little concerned coming off the four day layoff, but I think we came out and were obviously energized and the guys used the four days to their advantage.” – Sharks coach Todd McLellan

Notes

*The Stars are 1-4-3 in their last eight games.

*San Jose won the season series against the Stars. The Sharks were 3-1-2 for eight points and the Stars were 3-2-1 for seven points.

*The Stars lost the season series against each of their Pacific Division opponents.

*The 52 shots against Thursday were the most allowed by the Stars this season.

*The Stars were shut out for the fifth time this season.

*Krys Barch, Toby Petersen and Steve were the only three Dallas players to have an even rating in the game.

First period

The Sharks scored the only goal, which came with 3:48 remaining. Sharks center Joe Pavelski put a spinning backhander on net off the rush and defenseman Dan Boyle scored on the rebound.

The Sharks came close to extending it to a 2-0 lead with just under two minutes left in the period, but Stars goalie stopped Sharks forward Devin Setoguchi on a breakaway.

Brandon Segal was the lone healthy scratch for the Stars. Karlis Skrastins, Adam Burish, Nicklas Grossman and Brian Sutherby remain out with injury.

Second period

The Sharks extended their lead to 2-0 with a power play goal at the 4:30 mark of the second period. Logan Couture knocked a rebound out of the air with his hand and then backhanded the puck into the open side of the net for his 31st goal of the season.

The Stars had three straight power play chances later in the period, but couldn’t take advantage. Stars forward Loui Eriksson had an excellent chance on the third one, but Sharks goalie Antti Niemi made a sharp pad save.

San Jose made it a 3-0 game with 1:25 left in the period. Devin Setoguchi helped win a puck battle along the boards and then went to the front of the net, setting a screen on a Marc-Edouard Vlasic shot from the left point.

Third period

Sharks forward Patrick Marleau scored from the left circle off the rush at the 2:30 mark of the third, making it a 4-0 game. That ended the night for Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen, who gave up four goals on 33 shots.

Andrew Raycroft came in, playing in his first game since February 19. He stopped 17 of 19 shots, allowing goals by Marleau and Ben Eager.

Marleau scored on a close range backhand shot after taking a centering pass from Joe Thornton.

Eager scored off a the rush, making a nice move to go forehand to backhand between his legs before scoring his goal.

Stars lineup

Morrow-Ribeiro-Williams/Benn
Ott-Richards-Eriksson
Vincour-Benn-Langenbrunner
Barch-Wandell-Petersen
Eriksson-Richards-Langenbrunner

Goligoski-Robidas
Woywitka-Daley
Goligoski-Lukowich
Fistric-Robidas

Lehtonen
Raycroft

Injured: Grossman (knee), Skrastins (leg), Burish (leg), Sutherby (back)

Scratches: Segal

Power play units

Morrow-Ribeiro-Eriksson-Richards-Goligoski
Ott-Benn-Langenbrunner-Daley-Robidas

Penalty kill units

Ott-Benn-Goligoski-Robidas
Ribeiro-Morrow-Fistric-Daley
Eriksson-Langenbrunner-Goligoski-Robidas

Kari Lehtonen busy in return to ice

December, 16, 2010
12/16/10
11:45
PM CT
Kari Lehtonen returned to the net Thursday night after missing four games with a sore back, and the San Jose Sharks kept him busy.

The Stars netminder faced 43 shots in a 4-3 overtime to the Sharks at American Airlines Center.

“The first two periods I was trying to find myself and get used to playing again,” Lehtonen said. “In the third period I got comfortable and it started to feel more normal.”

The Stars needed Lehtonen early in the game, when San Jose went on a five-on-three power play for 1:30 just six minutes into the contest. Lehtonen stopped five shots on that five-on-three and 15 of 16 in a first period that ended with the two teams tied.

“He played really well. He stood tall early on the penalty kill. That was a pretty important time of the game and he was big,” said Stars coach Marc Crawford. “For Kari, in his first game back after a week off, it was a pretty good outing. He was real good in the third period, I thought.”

Lehtonen ended up with 39 saves on 43 shots in the game. He was strong in the third period, stopping all 17 shots he faced as the Stars overcame a 3-2 deficit to the tie the game and get it to overtime, where the Sharks won in with a power play goal by Logan Couture.

“I think in the first two periods I made some questionable reads and I made some mistakes I wasn’t happy about,” said Lehtonen. “There were a couple of goals I wasn’t happy with. … It was good to get a lot of shots and as the game went on I got more comfortable.”

Special teams make a point for Stars

It was a good night for the special teams of the Dallas Stars. The power play went 2-2 in the game and the power play killed off 6 of 7 San Jose power plays, including a 1:39 five-on-three advantage early in the game.

Win the special teams battle and a lot of times you win the game, but not on this night. San Jose ended up with the timely special teams goal, getting a power play tally from Logan Couture in overtime that gave San Jose a 4-3 win.

The special teams play was, however, a key factor in getting the Stars at least a point on this night, including a penalty kill in the final minute that got the game to overtime.

“It was huge to get that kill,” said defenseman Stephane Robidas. “They get a goal there and we don’t get a point. That was big.”

Notes
  • Defenseman Matt Niskanen was a healthy scratch for a second straight game.
  • Forwards Toby Petersen and Krys Barch were both activated from injured reserve Thursday. Petersen played against San Jose and Barch was a healthy scratch.
Quotable

“We went through stretches where we weren’t too good on the PK or the PP and we end up winning games. Tonight we score two goals on the power play and the PK is pretty good and we end up losing. That’s just the way it is and sometimes you’ve got to battle through it.”

Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas

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