Dallas Stars: Torrey Mitchell

DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars just keep racking up the points. The Stars ran their winning streak to four games and their points streak to nine (8-0-1) with a thrilling 4-3 shootout win over the San Jose Sharks at American Airlines Center Thursday night.

The Pacific Division leading Stars increased their lead over second place Phoenix to three points and to four points over the third place Sharks. The Stars have a five point lead over Los Angeles, which is fourth in the Pacific Division and ninth in the Western Conference.

“I thought we played real gutsy,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “We played hard. It’s not easy coming back off a road swing and getting that type of performance, but Kari Lehtonen certainly gave us an opportunity to stay in this game long enough to get two points.”

The Stars twice overcame deficits in the third period and did it while playing with just four defensemen. Sheldon Souray (lower body) and Mark Fistric (hand) both left the game and did not return. Stars forward Steve Ott was a late scratch with back spasms.

The Stars got another big game from Lehtonen, who made 45 saves and stopped all five shots he faced in the shootout.

“It was a perfect game to get a lot of shots after getting three-four days rest,” Lehtonen said. “It seemed to be a perfect fit that Bachs (Richard Bachman) played the Vancouver game. I was really fresh. I think that helped.”

Tomas Vincour scored the game-tying goal with 1:15 left in regulation and then scored the only goal of the shootout.

“It feels great. It’s a huge two points for us,” Vincour said. “It doesn’t matter who scores the goal, now is the time to be getting two points every night. Every goal is huge for us and I am glad that I could score a goal but, like I said, it doesn’t matter who scores the goal.”

Lehtonen stopped 16 of 16 shots in the first period and the Stars were able to grab the lead at 12:16 of the second period. Just moments after Lehtonen made a sharp pad save on San Jose’s Ryane Clowe, Stars forward Michael Ryder broke in on net at the other end to beat San Jose goalie Antti Niemi.

The Sharks tied the game with the less than a second remaining in the second period on a goal by Torrey Mitchell and then took the lead just 25 seconds into the third on a goal by Patrick Marleau.

“You never want to give up late goals, but you’ve got to shrug those off pretty quick and get back at it,” said Stars forward Jamie Benn.

Benn tied the game at the 6:42 mark of the third, leading a rush from deep in the Dallas end and then taking a pass from Adam Burish at the other end and beating San Jose from close range.

San Jose took a 3-2 lead with 3:32 remaining when Joe Pavelski banged home the rebound of a Dan Boyle shot.

But with Lehtonen pulled for the extra attacker, the Stars scored with 1:15 remaining as Vincour scored off a scramble in front of the San Jose net.

The Stars’ penalty kill came up big in overtime, stopping a San Jose power play.

In the shootout, Lehtonen stopped all five San Jose shooters and Vincour beat Niemi with a backhand shot for the lone goal.

"I knew what I wanted to do before I went out there,” said Vincour. I just went on the ice and knew that I was going to go backhand."

For San Jose, it was another tough loss. The Sharks fell to 2-7-3 over their last 12 games.

“Yeah, same old story. Good games don’t count at this time of year, it’s putting up points,” said Clowe. “I know we got a point, but we had the lead twice in the third and didn’t hold onto it. You either do it or you don’t play after the regular season.”


*The Stars are 8-1-2 over their last 11 games.

*Stars forward Michael Ryder extended his points streak to eight games (6 goals, 3 assists).

*Jake Dowell returned to the lineup after missing the last seven games with a broken finger.

*Adam Pardy and Toby Petersen were healthy scratches for the Stars.

*Thursday’s attendance was 16,812

Stars get off to bumpy start on road trip

December, 9, 2011
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.”


*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.

Stars rally to down Sharks, 3-2

March, 5, 2011
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.


“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



Raycroft (backup)

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

Stars fall in overtime to Sharks, 4-3

December, 16, 2010

The Dallas Stars ran their home points streak to 11 games (9-0-2) but they only got one point, losing 4-3 in overtime to the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night at American Airlines Center. Logan Couture’s power play goal at 1:20 of overtime was the game-winner for the Sharks. Brenden Morrow, Loui Eriksson and Tom Wandell scored goals for the Stars. Kari Lehtonen stopped 39 shots in returning to the net after missing the last four games with back soreness.

First period

The Dallas Stars and San Jose Sharks are tied 1-1 after one period at American Airlines Center.

The Stars’ penalty kill came up big early in the game, stopping the Sharks on a five-on-three power play that lasted for 1:39. Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen made five saves on the five-on-three.

Just as he came out of the penalty box to make it a five-on-four, Jeff Woywitka had a prime shorthanded scoring chance but it was denied by Sharks goalie Antero Niittymaki.

The Sharks opened the scoring at 10:05 with an even strength goal off the rush. Devin Setoguchi took a pass from Joe Pavelski and scored into the open side of the net to make it a 1-0 game.

The Stars tied the game with a power play goal with 50.2 seconds left in the period. Loui Eriksson won a puck battle at the San Jose blue line, skated to the slot and set up Brenden Morrow, who scored from the right circle.

Some notes after one period.
  • The Sharks outshot the Stars 16-6 in the period.
  • The Stars were 1-1 on the power play.
  • San Jose was 0-3 on the power play.
  • The Stars won 8 of 14 faceoffs in the first period.
Second period

The San Jose Sharks lead the Dallas Stars 3-2 after two periods of play at American Airlines Center.

The Stars took the lead midway through the second period by cashing on their second power play chance of the game. Loui Eriksson got to the rebound of a Brad Richards shot from the point and roofed the puck over Sharks goalie Antero Niittymaki at the 9:26 mark.

But the Sharks answered just 37 seconds later to tie the game at 2-2. Torrey Mitchell beat Kari Lehtonen with a shot from the slot off the rush at 10:03 of the second period.

The Sharks made it a 3-2 game less than two minutes later when Devin Setoguchi scored his second of the game, whipping a shot past Lehtonen from the top of the right circle off the rush at the 11:49 mark.

Some notes after two periods.
  • The Sharks outshot the Stars 7-6 in the second period and have a 23-13 advantage for the game.
  • The Stars are 2-2 on the power play through two periods.
  • San Jose is 0-3 on the power play.
  • The Stars have won 19 of 33 faceoffs through two periods.
Third period

The Stars killed off a San Jose power play early in the third and then drew even at the 7:56 mark when Tom Wandell circled out from behind the San Jose net and scored on a shot from the right circle to make it a 3-3 game.

The Stars came close to taking the lead with 4:26 remaining, but James Neal hit the post from point blank range.

The Sharks went on a 4:00 power play with 49 seconds remaining after Mike Ribeiro was called for high sticking Dany Heatley. The Stars killed off the first 49 seconds to get the game to overtime.


The Sharks had 3:11 of power play time left when overtime began and scored 1:20 into the extra period when Logan Couture ripped a shot from the slot past Kari Lehtonen.

Stars-Sharks thoughts & observations

November, 19, 2010
Some thoughts and observations after the Dallas Stars rallied from a 4-2 deficit to defeat the San Jose Sharks 5-4 in overtime Thursday at American Airlines Center.
  • From a pure entertainment standpoint that game ranked high. It had everything – plenty of scoring, lots of shots, lots of intensity, some fights, a late rally and an overtime finish.
  • It was a big win for the Stars, who have now won five straight at home and five of eight overall. Give them credit. They could have folded the tent after blowing a two-goal lead and falling behind by two goals. But they kept pushing, got pucks and people to the net and they found a way to win. “These games are huge,” said Stars captain Brenden Morrow. “We knew this team was playing its third [game] in four [nights] and we just wanted to keep pressuring strong on the forecheck and I think it took until the last five minutes of the third period before we started getting some good chances. We kept our feet moving, we drew some penalties and got some goals.”
  • “We found a way,” said Stars coach Marc Crawford. “We got through all the mess. We got through all the turmoil and shows you’re becoming a pretty good team when you can get through the mess.”
  • Another quote from Crawford: “It’s a character builder because we stuck with it. Whether it was just sheer guts and determination by a handful of players or just collectively – the whole group finding a way – at the end of the day we found a way and that is huge for our team. Because if you look at the alternative that’s no fun and winning is. Pretty poetic, isn’t it?”
  • So what’s it all mean in the big picture? That’s to be determined. It’s a long season. Short term, it was a big two points against a divisional rival and 10-7-0 looks better than 9-8-0.
  • It was kind of funny – not from the San Jose perspective of course – that this game mirrored the Sharks’ loss in Colorado Wednesday night. They led by two goals, had a goal that would have extended the lead to three goals waved off because it was put in with a high stick, then gave up two late goals and lost in overtime.
  • A big night for Mike Ribeiro, who has no doubt been frustrated with not scoring a goal in the first 16 games. He scores two huge goals – the game-tying one with 2:06 left in regulation and then the winner in overtime. This could help get that second line going and provide some added punch to the top line which provided some big offense tonight with James Neal scoring twice, including the key late goal that made it a 4-3 game. Neal (2 goals, 1 assist), Brad Richards (1 goal, 2 assists) and Loui Eriksson (2 assists) were a productive trio again tonight.
  • I thought the Stars were excellent in the first period, or at least up until the very end of it. The shots were basically even, but the Stars had the better chances, had built a 2-0 lead and looked to be in good shape. Then Scott Nichol splits the Stars’ defense, scores a goal late in the period to make it a 2-1 game going into the second. That was a huge turning point, gave the Sharks some momentum and they built on it.
  • The Stars’ penalty kill came up big in this game. Went 5-5 and it killed off a double minor to James Neal that ran from late in the second into early in the third. Power play scored once. Special teams advantage to the Stars on this night.
  • A quote from Crawford on the Richards-Torrey Mitchell scrum that led to both players getting a 10 minute misconduct: “Their guy came out off the faceoff and went right to him. Had everything been seen – but it was at whistle – Mitchell should have been thrown out of the game. As it was, it was an altercation and that’s the rule – you get 10 minute misconducts. They didn’t catch that Mitchell had started it, but it was very clear on the video that Mitchell comes off the bench. Brad’s actually waiting below the face-off circle. Here’s a guy who was a Lady Byng candidate and he knows he’s so valuable to us on the ice, the last thing he wants to do is be off for 10 minutes and it ended up being very detrimental to us. That was part of the turmoil we had to get through in the game. At least one thing, Brad was very fresh and we used him a lot in the third period.”