Brenden Morrow scored a power-play goal with 2:02 left, and
Teemu Selanne's apparent goal as time expired was disallowed as the
Stars swept the season series from the Sharks with a 4-3 victory on
In a finish that encapsulated the Sharks' frustrations in their
lost season, Dallas held on to first place in the Western
Conference -- but only after a five-minute video review that was too
inconclusive to overturn referee Mike Leggo's ruling on the ice.
The Sharks had an extra attacker when Selanne skated toward the
net and put a shot under Marty Turco's arm. Leggo initially ruled
time had expired, but the play went all the way to Toronto for
"Yeah, it was a goal," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "I don't
know what the confusion is. It's as close as you can get, but the
puck was over the line with .1 seconds left."
Both teams stood awkwardly for several minutes as the video
review judge called the league office in Toronto for a ruling. The
verdict brought cascades of boos from frustrated fans at the Shark
Tank, since the puck appeared to cross the goal line at nearly the
same moment time expired.
"The video doesn't really support one way or the other," Leggo
said. "Our process is to make a decision on the ice, and my
decision was to wave off the goal. I thought it didn't cross the
line before I heard the horn."
"I can't believe they didn't call that. This is a joke,"
Selanne said. "Thank God this game didn't mean anything, but this
is the NHL. They should at least get the right call."
Jere Lehtinen had a goal and an assist, Ulf Dahlen got his 300th
career goal, and Scott Young also scored as the Stars stayed one
point ahead of Detroit in the race for home-ice advantage through
the conference finals. The Red Wings have 104 points and a game in
hand on the Stars, who have 105 points.
Turco made 24 saves for Dallas, which swept the five-game season
series against the defending Pacific Division champions. The Stars
already have clinched this season's division title, while the
Sharks have sunk to last place.
"I was looking the other way, so I don't know," Turco said of
Selanne's final shot. "If I'd been looking the right way, I
probably would have stopped it. I was definitely curious to find
out what the decision was."
The Stars were happy to win, but coach Dave Tippett was
displeased by Dallas' defensive play in the final two periods. A
lack of concentration nearly cost the Stars a point against their
once-mighty division rivals.
"On the bench, I thought it was in the air on its way in, but I
couldn't tell what part of the air it was in," Young said. "We'll
see how big it is at the end of the year, but right now, it's real
Selanne ended a 15-game goal-scoring drought with an earlier
goal, and Marco Sturm scored two goals _ including the 100th of his
career. The Sharks never led while losing for the ninth time in 12
Vesa Toskala, who shut out the Red Wings two days earlier, made
34 saves for San Jose.
Dallas didn't get a minor penalty until 9:33 remained, but the
Sharks capitalized on their first power play. Vincent Damphousse
slipped behind the net and made a backward pass to Sturm, who tied
the game with his career-best 27th goal.
Young got the Stars' first goal just 67 seconds into the game,
backhanding a rebound through Damphousse's legs and off Toskala's
hip into the net. It was Young's 23rd goal in 42 career games
against the Sharks.
The longest scoring slump of Selanne's career ended late in the
first period -- though the Finnish Flash didn't exactly earn his
26th goal. His shot ricocheted off Turco and was kicked into the
net by the rear skate of Sergei Zubov, who couldn't see the puck.
The Stars are 4-3-0-2 in their last nine games. They finish
the regular season with home games against Buffalo, Anaheim and
Nashville. ... Dahlen and Patrick Marleau both have four-game point
streaks. ... Morrow fought San Jose's Jim Fahey in the third
period, then went to the locker room briefly before returning to
score the game-winner. ... Young has a goal in nine of his last 14
games against the Sharks.