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Late heroics snap losing skid
Marleau wins it in OT
10/26/05 - by Mike Lee

Great start. Horrible middle. Fantastic finish. That sums up the Sharks 5-4 overtime win in Dallas over the host Stars on Wednesday night at American Airlines Center. San Jose scored two goals within 3 seconds of each other in the opening period, then had to claw back after allowing four consecutive goals to the Stars. Marco Sturm's tally with 20 second remaining in regulation prevented the Sharks from dropping their fifth straight game, and Patrick Marleau ended things with a breakaway goal in the extra period.

After mustering only five goals total in their previous four games, the Sharks matched that tally in a see-saw battle against their division rival. The Stars thought they had won the game 20 seconds into overtime when Brenden Morrow punched the puck past Sharks goaltender Nolan Schaefer, who had replaced starter Vesa Toskala seven minutes into the 2nd period.

Morrow's goal was disallowed by referee Kelly Sutherland, who ruled that Schaefer had been pushed into the net. Marleau converted three minutes later after Stars defenseman Phillipe Boucher coughed the puck up in the Sharks zone. Marco Sturm slid the puck up ice to Marleau who had nothing but daylight in front of him. The Sharks captain snapped a shot between Stars goaltender Marty Turco's pads for the game winner.

"We're finally getting some breaks," Marleau said. "The games in the past, we've been all over teams early, then we've given up a goal and it deflates the bench. But to battle back is a great confidence booster."

Marcel Goc and Scott Hannan had staked the Sharks to a 2-0 lead early in the 1st period. Goc's goal was his first regular season NHL goal (he had a goal in the playoffs in the 2003-04 season). Hannan added his goal 36 seconds later after Niko Dimitrakos made a nice centering feed from along the right wing boards.

Content with a two-goal lead, the Sharks went into hibernation mode, allowing the Stars to score at will. Jere Lehtinen cut the Sharks lead to 2-1 with a goal late in the opening period.

Goc had a chance for a second goal late in the period after he was awarded a penalty shot for being hooked on a breakaway attempt. The rookie winger fooled Turco with a shimmy in the slot, but his backhand attempt sailed over the crossbar.

Dallas would bag three 2nd period goals before the midway mark of the game. Trevor Daley notched his second career NHL goal at 6:40, then rookie Jussi Jokinen bagged a pair of goals to extend the Stars lead to 4-2.

Jonathan Cheechoo kept the Sharks close with a goal that was reminiscent of his overtime winner against Dallas last season. The Sharks forward grabbed a loose puck as he skated from behind the net, before pivoting and firing a shot past a fallen Turco.

San Jose failed to generate any serious scoring chances in the 3rd period, with the exception of a Josh Langfeld shot that was smothered by Turco midway through the period. With another road lose staring them in the face, the Sharks got a huge break when Morrow was whistled for high sticking Alyn McCauley with 38 seconds remaining in regulation.

The Sharks pulled Schaefer for the extra attacker, and were rewarded when Sturm punched home a rebound from outside the right post after Scott Thornton threw the puck into a scrum in from of the Stars goal. The Sharks had the Stars outnumbered 3-1, which included an unguarded Sturm.

"There's no excuse to give away games like that, especially division games," Stars coach Dave Tippett said.

San Jose dodged a bullet against a division rival in Dallas, and get another crack in Los Angeles to wrap up their season long six-game road trip on Saturday.

"The test was, could we handle the adversity in the second period and we did," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said.

Notes:

Toskala was pulled after aggrevating a groin injury after allowing Jokinen's first goal of the evening.

Mike Modano left the game with an undisclosed injury late in the 3rd period.



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Scoring
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 2 1 1 1 5
DAL 1 3 0 0 4
1st period - 1, San Jose, Goc 1 (McLaren), 6:27. 2, San Jose, Hannan 1 (Dimitrakos, Primeau), 7:03. 3, Dallas, Lehtinen 6 (Klemm, Ott), 15:09.
2nd period - 4, Dallas, Daley 1 (Morrow), 6:40. 5, Dallas, Jokinen 3 (Modano, Lehtinen), 7:12. 6, Dallas, Jokinen 4 (Lehtinen, Modano), 9:39. 7, San Jose, Cheechoo 4 (Marleau, Michalek), 10:24.
3rd period - 8, San Jose, Sturm 5 (Thornton, Cheechoo), 19:40, (pp).
Overtime - 9, San Jose, Marleau 5 (Sturm), 3:20.
Penalties
1st period - Hannan, SJS (hooking), 2:40; Erskine, DAL (holding), 8:13; Lehtinen, DAL (holding), 10:35; Davison, SJS (tripping), 16:19
2nd period - Kapanen, DAL (hooking), 3:21
3rd period - McCauley, SJS (hi-sticking), 4:41; Daley, DAL (hooking), 7:04; Thornton, SJS (roughing), 7:25; Ott, DAL (roughing), 7:25; Arnott, DAL (slashing), 9:44; Ehrhoff, SJS (holding), 15:01; Morrow, DAL (hi-sticking), 19:22
Overtime - None
Goaltending
  Shots Saves
SJ - Toskala 10 7
SJ - Schaefer 13 12
DAL - Turco 41 36
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 9 10 19 2 41
DAL 7 6 8 2 23
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 6
DAL 0 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Patrick Marleau
Jussi Jokinen
Marco Sturm
Attendence
15,774
Officials
Referees: Rob Shick, Kelly Sutherland. Linesmen: Mike Cvik, Darren Gibbs.

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