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More mistakes, same result
Stars steal 3-2 OT win
1/30/06 - by Mike Lee

The Sharks talked a lot about how it will take character to dig them out of the funk that has beset them of late, but even after two players-only meetings, the outcome was still the same on Monday night in Dallas. San Jose blew a 3rd period lead, then fell to the host Stars at the American Airlines Center 3-2 in overtime.

Sharks captain Patrick Marleau tried to lead his struggling club by example, but it did little to help a team that can't put the pieces together. The fact of the matter is, time has probably run out on this team. San Jose sits eight points out of a playoff spot, the same deficit they faced when they acquired Joe Thornton back in December.

Urgency is something a desperate team that has the skill to overcome it uses to motivate. The Sharks elected to expose home grown talent and it has proven costly. The offense is sputtering again and the defense can't keep the opposition off the score board.

The don't even garner any praise from opponents on a night when it looked liked they may actually steal a win.

"We didn't play well," Dallas' Bill Guerin said. "We were lucky to win. We came out flat and made a lot of mistakes. This is a misleading win streak. We're not playing as well as we should."

Dallas played well enough to win their 7th out of their last 10. San Jose has sputtered after starting off January on a promising note. Tied 1-1 going into the 3rd period on Monday night, the Sharks seemed to be poised to show some life once again. Jonathan Cheechoo scored the go-ahead goal eight minutes into the period and things looked they may finally swing in San Jose's favor.

A senseless and lazy penalty would start San Jose's collapse. Kyle McLaren took a hooking penalty at his own blueline after hauled down Steve Ott at 13:30 of the period. The Sharks worked to kill off the ensuing power play, but rookie defenseman Josh Georges got caught out of position and let Sergei Zubov score on a backdoor shot. Bill Guerin setup the goal with a pass through the slot. Georges was guarding a void in space while Zubov easily snuck in down low to tap in the tying goal.

"We took a couple of bad penalties at the end and it cost us big-time," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said.

Jason Arnott would end the evening with 25 seconds remaining in overtime when he stuffed home a putback from the Sharks doorstep after Milan Michalek failed to cover the Stars forward.

The Stars were an average team on Monday night, but they faced a broken and disjointed team that fell prey to inconsistent play and lack of character at the most critical time.

"The effort was there tonight, definitely," Marleau said. "It just goes to show you, even when you have the effort it's hard to win in this league. We didn't get the result we wanted but I think we took a step in the right direction."

Notes:

The Sharks recalled right wing Steve Bernier before the game. Bernier skated on 16 shifts and had two shots on goal in 13:27 of ice time.


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Scoring
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 0 1 1 0 2
DAL 1 0 1 1 3
1st period - 1, Dallas, Boucher 11 (Zubov, Arnott), 6:00, (pp).
2nd period - 2, San Jose, McCauley 9 (Dimitrakos, McLaren), 4:15, (pp).
3rd period - 3, San Jose, Cheechoo 28 (Thornton, Smith), 8:02. 4, Dallas, Zubov 9 (Guerin, Barnes), 15:23, (pp).
Overtime - 5, Dallas, Arnott 19 (Morrow, Robidas), 4:24.
Penalties
1st period - Gorges, SJS (hooking), 5:05; Hagman, DAL (hooking), 9:31; Ott, DAL (cross-checking), 15:22.
2nd period - Ott, DAL (holding), 2:38; Smith, SJS (interference), 5:47; Barnes, DAL (hooking), 8:51; Michalek, SJS (tripping), 12:02; Preissing, SJS (holding), 18:42.
3rd period - Morrow, DAL (boarding), 10:47; Smith, SJS (tripping), 12:10; McLaren, SJS (hooking), 13:30; Thornton, SJS (boarding), 16:29.
Overtime - None.
Goaltending
  Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 28 25
DAL - Turco 16 14
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 6 7 3 0 16
DAL 10 6 9 3 28
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 5
PHO 2 of 7
3 Stars of the Game
Jason Arnott
Sergei Zubov
Bill Guerin
Attendence
17,108
Officials
Referees: Blaine Angus, Kerry Fraser. Linesmen: Andy McElman, Pierre Racicot.

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