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Missed opportunities sink Sharks
SJ blows 2-goal lead in 3rd
1/30/07 - by Mike Lee

The Sharks gagged on a two-goal lead in the 3rd period on Tuesday night, losing to the Dallas Stars in the shootout. Philipe Boucher scored the equalizer with 2.2 seconds left in regulation to help the visiting Stars turn what appeared to be a sure loss into two points at HP Pavilion. The Sharks shootout ineptitude would prove costly one again.

San Jose continued its recent trend of scoring first when rookie Joe Pavelski stuffed a wrap around attempt past Stars goaltender Marty turco. Pavelski was working the puck behind the Dallas net, when Turco teased the Sharks center with an opening on the left side of the goal. Pavelski took the bait and circled around to the left post. Turco cutoff the low side of the goal, but the puck lifted over his shoulder as Pavelski shot the puck up off of Ole-Kristian Tollefsen's stick.

Patrick Marleau scored his 25th of the season by punching a blind backhanded shot from the slot 4 minutes into the 2nd period after Ryane Clowe tried jamming home a shot from in tight. Skating from right to left across the slot, Clowe bounced a short wrister from 15 feet out, but Turco failed to control the puck. Positioned at the top of the crease, Marleau deposited the puck as Stars defenseman Darryl Sydor failed to check the Sharks captain off the puck.

The Sharks power play struggles came to a head when San Jose failed to convert on a lengthy 5-on-3 chance after Joe Thornton was cut with a high stick by Trevor Daly. Curtis Brown missed on an empty net chance with 6 minutes remaining in the period after picking off a pass from Mike Modano in the Stars zone. Turco came out to challenge Brown, but he missed on a kick save as Brown cut left to avoid the pseudo-check. Brown rushed the shot, missing wide right.

Dallas cut the Sharks lead to a single goal early in the 3rd period when Mike Ribeiro intercepted a clearing attempt from Marcel Goc, then skated around two Shark defenders before snapping home a shot from 20-feet. Vesa Toskala got a glove in front of the waist-high shot, but it wasn't enough to stop the blast.

Dallas tried to build on the Ribeiro goal with some up-tempo play on the next shift, but the Sharks managed to repel the attack. An untimely boarding penalty against Sharks defenseman Josh Gorges provided the Stars with one of three power play chances on the night, but Dallas came up empty.

Things opened up in the final 10 minutes of play. Dallas narrowly missed tying the game on a wild exchange that ended with Niklas Hagman bouncing a shot off the right post.

Patrick Marleau missed on a point blank chance with a minute left in regulation after Ryane Clowe, and the opportunity would end up costing the Sharks. Dallas would pull Turco for the extra attacker, which would pay off as Boucher swatted a floater in the slot to tie the game and stun the sellout crowd.

The extra session proved fruitless for both teams, although Dallas came closest to scoring when Jeff Halpern missed on a chance in close after Toskala had fallen down making the first save.

Sharks head coach Ron Wilson made an interesting decision by electing to shoot first, utilizing a new rule, which allows the home team to decide who shoots first. Wilson also decided to utilize shootout newcomers to lead things off.

Ryane Clowe started the shootout with deek that ended with a shot that lifted past Turco. Sergei Zubov would match Clowe with a shot that slipped inside the right post. Pavelski converted with a shot that bounced off both posts, but shootout specialist Jussi Jokinen made it 2-2 with a shot to Toskala's stick side.

Wilson's decision to finish with Patrick Marleau was the wrong one. Marleau's questionable shot selection didn't even come close to the net. Ribeiro would end things moments later with another stick side attempt that Toskala couldn't stop.

The overtime appearance ended the Sharks NHL record of 49 consecutive games without playing in extra time.

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1 2 3OTSO T
DAL 0 0 201 3
SJ 1 1 000 2
1st period - 1, SJ, Pavelski 11 (Michalek, Vlasic), 2:18.
2nd period - 2, SJ, Marleau 25 (Clowe, Thornton), 4:06.
3rd period - 3, DAL, Ribeiro 7 (unassisted), 3:56. 4, DAL, Boucher 14 (Lindros, Ribeiro), 19:57
Overtime - None.
Shootout - SJ - Clowe, Pavelski. DAL - Zubov, Jokinen, Ribeiro.
1st period - Ribeiro, DAL (hooking), 6:26; Barch, DAL (fighting major), 10:03; Clowe, SJ (fighting major), 10:03; Boucher, DAL (boarding), 11:30; Rissmiller, SJ (interference), 15:01; Lindros, DAL (hooking), 15:40; Thornton, SJ (tripping), 16:45.
2nd period - Modano, DAL (tripping), 7:22; Daley, DAL (highsticking, double minor), 7:57; Team, DAL (too many men), 18:41.
3rd period - Turco, DAL (interference), 0:53; Gorges, SJ (boarding), 9:00.
  Shots Saves
DAL - Turco 17 15
SJ - Toskala 28 26
Shots On Goal
1 2 3OT T
DAL 6 3 145 28
SJ 5 7 41 17
Power Play Conversion
DAL 0 of 3
SJ 0 of 7
3 Stars of the Game
Mike Ribeiro
Joe Pavelski
Philipe Boucher
Referees: Stephane Auger, Dave Jackson. Linesmen: Andy McElman, Jean Morin.

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