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Poor decisions burn Sharks
Focus & intensity absent
2/1/07 - by Mike Lee

The Dallas Stars may want to plan five-day trips to the Bay Area more often. After soaking up great weather, world class dining and a little site-seeing this week, they wrapped up their trip with a 4-point deposit to their playoff standing s account after taking a second straight game from the Sharks on Thursday night.

In doing so, they creep to within three points of the Sharks in the Western Conference Standings. More importantly, they figured out that if you shut down the Sharks power play, you shut down the Sharks chances of winning the game.

The Stars clamped down on the Sharks power play, refusing to let San Jose generate any momentum. Things got so bad for the host Sharks, that they went over 20 minutes without registering a shot on goal.

The game got off to a precarious start for the Sharks when Joel Lundqvist pumped a shot past Evgeni Nabokov on the 1st shot of the game just 44 seconds into the contest. Nabokov had a clear look at the shot, but it still managed to squeeze through his pads for the 1-0 Stars lead.

San Jose would answer 33 seconds later when Mark Bell slipped a Joe Thornton feed under Marty Turco's pad after the Stars goaltender fell trying to stop a Thornton shot.

Stu Barnes would give the Stars a 2-1 lead on a goal with under 5 minutes to play in the opening period.

Sharks head coach Ron Wilson didn't wait to see if Nabokov's erratic would shape up, so he pulled his goaltender in favor of Vesa Toskala to start the 2nd period. Toskala would surrender a pair of goals as well, but his defense can take credit for those later lapses.

Things got chippy after Eric Lindros led with a knee as he checked Sharks defenseman Doug Murray. As Murray fell to the ice, his stick swung around, striking Lindros in the side of the helmet. Lindors took exception and skated across the width of the rink to land a cross check to Murray during a stoppage. Murray immediately dropped the gloves an ripped off his own helmet in preparation for spat with the papier-mache big man. Krys Barch intervened by dropping the gloves with Murray.

The Stars took advantage of two Sharks penalties incurred 11 seconds apart seven minutes into the 2nd period. With almost a full two minutes of a 5-on-3 power play, Jere Lehtinen sent a pass through the Sharks crease, but defenseman Scott Hannan redirected the puck through Toskala's legs as he tried to intercept the pass.

The Sharks would enjoy a brief power play themselves after Jeff Halpern was sent off for tripping Marc-Edouard Vlasic, but referee Bill McCreary followed up the call with an awful goaltender interference penalty on Ryane Clowe evened things up at 4-on-4. San Jose would use the extra space to convert on a Patrick Marleau goal at 13:18. Joe Thornton skated up the right wing boards, before sending a diagonal pass to Marleau in the slot. The Sharks captain redirected the puck from 20-feet out, slipping inside the left post to cut Dallas' lead to 3-2

All the momentum the Sharks had built on Marleau's goal was erased on a broken play two minutes into the final period. Murray tried to reintroduce himself to Lindros as the Stars tried to clear their own zone, but the Sharks dfenseman ended up taking Milan Michalek out of the play. That sprung Mike Ribeiro and Barch on a 2-on-0 play that ended with Barch scoring 1st NHL goal.

Wilson's comments seemed pointed at Murray's decision to even the score with Lindros, but the Shraks head coach wasn't the only one with comments directed at the young defenseman.

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1 2 3 T
DAL 2 1 1 4
SJ 1 1 0 2
1st period - 1, DAL, Lundqvist 2 (Halpern), 0:44. 2, SJ, Bell 7 (Thornton, Clowe), 1:17. 3, DAL, Barnes 8 (Halpern, Lundqvist), 15:16
2nd period - 4, DAL, Lehtinan 16 (Zubov, Modano), 7:32, (pp). 5, SJ, Marleau 26 (Thornton, Ehrhoff), 13:18.
3rd period - 5, DAL, Barch 1 (Ribeiro, Lindros), 2:24.
1st period - Modry, DAL (holding), 2:10; Halern, DAL (interference), 17:16; Robidas, DAL (holding the stick), 19:31.
2nd period - Lindros, DAL (cross checking), 3:17; Barch, DAL (10 min misconduct), 3:17; Barch, DAL (fighting major), 3:17; Barch, DAL (instigator), 3:17; Murray, SJ (ighting major), 3:17; Murray, SJ (high sticking), 3:17; Bell, SJ (roughing), 6:54; Brown SJ (hooking), 7:05; Halpern, DAL (tripping), 12:00; Clowe, SJ (goaltender interference), 13:06; Grier, SJ (charging), 17:10.
3rd period - Robidas, DAL (hooking), 13:39; Klemm, DAL (roughing), 15:38; Michalek, SJ (roughing), 15:38.
  Shots Saves
DAL - Turco 20 18
SJ - Nabokov 8 6
SJ - Toskala 8 6
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
DAL 8 4 4 16
SJ 7 4 9 20
Power Play Conversion
DAL 1 of 4
SJ 0 of 6
3 Stars of the Game
Jeff Halpern
Krys Barch
Joel Lundqvist
Referees: Bill McCreary, Dan O'Rourke. Linesmen: Mike Cvik, Vaughan Rody.

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