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Stars celebrate with gifts
Sharks home win streak ends at 2
12/15/07 - by Mike Lee

Christmas came early for the Dallas Stars on Saturday afternoon, courtesy of referee Dave Jackson. Questionable calls and lucky bounces were the order of the day in the Stars 4-2 win over the Sharks at HP Pavilion. With the victory, Dallas moves into sole possession of 1st place in the Pacific Division.

Jackson tipped the scales on a game that saw the Sharks dominate the 1st period, with a gift wrapped 5-on-3 power play that shifted the momentum in Dallas' favor. With Matt Carle in the penalty box for lifting the puck over the glass in his own zone, Jackson called a phantom interference penalty on Christian Ehrhoff 18 seconds into Carle's penalty. Referee Kelly Sutherland was positioned down low on the play, but Jackson made the call on the alleged infraction from center ice.

Mike Ribeiro would score on the ensuing two-man advantage by scooping up a loose puck in front of the net while Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov was pinned to the ice by a Stars player.

The Stars took the lead 6 minutes later on an extended 4-minute power play after Sharks captain Patrick Marleau was sent off for cutting Steve Ott with a high stick. The Sharks top ranked penalty kill made it through another 4-minute power play in the opening period, but only managed to hold off Dallas for the first 2:24 of Marleau's infraction. Antti Miettinen deflected a shot by Mike Modano with 3 minutes remaining in the 2nd period to give the Stars their first lead of the game.

San Jose looked destined to roll the Stars, out skating them early and jumping to a 1-00 lead 8 minutes into the game, when Devin Setoguchi converted on a Sharks power play.

In a clear sign that the hockey gods were looking down on the Stars, Brendan Morrow tied the game at 1-1 at the 4:52 mark of the 2nd period on a pass from behind the net that ended up in the Sharks goal. Morrow tried to move the puck, when his pass deflected off Marleau's stick, then floated over the top of the goal, hitting Nabokov in the back squarely between the numbers. The puck dribbled off Nabokov into the crease then rolled into the net.

Patrick Rissmiller restored the Sharks lead 45 seconds later when he took a pass from Mike Grier near the end boards, then circled around to the front of the net and backhanded a shot past Marty Turco.

Jackson's gift 5 minutes later changed everything.

Once the Stars took the lead, San Jose had difficulty generating any offense. Dallas just missed on an easy goal when Nabokov got caught out of the net early in the 3rd period, but Ehrhoff made a save on a Ribiero shot by sliding across the crease to cutoff the shot.

Ott would commit a holding penalty at the midway through the period, but the Sharks misfired on three excellent scoring chances. First Turco stopped a Joe Thornton shot from the top of the crease, the Marelau got handcuffed on a pass from Thornton as he sat just outside the right post. Carle would miss an open net with a shot that sailed wide to kill the chance.

Sharks head coach Ron Wilson would pull Nabokov with just under a minute to play, but San Jose couldn't seem to control the puck. Ott would end any doubt of the game's outcome with an empty-net goal with 41 seconds remaining.

Game Notes:

Craig Rivet took a double minor in the 1st period for cross checking, then instigating a mauling of Ott. Rivet skated across the ice to engage Ott, then unleashed a series of punches that landed squarely on Ott's turtling head.

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1 2 3 T
DAL 0 3 1 4
SJ 1 1 0 2
1st period - 1, SJ, Setoguchi 9 (Thorton, Rivet), 7:54, (pp).
2nd period - 2, DAL, Morrow 12 (Ribeiro, Niskanen), 4:52. 3, SJ, Rissmiller 2 (Grier, Mitchell), 5:37. 4, DAL, Ribeiro 16 (Morrow, Zubov), 10:44, (pp). 5, DAL, Miettinen 5 (Modano, Zubov), 16:56, (pp).
3rd period - 6, DAL, Ott 3 (Erksson), 19:19, (en).
1st period - Grossman, DAL (holding), 2:31; Jokinen, DAL (roughing), 5:01; Goc, SJ (roughing), 5:01; Morrow, DAL (elbowing), 7:45; Ott, DAL (fighting major), 9:41; Rivet, SJ (cross checking), 9:41; Rivet, SJ (instigating), 9:41; Rivet, SJ (fighting major), 9:41; Rivet, SJ (10 minute misconduct), 9:41; Daley, DAL (interference), 16:26.
2nd period - Carle, SJ (delay of game - puck over glass), 10:02; Ehrhoff, SJ (interference), 10:20; Miettinan, DAL (tripping), 11:11; Marleau, SJ (high sticking - double minor), 14:32.
3rd period - Ott, DAL (roughing), 6:01; Michale, SJ (roughing), 6:01; Ott, DAL (hooking), 10:11.
Shots Saves
DAL - Turco 18 16
SJ - Nabokov 21 18
SJ - empty net 1 0
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
DAL 5 8 9 22
SJ 4 9 5 18
Power Play Conversion
DAL 2 of 6
SJ 1 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Dave Jackson
Kelly Sutherland
Craig Rivet
Referees: Dave Jackson, Kelly Sutherland. Linesmen: Ryan Galloway, Brad Lazarowich.

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