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Special teams come up big in Texas
Stars not good enough
11/19/11 - By Mike Lee -

The Dallas Stars played their third game in four nights on Saturday, and it showed. After jumping out to one of the hottest starts in the league, reality is starting to catch to the Stars who dropped a 4-1 decision to the Sharks. The loss was the 5th straight for Dallas, who have allowed three division foes to pass them in the standings, including the Sharks, who now sit atop the Pacific Division standings.

San Jose has played fewer games than everyone else in the division, but they have the same number of points as the Phoenix Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings. They had the advantage of fresh legs on Saturday night, and they used that advantage to carve up the Stars.

The Stars lone goal allowed them to snap a goal scoring drought that last 194 minutes, stretching across 4 different games. It would be the lone highlight for Dallas.

The Sharks dissected the Stars, beating them twice on the power play, and adding a pair of even strength goals. Dallas netminder Andrew Raycroft surrendered all four Sharks tallies, facing double digit shot totals in all three periods.

Special teams got in on the act early when defensemen Brent Burns scored his 4th goal of the season on a power play 4:58 into the game. Burns was setup by a pretty Joe Thornton feed through the crease as the defenseman pinched from the point.

Logan Couture added his 7th of the season 1:23 into the 2nd period lifting a shot past Raycroft from the Stars doorstep after Thornton fed the young forward the puck from the right corner.

Dallas tried to take the motivational approach to a comeback by dropping the gloves. Jim Vandermeer and Krys Barch went at it, before Jamie McGinn and Eric Nystrom engaged in a spirited battle.

The Sharks grinders added their names to the score sheet to help put the game out of reach. Brad Winchester scored his 2nd goal of the season three minutes after Couture's tally. The big Sharks forward took an Andrew Desjardins feed in the slot and swept the puck past Raycroft on a screen in the slot.

Jamie McGinn made it a 4-0 Sharks lead at 4:34 of the 3rd period, putting a one-time chance past Raycroft from the slot after Michal Handzus put a centering pass on his tape form the right corner.

Mike Ribiero ended Antti Niemi's bid for a shutout with 13:38 to play, using a screen from the high slot and thus ending the Stars scoreless streak.

Steve Ott did little on the ice in terms of generating any offense, so he relied on his antics to try and goad the Sharks. San Jose responded by taking it out on Ott's teammates. Several slashes went uncalled, but it did rile up the Stars.

That was fine with San Jose, who used to the opportunity to exact some vigilante justice on the Stars. Both teams took liberties, resulting in 42 penalties minutes in the final period. The teams combined for 110 total penalty minutes.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 1 2 1 4
DAL 0 0 1 1
1st period - 1, SJ, Burns 4 (Thornton, Marleau), 4:58, (pp).
2nd period - 2, SJ, Couture 7 (Thornton, Marleau), 1:23, (pp). 3, SJ, Winchester 2 (Desjardins), 4:52.
3rd period - 4, SJ, McGinn 2 (Handzus, Havlat), 4:34. 5, DAL, Ribiero 2 (Eriksson), 6:22.
1st period - Grossman, DAL (holding), 4:29; D. Murray, SJ (delay of game) 5:14; Petersen, DAL (hooking), 14:55.
2nd period - Morrow, DAL (hooking), 0:55; Vandermeer, SJ (fighting major), 4:13; Barch, DAL (fighting major), 4:13; McGinn, SJ (fighting major), 4:15; Nystrom, DAL (fighting major), 4:15; Havlat, SJ (holding the stick), 10:09; Daley, DAL (hooking), 10:09; Marleau, SJ (hooking), 10:18; Clowe, SJ (10 min misconduct), 10:18; Ott, DAL (diving), 10:18; Fiddler, DAL (10 min misconduct), 10:18; Ribiero, DAL (roughing), 15:56.
3rd period - Winchester, SJ (hooking), 8:44; Boyle, SJ (10 min misconduct), 16:08; Ott, DAL (10 min misconduct), 16:08; Clowe, SJ (fighting major), 18:16; Barch, DAL (unsportsmanlike conduct), 18:16; Barch, DAL (fighting major), 18:16; A. Murray, SJ (tripping), 18:31; Mitchell, SJ (roughing), 18:48; Benn, DAL (elbowing), 18:48; Benn, DAL (roughing), 18:48.
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 31 30
DAL - Raycroft 38 34
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 10 18 10 38
DAL 14 7 10 31
Power Play Conversion
SJ 2 of 5
DAL 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Logn Couture
Joe Thornton
Patrick Marleau
Referees: Kowol, Lee. Linesmen: Lazarowich, Cherrey.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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