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Sharks show some late grit to beat Stars
Stalock 44 saves and perfect shootout leads SJ
12/21/13 - By Mike Lee -

On October 17th, the Sharks sauntered into American Airlines Center having opened the season with 6 straight wins. San Jose would trade goals with the Dallas Stars three times before skating to a draw in the overtime period. Dallas would prevail in the shootout on Alex Chiasson's goal, the only scored by either team. The Sharks exacted a little revenge on Saturday night, battling back from a 2-0 deficit, before beating Kari Lehtonen with a lone goal in the shootout.

* The Sharks showed a little grit by digging themselves out of that 2-goal hole, including a big game-tying goal in the 3rd period. San Jose has had a tough time of late in that 3rd period, but they managed to finally be the aggressors in the final 20 minutes of regulation.

* Alex Stalock made his 1st career start on SAP Center ice, and it turned out to be a memorable one. Stalock stopped 44 of 46 shot over 65 minutes, then turned aside all 5 shooters that he faced in the shootout. He got off to an auspicious start, allowing a goal to former Sharks Ray Whitney early in the game, and another to Antoine Roussel in the middle frame.

* Whitney, the Sharks 2nd ever draft pick, sneaked a shot past Stalock 4:48 into the contest with a backhand shot that flipped between defenseman Brad Stuart's legs. Stalock didn't see the puck appear from between Stuart's skates until it was too late, as it sailed over his left shoulder, catching the top right corner of the net.

* Roussel's tally was of the questionable variety, after it appeared that he redirected an Alex Gologoski feed with his left skate. The Sharks argued that Roussel kicked the puck in to the net, but a short reviewed deemed it a good goal. Stalock was positioned as well as could have been with Goligoski positioned to put a shot on net from the corner.

* Referee Mike Leggo cheated the Stars out of a 3rd goal minutes after Roussel's tally when he blew a live puck dead. Stalock failed to cover a loose puck allowing a follow up shot from the top of the crease. The puck clearly crossed the goal line, but Leggo's premature whistle negated the score. With the advent of replay, the defense could always challenge a goal scored after a puck is covered. The play just adds fuel to the argument that the "lost sight" rule is an archaic piece of regulatory nonsense.

* San Jose finally kicked things into gear midway through the 2nd period when Jason Demers snapped a quick feed form Tyler Kennedy from the inside of the right circle. Kennedy skate dup the right wing before slipping a drop pass to the trailing Demers. The shot was too hot for Lehtonen to even wave at.

* Sergei Gonchar took a deflected puck to the chops as he tried pushing a Sharks player out of Lehtonen's way with 7:45 to play in the 2nd period. Gonchar skated immediately to the dressing room for medical attention and did not return. Official word was given in the 3rd period that Gonchar had sustained an "upper body injury."

* The Sharks went 0-for-3 on the power play, to extend their woeful trend on the man advantage. San Jose went 0-for-8 against the Stars this season on the power play after failed to score on a Kevin Connauton interference penalty early in the 3rd period.

* Joe Pavelski tied the game with his 14th goal of the season at 4:24 of the 3rd period, lifting a backhand shot from the slot that squeezed between Lehtonen's left shoulder and the crossbar. Joe Thornton kept a potential clearing attempt from leaving the zone with his long reach, pushing the puck to Pavelski along the right wing boards. Pavelski grabbed the pass and cut across the slot before lifting the puck past Lehtonen.

* Brent Burns whiffed on the Sharks best chance to end it in overtime after Pavelski pumped a shot off Lehtonen's chest protector with a shot from just outside the left post. Burns was hovering near the top of the crease but he missed the puck after waving at it.

* Joe Thornton was the 5th a final shooter for San Jose in the shootout. The team's best passer showed everyone that he can still get a puck past a goaltender. The Sharks captain skated in just to the right of the slot and simply snapped a wrist shot that beat Lehtonen stick side. Stalock saved his biggest save for last, stopping Whitney to wrap up his 4th win of the season. It was the goaltender's first appearance in an NHL shootout.



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Scoring
1 2 3 OT SO T
DAL 1 1 0 0 0 2
SJ 0 1 1 0 1 3
1st period - 1, DAL, Whitney 4 (Horcoff), 4:48.
2nd period - 2, DAL, Roussel 8 (Goligoski, Chiasson), 4:47. 3, SJ, Demers 1 (Kennedy, Desjardins), 11:47.
3rd period - 4, SJ, Pavelski 14 (Marleau, Vlasic), 4:24.
Overtime - None.
Shootout - SJ: Pavelski (miss), Couture (miss), Marleau (miss), Boyle (miss), Thornton (goal). DAL: Seguin (miss), Peverley (miss), Benn (miss), Cole (miss), Whitney (miss).
Penalties
1st period - Fiddler, DAL (hooking), 1:29; Havlat, SJ (high sticking), 11:50; Goligoski, DAL (hooking), 14:03; Brown, SJ (roughing), 16:13.
2nd period - None.
3rd period - Connauton, DAL (interference), 1:52.
Overtime - None.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
DAL - Lehtonen 39 37
SJ - Stalock 46 44
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
DAL 14 17 10 5 46
SJ 10 12 11 6 39
Power Play Conversion
DAL 0 of 2
SJ 0 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Alex Stalock
Joe Pavelski
Ray Whitney
Attendence
17,562
Officials
Referees: Charron, Leggo. Linesmen: Lazarowich, Rody.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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