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Sharks win in the daylight too
SJ pounces on rattled Stars 5-2
3/19/09 - By Mike Lee -

Afternoon matinees haven’t always been a strong suit for the Sharks, and a slow start on Saturday had all the makings of a wasted opportunity to pull closer to the top of the Western Conference standings. San Jose head coach Todd McLellan didn’t seem to care about history or any other excuse. The effort he was getting from his team early on wasn’t to his liking, so he let them know about it after the visiting Dallas Stars jumped out to an early lead. The message got through, because the Sharks would go on to score 4 straight en route to a big 5-2 at HP Pavilion.

The win closed out the season series between San Jose and Dallas, with the Ssharks taking 5 of 6 games against the Stars this season. More importantly, it allowed the Sharks to climb back to within a point of the Western Conference lead. San Jose trails Detroit by a single point with 11 games to play.

Saturday’s contest opened with scoring chances for each team right off the opening face off. Dallas would then dictate play for the next 7 minutes, out-shooting the 8-2.

"I think tonight we slept a little bit early," said McLellan. "The first ten minutes we weren't the better team, but once we got ourselves into it, and woke up a little bit we were doing a lot of things that we needed to do."

Loui Eriksson would give the Stars the 1-0 lead at 7:30, by staking a Brendan Morrison feed at the Sharks blueline, then racing around defenseman Rob Blake on the right side. Erikisson looped around the Sharks net, then tucked a wrap-around inside the left post while Sharks netminder Evgeni Nabokov tried diving to shut the door.

A Stephane Robidas hooking penalty on Brad Staubitz entering the Stars zone put the Sharks on the power play at 12:28 and the Sharks would make Dallas pay. Patrick Marleau dished the puck to Joe Thornton near the right corner, but the Stars failed to collapse on the big centerman. Expecting him to pass, the Stars left Thornton sitting with the puck long enough for the former league MVP to pick his shot, which he slid under Marty Turco to knot the game at 1-1.

"Brad (Staubitz) has found a way right now to be a sparkplug for our team," added McLellan. "Whether it's on the forecheck or being physical, he drew the penalty tonight and got us going. We needed to score the next one, I felt at that time to get ourselves back on the positive side and he did a very good job of it."

The Sharks would step up the pressure on the very next shift. Brad Lukowich put a shot on net from the right side that Turco stopped, but he thought he had it covered in the crease. The puck actually slipped past his pad, sitting near the left post. Devin Setoguchi jammed the loose puck into the net and the Sharks had goals 29 seconds apart.

"We were sitting back in the first 10 minutes," said Setoguchi. "We were on our heels, then got one on the power play to get us going. Ever since then we kept going with it. A little lacsadaisical early in the 3rd, but we kept our composure and kept going."

Dallas tried to get the Sharks off their game by targeting Milan Michalek on the next faceoff. Mike Ribeiro went after Michalek, drawing Joe Pavelski into a response. The ploy worked, earning Pavelski a cross checking penalty. San Jose’s power play would kill off the penalty, allowing the Sharks to head into the 1st intermission with the 1-goal lead.

An expedited icing call with 5:37 left in the 2nd period led to the next Sharks goal. After Dallas sent a puck the length of the ice, linesman Ryan Galloway blew his whistle well before anyone touched the puck. The faceoff was moved back down into the Stars zone and the Stars were not allowed to change players. Pavelski lost the faceoff, but the puck bounced off Trevor Daly’s skate, right back to the Sharks centerman. Pavelski recoiled and fired a shot past Turco for the 3-1 lead.

The Stars protested the play, but there would be no retraction of the call or the goal. Riled up by the sequence, Dallas lost focus on the next shift.

"It was pretty much a reaction," said Pavelski. "We tried running a little play off it. When you get the puck in that area and sticks are flying and pucks are bouncing, it's just get the puck on net. It his Turco in the chest and went in."

Milan Michalek put San Jose up by 2 goals 19 seconds later by bouncing a shot off Brad Richards skate and into the goal. With Michalek hovering with the puck between the right post and the corner Devin Setoguchi made a bee-line for the net. Richards tried covering Setoguchi, but his momentum carried him into the crease where the deflection occurred.

Nabokov got himself into a pickle later in the period when he tried covering a loose puck by laying down on top of it. The puck made its way to a Stars player outside the crease, but the Sharks goaltender got his glove up to deny the scoring chance.

Stephane Robidas cut the lead to 4-2 with a slap shot from the blueline at 5:17 of the 3rd period after the Sharks failed to clear the puck. Ribeiro screened Nabokov by cutting in front of the net right as Robidas’ shot reached the crease.

Michalek took a cross checking penalty with 1:16 to play and Stars head coach Dave Tippet pulled Turco to give the Stars the 2-man advantage. Marleau intercepted a crossing pass by Ribeiro at the blueline then raced up ice to deposit the short-handed empty-net goal.

"I think we were very good early, then we gave up the two quick goals and we chased from there, we couldn't get the momentum back," said Tippett.

Game Notes:

The injury bug continued to strike the Sharks roster on Saturday. Blake was injured early in the 2nd period and did not return. Marcel Goc suffered what appeared to be a serious injury to his left leg midway through the 3rd period. He stayed down after getting checked awkwardly behind the Stars net and had to be helped off the ice. The Stars didn't fare much better. Richards broke his hand and will be out indefinitely.


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1 2 3 T
DAL 1 0 1 2
SJ 2 2 1 5
1st period - 1, DAL, Eriksson 33 (Morrison, Ribeiro), 7:30. 2, SJ, Thornton 23 (Marleau, Boyle), 13:05, (pp). 3, SJ, Setoguchi 26 (Lukowich, Pavelski), 13:34.
2nd period - 4, SJ, Pavelski 21 (unassisted), 14:17. 5, SJ, Michalek 21 (Setoguchi, Pavelski), 14:36.
3rd period - 6, DAL, Robidas 3 (Grossman, Ott), 5:17. 7, SJ, Marleau 37 (unassisted), 19:00, (sh), (en).
1st period - Robidas, DAL (hooking), 12:28; Pavelski, SJ (cross checking), 13:41.
2nd period - Modano, DAL (hooking), 5:41; Shelley, SJ (cross checking), 15:51.
3rd period - Sydor, DAL (hooking), 7:18; Moen, SJ (boarding), 12:23; Ott, DAL (slashing), 16:00; Michalek, SJ (cross checking), 18:44.
Shots Saves
DAL - Turco 29 25
DAL - empty net 1 0
SJ - Nabokov 25 23
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
DAL 10 5 10 25
SJ 12 9 9 30
Power Play Conversion
DAL 0 of 4
SJ 1 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Joe Pavelski
Devin Setoguchi
Milan Michalek
Referees: Devorski, Lee. Linesmen: Rody, Galloway.

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