On the second game of a back-to-back the San Jose Sharks (8-6-3) fell to the Dallas Stars (9-8-1) by the final of 3-1. In what was a pretty back-and-forth game that was also very chippy, San Jose again struggled to score goals.
A few key lineup changes occurred today, one involving Ryane Clowe because of last night’s game when he went onto the ice during an altercation after the whistle. You can read more about it here. Basically, he was unavailable to play today and will have a hearing on Monday regarding the event.
Once again the lineups were mixed with Thornton centering Couture and Pavelski while Marleau was on a line with Gomez and Havlat.
Brent Burns was also injured midway through the first period and did not return for the remainder of the game. On the plus side the Sharks have plenty of depth at defense, and if Burns cannot go in the Sharks’ next game it will likely be Demers who steps in.
The first period came and went without a goal, but it was not for a lack of opportunities. Both teams traded chances and the Dallas Stars even had a 5-on-3 power play for about a minute at the 8:08 mark, but were unable to score. San Jose’s defense had about four blocked shots in that minute alone and Niemi made some stellar saves as well to keep the game scoreless.
The second period was definitely nastier and chippier than the first with a fight thrown in for good measure. Jamie Benn and Joe Thornton went toe-to-toe in that fight and each landed some pretty good punches. What made it even better was their gamemanship before the fight agreeing to take the helmets off for the bout.
The Dallas Stars finally broke the scoreless tie when Jaromir Jagr scored on the power play late in the 2nd period to give his team the 1-0 lead. The assists were credited to Loui Eriksson and Jamie Benn.
At the start of the third, the Stars kept the goals coming, again on the power play, with a goal by Michael Ryder that happened when the Sharks penalty kill unit failed to get the puck out of the zone when they had a chance.
Later on, midway through the period, Thornton gets a great steal and makes a nice move, but is stopped and falls on top of Dallas goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp and in the process picked up a goalie interference play right when Couture put the puck into the wide open net.
The game opened up after that with both teams getting great chances on net, the Stars to open their lead up and the Sharks to pull into a tie. Both goaltenders stood on their heads to keep their teams right where the were.
The Stars then put a dagger into the Sharks when, right after killing a key penalty, they got a goal from Jamie Benn with just over two minutes left in the game and pretty much ended the game. San Jose pulled Niemi at the end of the game but to no avail as the Stars took the win 3-1.
My 3 Stars
1. Jamie Benn (1G, 1A, 1 fight)
2. Cristopher Nilstorp (31 saves)
3. Antti Niemi (25 saves)