The San Jose Sharks (20-11-7) fell to the Dallas Stars (18-17-3) in a shootout by the final score of 5-4. The shootout loss ended their seven-game win streak and ended San Jose’s hopes for flawless homestand.
In the end it was a game the Sharks should have won after having a two-goal lead disappear twice, once in the second and once in the third. On the positive side, San Jose did pick up a point, and overall on the homestand, they picked up 13 out of a possible 14 points catapulting them from outside of the playoffs all the way to the fourth spot in the conference during the seven games.
Newcomer Raffi Torres had a very effective debut for the Sharks by knocking bodies around and creating havoc on the ice. He racked up seven hits and even tallied two assists in what was a very successful start to his run as a Shark, although at the end of the game you could tell he was getting worn out. In fact, his physical play was a catalyst for the T.J. Galiardi goal in the second period that put San Jose back on top 3-2 midway through the period.
Unfortunately the Stars’ resiliency earned them the win in this one. They dominated the third period from start to finish by keeping the Sharks in their defensive zone quite a bit and as such they were able to close that second two-goal gap. Dallas started their comeback six minutes into the third period when winger Alex Chiasson scored his second goal of the game on a tip-in off of a pass from linemate Ryan Whitney as he crashed the net.
Dallas tied the game later on in the third period when Loui Eriksson put home a rebound that dropped right in front of Niemi. The San Jose goaltender took a second too long to locate the rebound, and by the time he found the puck, it was in the back of the net.
In overtime, it was once again Dallas who got the better of the scoring chance, just like in the third period. The shot totals may not show that, as neither team was able to score and the game went into a shootout.
The only goal of the shootout went to Jamie Benn, who fired a wrist-shot by Niemi on Dallas’ first attempt. That goal ended up being the difference as Kari Lehtonen was as perfect three for three in the shootout.
San Jose’s next string of four games will be played in six nights as they head out on a four-game road trip. That trip will take them Columbus, Detriot, Dallas and Phoenix. This will be another test for the Sharks who will be looking to keep up their winning ways on the road, something they have struggled to do all season.
GGS 3 Stars
1. Alex Chiasson (2 goals)
2. Raffi Torres (2 assists, 7 hits)
3. Jamie Benn (2 assists, 3 shots, 3 takeaways)