The San Jose Sharks (21-12-7) fell to the Dallas Stars (21-17-3) by the final of 2-1 in another low-scoring battle. Dallas scored both of their goals in the first period, and that ended up being all they needed to pull out the victory.
The loss was the second in a row to the Stars, with both teams playing each other once more before the end of the season. There is no doubt the Stars might be looking forward to that game, considering they have won all three games against the Sharks so far. That game (third to last of the season) could have a huge impact on the playoffs, but for now, we will just have to wait.
Unlike their last matchup, the Stars scored twice in the first period to jump out to an early two-goal lead. The first goal was scored by Erik Nystrom on a snipe during a two-on-one. Vernon Fiddler got one of the assists which made it his 10th point in his last six games for the Stars.
Later on in the period Alex Chiasson scored his sixth goal in his sixth career NHL game on the power play with a beautiful deflection in front of San Jose goaltender Antti Niemi, who really did not have a chance. Chiasson got his stick on a shot-pass from Ray Whitney from the point and the puck went off the post and in.
Unfortunately for the Sharks, while they doubled the Stars in shot attempts by a 30-16 margin and outshot them (pucks on net) 12-8, it was Dallas who was out on top after the first 20 minutes of play.
Things picked up again in the third when Erik Cole got in all alone against Niemi after an uncharacteristic turnover by Boyle about four minutes in. Niemi was up to the task though and it was great timing, because immediately afterward, the Sharks drew a penalty and got a chance to get back in the game.
On that power play, Brent Burns scored after he knocked in a loose puck in front of the net. Dallas goaltender Richard Bachman made the original save, but Burns was there put in the rebound to make the score 2-1 Stars.
From then until the end of the game the Stars went into a prevent defense. Every time the Sharks got the puck in the zone, the Stars would just try to get it back out. It was pretty effective until the last 90 seconds of the game, when the Sharks pulled Niemi for the six-on-five advantage. San Jose had a ton of opportunities to score but Bachman was just a notch better. The Dallas defense also blocked quite a few shots in that final flurry to help him out and secure the 2-1 Dallas victory.
GGS 3 Stars
1. Richard Bachman (31 saves)
2. Erik Nystrom (1 goal, +1, 5 hits, 2 blocked shots)
3. Brent Burns (1 goal, 3 shots, 3 hits)