OTL’s Happen- Alex Chiasson won’t worry about having to by a drink in Dallas for a day or two. The Stars 23 year old rookie scored the only goal in the shootout period as the Stars edged out the San Jose Sharks 4-3 at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas. The Sharks with the shootout loss see their six game winning streak to start the season snapped, however gain a point in the standings in taking three of four possible points in a brief two game road swing. The Sharks had plenty of opportunities to take this game in regulation time and even in the overtime period. However Team Teal was foiled in part by good goal-tending from journeyman Dan Ellis who made 32 saves in net for the Stars. The Sharks also did not help out their own cause by going 0 for 5 on the power play, including a full 62 seconds of 4 on 3 power play time in the overtime period. In their final overtime bid the Sharks again were caught doing more passing than crashing the net. Dallas to be fair seemed to have a little more jump in the game and were able to hang with the Sharks for a full 60 minutes plus the overtime period.
Nine Seconds- The evening started out on a high note for the Sharks as off the opening face off Tyler Kennedy took off with the puck and drilled a slap shot that beat Ellis before most of the crowd was seated. Kennedy scored the second fastest goal in Sharks history in putting Team Teal up 1-0 just nine seconds into the game. The Stars kept Sharks goalie Antti Niemi very busy from the get go as they were able to consistently keep pressure building in the Sharks zone. The Stars who put up 41 shots on goal Tuesday Night in their game in Colorado against the Avalanche made it clear very early on the Sharks defensively would have their work cut out for them. One of the highlights of the game for the Sharks defensively came when the penalty kill units successfully killed off a four-minute double minor penalty to James Sheppard for high-sticking.
Elusive Leads- Niemi would make saves on the first 11 Dallas shots on goal in the first period, however the 12th one proved the one that was most problematic. That 12th shot was a tip in by Tyler Sequin of a rebound coming from a Stephane Robidas slap shot that Niemi could not hold on to. Just moments later however the Sharks would retake the lead at 2-1 when Matt Nieto scored his second goal of the season drilling a slap shot of his own past Ellis on a breakaway. The Sharks would get a chance to add to the lead before the end of the opening period thanks to a Shawn Horcoff interference penalty. The Sharks had some good looks at the net however could not manage to get anything past Ellis. Shortly after the Sharks power play had ended early in the second period the Stars fed off the energy of their penalty kill units. Just 1:53 into the second period Trevor Daley followed up a rebound of a hard shot by Cody Eakin by hammering it past Niemi as he skated past Brad Stuart. From that point on the Sharks would find it tough to keep up with a Stars team that seemed to have a little more energy in reserve. Niemi would see a lot more hard rubber however was able to hold the fort at least for a little while. Later in the middle period Patrick Marleau would take the puck off of a faceoff and skate up the length of the ice before putting up a wrist shot that Ellis blocked. However Marleau was the first one to the puck and managed to wrap it around the back of the goal and bring it back into the left side of the net. Marleau managed to stuff the puck past Ellis as the rubber biscuit was partly deflected in by Daley’s skate. The Sharks 3-2 lead would be their shortest one of the night time-wise as just 27 seconds later the Stars got it back when Eakin would knock in the rebound of a Chiasson wrister. This goal was very similar to the other two Dallas goals where again Niemi gave up a rebound which went right to the tape of the stick of an opposing player.
A Goalies Duel Late- After both teams combined for six goals in the first two periods neither team would score again in the third period or the overtime periods. Both teams had their chances as the Sharks were able to get some pressure on Ellis but to no avail. Ellis did everything he could to keep the Sharks off of the board and stood tall on his side of the rink. Not to be outdone, Niemi held the fort well enough for the Sharks. The Sharks would have the only power play opportunities in the third period and the overtime session. The Sharks got some more good looks at the net however again just could not get the break they were looking for. In the overtime period the Sharks basically had a 62 second window to win the game with a four on three man advantage only to seek the Stars get two clears of the puck as the Sharks just did not get any real quality shots on Ellis. In the shootout period neither Joe Pavelski or Logan Couture could get their tries past Ellis. After Niemi had denied the Stars Jamie Benn and Seguin, Chiasson was able to was able to drill a snap shot that beat Niemi to his left. Brent Burns had an opportunity to tie the game but failed to get a quality shot on net and Ellis had little trouble securing the puck for the Stars shootout victory.
Game Notes- The three stars of the game were all from Dallas, 3) Ray Whitney as the former Shark had two assist, 2) Alex Chiasson with the game winner in the shootout period, and 1) Cody Eakin who had a goal and an assist. The Sharks dominated the overtime period with six shots on goal while holding the Stars without a shot on Niemi. Some of the players minds had to be on Dan Boyle who returned to San Jose Wednesday to seek evaluation on the extent of any injuries he may have suffered in Tuesday’s game in St Louis. The Sharks on the whole Thursday night did not play their best game, however getting a split on the road anytime is not a bad deal. Dallas has always played the Sharks tough and Thursday night was no different. On one of the oddities of the new realignment now that Dallas is no longer in the Pacific Division is that the Sharks won’t visit the Lone Star State again this season unless the two teams meet each other in the post season next spring. The Stars will visit the Shark Tank twice this year. As for OTL’s, there will be a few in an 82 game season. It’s not the goal but it beats a regulation loss any day.
Twitter Quote- Wise words from Matt Nieto. “We wanted to get the win, but the past is the past & we have to learn from this game & start a new streak.”
Next Sharks Game- The one game homestand last Saturday Night against Ottawa was such a success the Sharks have decided to have another one. The Sharks will be hosting the Calgary Flames Saturday Night at the Shark Tank before heading out on the road for a five game trip next week. The puck drops at 7pm Pacific Time and will be carried by Comcast Sports Network in Northern and Central California as well as the Sharks Radio Network. The game will also be seen nationally in Canada as it will be Hockey Night in Canada’s late game.
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