Event Name: San Jose Sharks VS Dallas Stars
Date: Sunday, March 12, 2017
Location: SAP Center: 525 W Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA 95113
Hosted by: San Jose Sharks Hockey
Sunday night, the San Jose Sharks faced the Dallas Stars. After a relocation from Minnesota to Dallas back in 1993, the Stars only missed the playoffs twice in their first 15 seasons. But in their last 8 seasons, they have only made the playoffs twice. Last year, they finished the season 2nd in the league behind the Washington Capitals, but then lost to the Blues in the second round of the playoffs. This season, they have been plagued by injuries to key players and have taken a big step back from what was expected of them, but their offensive leaders Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn continue to perform and keep the team afloat.
The Stars came into the game sixth in Central Division with 65 points while the Sharks still control a tight hold of first in the Pacific Division with 89 points. While not completely out of the picture, Dallas needs to put together a major win streak to keep their hopes alive. This season Dallas has won 9 of their 31 road games while San Jose continues roll over visitors having now won 22 of their 33 home games. Both teams came into the game motivated to get another two points.
The Sharks didn’t take their first shot until about 4 minutes in to the game, but it victimized Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen (32) nevertheless. Justin Braun (61) picked up the puck on the right boards and took it behind the Stars goal line where it was checked off his stick but picked up by teammate Logan Couture (39), who made a perfect pass to wide open Patrick Marleau (12) in the low slot where he snapped it top shelf far side giving the Sharks an early lead. For the next ten minutes, the Sharks did not take a shot but the Stars had a few chances. None as dangerous as the opportunity they had about 13 minutes into the game, when Joonas Donskoi (27) and Brent Burns (88) ran in to each other on the right circle and lost the puck to Remi Elie (40) who took a shot and then tapped home his own rebound past Aaron Dell (30) to tie the score 1-1. With just 3 minutes left in the period, Joe Pavelski (8) gathered the puck in neutral zone and sped up ice for a 2 on 1 with Jannik Hansen (36). As he skated down the right circle, he waited before firing a shot instead of passing across to Hansen and beat Kari Lehtonen (32) far side giving the Sharks a 2-1 lead going in to the break.
The Sharks started the second period just like the first. Three minutes into the period, Paul Martin (7) shot the puck off of the right boards and it landed on Couture’s stick low in the right circle. He quickly spots Joel Ward (42), in the slot for a perfect feed, and Ward made no mistake burying a hard one timer over Lehtonen’s pad on the stick side giving the Sharks a 2 goal lead. That was all for Lehtonen (32) who was replaced by backup goalie, and former San Jose Shark, Anti Niemi. About ten minutes later, Micheal Haley (38) took a penalty for holding the stick putting the Stars on their second power play of the night. Seconds into the power play, Dallas defenseman Esa Lindell (23), mishandled the puck on the blue line where it was stripped by Pavelski. Pavelski poked the puck forward and used his speed to break away from Lindell for an opportunity all alone with Niemi. He fired a hard snap shot top corner past Niemi’s glove, putting the Sharks up 4-1 going into the period intermission with his shorthanded tally.
Again, just 3 minutes in to the third period, Dylan Demelo (74) took a shot from right circle which Niemi saved as he fell to the ice, but he left a huge rebound in the crease which was tapped home by a falling Chris Tierney (50) giving the Sharks a 5-1 lead. Neither team would score after that and the game would end with the Sharks picking up another decisive win at home.
The Sharks led in hits (21-18) and blocked shots (15-10) while the Stars lead in Shots (30-26), face-offs (55%-45%), takeaways (21-12) and giveaways (25-19).
Joe Pavelski scored 2 goals tonight including a shorthanded goal, and now has 7 points in his last 4 games. Paul Martin registered 2 assists tonight and has 4 points in his last 3 games placing him seconds among Sharks defensemen in points. Logan Couture also earned 2 assists and has registered 9 points in his last 8 games.
San Jose continues their regular season Tuesday against the Buffalo Sabres.
INDTVUSA Staff Writer