Patrick Marleau scored twice and Evgeni Nabokov made 36 saves as the Sharks regained sole possession of first place in the Pacific with a 4-2 win against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center on Monday night.
The Sharks, who have 49 points, and are tied with Chicago for the top spot in the Western Conference, have won eight of their last nine games in Dallas. San Jose snapped a five-game losing streak, its longest in nearly two seasons, on Thursday against Anaheim.
''Those are big-point games against division opponents,'' Marleau said. ''We were coming off some bad losses. This is a start.''
Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson scored third-period goals for the Stars, while Marty Turco made 28 saves. Dallas won the first two meetings of this season series before suffering Monday's setback.
''They came out and won that shootout against us,'' said Sharks forward Dany Heatley, who had two assists. ''So it's nice to come in and win one in their building.''
The Sharks broke a scoreless tie when Ryane Clowe made a centering pass to Joe Pavelski, who poked the puck past Turco to give San Jose a 1-0 lead 9:43 into the second.
Marleau doubled San Jose's lead with 1:59 left in the second on a feed from Joe Thornton, who notched his 49th point of the season.
After Benn ruined Nabokov's shutout bid 18 seconds into the third, Marleau restored the Sharks' two-goal lead at 2:43, when he took a pass from Heatley and ripped a shot from the top of the left circle past Turco for his second goal of the night and 23rd of the season. It was exactly the offense Sharks coach Todd McLellan was hoping for after reuniting the trio of Marleau, Heatley and Thornton.
''We wanted to shake some things up,'' McLellan said. ''Putting them back together was a natural.''
Eriksson cut the lead to 3-2 via the power play with his 12th goal of the season at 5:38, but Clowe was credited with an empty-net tally at 19:50 after Stars defenseman Ivan Vishnevskiy lost possession of the puck and it slid into his own net.
''We had some quality chances and their goalie played well,'' Dallas defenseman Stephane Robidas said. ''The good thing is we battled until the end. We never really gave up in that game and that's a positive sign.''
Material from wire services was used in this report.
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