Mike Ribeiro picked a great time to find his scoring touch.
Ribeiro hadn't scored a goal in the Dallas Stars' first 16 games, and was close to going 0-for-17. But after getting the tying goal off a scramble with 2:06 left in regulation, he beat Antti Niemi 2:52 into overtime to give Dallas a stunning 5-4 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night.
Brenden Morrow stripped the puck from defenseman Dan Boyle behind the San Jose net and slid it to Ribeiro, who skated across the crease before lifting the puck over Niemi for the winner, extending Dallas' home winning streak to five games.
"I've had some slumps in my career, in the middle of the season, so you don't really feel it -- like if it'd the 40th game of the year, or the 50th, and you don't score, it's not as bad," the 30-year-old center said. "When you go 16 (games) from the beginning of the year, it's a little bit harder. It gets to you. I was a little frustrated the last few games."
Ribeiro's tying goal came 29 seconds after James Neal scored his second goal of the game with 2:35 left in regulation. He thought he'd scored again with 18.4 seconds left in regulation, but the goal was disallowed because the net was off its moorings.
Dallas jumped to a 2-0 lead on goals by Brad Richards and Neal in the first 7:30 of the game. But the Sharks, who lost 4-3 in overtime Wednesday in Colorado and were playing for the third time in four nights, then took control.
"Give them credit -- they did a great job of 'unsettling' the game in the second period," Dallas coach Marc Crawford said. "It's a character-builder because we stuck with it -- whether it was sheer guts and determination by a handful of players or collectively, the whole group finding a way, at the end of the day we found a way -- and that is huge for our team."
Patrick Marleau's goal 6:27 into the third period gave the Sharks a 4-2 lead. Marleau put the puck past Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen again at 7:51, but the goal was waved off because officials ruled Marleau had his stick above his shoulder when he knocked the puck into the net.
That paved the way for the Stars' late comeback.
"I think we deserved some bounces," Morrow said. "I think we put the first three in for them -- off our feet, off our sticks. We deserved some breaks. We kept working hard, we stayed with it and we got some bounces.
"We knew this was their third in four (nights), We kept pressuring strong on the forecheck, and it took until the last five minutes of the third (period) before we really started getting some chances."
Though San Jose is 4-0-3 in its last seven games, the Sharks head home for Saturday's game against Columbus after back-to-back overtime losses in which they blew two-goal leads in the third period.
"We've got a mature enough group, a strong enough group, that we should have a little more composure down the stretch," a disappointed San Jose coach Todd McLellan said.
"Two nights in a row is disappointing. But it is what it is. There were a lot of positives. Just the ability to get going again after playing last night and getting in late -- I know every team in the League has to do it. Falling behind wasn't what we planned, but we fought back and I thought we played a pretty solid game. … I thought we played well enough to win both games. Unfortunately, we didn't."
Material from team media and wire services was used in this report