DALLAS (AP) _ A third-period turnaround earned the San Jose Sharks a
precious point in their Pacific Division race with the Dallas Stars.
Jonathan Cheechoo scored twice in the final 1:37 of regulation, including
the tying goal with 34 seconds left, as the Sharks rallied for a 3-3 tie with
the Stars on Tuesday night.
Jason Arnott had two goals for the Stars, who were on the verge of closing
within a point of first-place San Jose in the division. Dallas held a
three-goal lead until its late collapse.
The Stars are usually a lock to win when they lead after two periods. They
are 59-0-8 over the past two seasons when they take a lead into the final
``It was pretty tough being down 3-0, especially against these guys,''
Cheechoo said. ``We're battling for the top spot and we needed a better effort.
We turned up the heat in the third. It was huge for us to salvage a point.''
The Stars lost the aggressiveness that got them the lead and were outshot in
the third period 12-3. Dallas was guilty of several late turnovers, including
one by defenseman Chris Therien that led to Cheechoo's tying goal.
``The urgency was gone,'' Stars right wing Bill Guerin said. ``The turnovers
Stars goaltender Marty Turco was 6:03 away from his 20th career shutout and
third blanking of the Sharks this season when Nils Ekman scored a short-handed
goal for the Sharks.
``Ekman had a nice goal,'' Cheechoo said. ``I think that's where it all
started. That's where the momentum changed and we fed off of it.''
Cheechoo narrowed the Dallas advantage to 3-2, scoring from the right circle
with 1:37 left.
With goaltender Evgeni Nabokov on the bench for a sixth attacker, Cheechoo
tied it at 19:26, converting Scott Thornton's centering pass from the right
boards through Turco's pads for Cheechoo's 23nd goal of the season.
``We threw away two points, but there's still games left and we've got to
learn from our mistakes tonight and move on,'' Arnott said. ``We definitely
screwed up and we know it.''
Dallas was able to extend its franchise record home unbeaten streak to 15
games (11-0-4), but the Stars stayed three points behind the Sharks in the
``This feels like a loss,'' Guerin said. ``What a way to give away points.
Turco, who had won his first seven starts against the Sharks, finished with
The Stars are 13-4-3 in their last 20 games against the Sharks, 3-1-1 this
San Jose has 10 games left, one more than Dallas.
``It's ours to win,'' Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. ``We just have to go and
The teams have one more regular-season meeting on March 28 in San Jose.
The Stars continued the longest home unbeaten streak in the NHL since the
Detroit Red Wings put together a 19-game run from Dec. 31, 2000 to April 7,
2001. Dallas' last home loss was Jan. 10 against Colorado.
Nabokov had 18 saves for the Sharks, 9-4-1-1 in their last 15 games.
Arnott scored on a one-timer from the slot off a centering feed from Guerin
to get Dallas started at 9:54 of the first period.
Sergei Zubov added a power-play goal on a slap shot from the left point that
got past a screened Nabokov at 14:59 of the opening period.
Arnott made it 3-0 at 13:49 of the second period, seven seconds into a power
play, scoring his 19th on a rebound of Valeri Bure's shot.