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game recap

Sharks lose fifth straight, caught in Pacific

San Jose tied for lead after falling to Stars; Adam Cracknell scores hat trick for Dallas

by Sean Shapiro / NHL.com Correspondent

DALLAS -- The San Jose Sharks are tied for first place in the Pacific Division after losing their fifth straight game, 6-1 to the Dallas Stars at SAP Center on Friday.

The Sharks (42-25-7) and Anaheim Ducks each have 91 points after Anaheim defeated the Winnipeg Jets 3-1.

San Jose led Anaheim by nine points on March 15. The Sharks hold the advantage in the regulation/overtime wins tiebreaker (40-37). They each have eight games remaining but don't play each other. The Edmonton Oilers are two points back.

 

WATCH: All Sharks vs. Stars highlights

 

"It's not ideal by any means. I think it's maybe a bit of a wakeup call for us that this time of year it doesn't matter if you're fighting for a job for next year or fighting for a [Stanley Cup Playoff] position or whatever it might be," Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon said. "Obviously those guys (Dallas) are in a different spot than us, but you can't take a night off and you have to be emotionally invested. You've got to take every shift as hard as you possibly can."

Adam Cracknell had a hat trick, and Jason Spezza had three assists for the Stars (30-33-11).

Cracknell scored in each period and got his third goal on a shorthanded breakaway at 4:59 of the third. It was his first hat trick and second multigoal game in 195 NHL games.

"To get a hat trick with this group of guys, it's something I'll remember," Cracknell said. "Hopefully YouTube is still around in many years and my daughter can watch and [I can] show her I was actually a good hockey player."

Video: SJS@DAL: Cracknell gets a lucky bounce in close

Cracknell and his wife are expecting their first child in late April.

Cracknell gave Dallas a 1-0 lead at 8:30 of the first period. He took a sharp-angled shot and went to the net for a rebound when the puck banked off Micheal Haley's skate and into the net.

"You have a handful of those a year where nothing goes right and nobody's got any kind of legs or energy," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "It was one of those nights. I don't have any explanation for it. I felt we prepared the right way the last couple days. I thought we felt pretty good about ourselves. Then the puck dropped and everything went bad."

The Stars took a 2-0 lead 1:58 into the second when Brett Ritchie finished a pass from Tyler Seguin. Jamie Benn pushed the lead to 3-0 at 5:19. Cody Eakin won a faceoff back to Ales Hemsky and Benn scored after a quick pass.

Cracknell got his second goal at 7:08 to make it 4-0 when he scored on the rush after a pass from Spezza.

The Sharks scored 49 seconds later when Joe Thornton got a power-play goal to make it 4-1.

John Klingberg scored at 5:20 of the third period to push the lead to 6-1.

 

Goal of the game

Benn's 25th goal of the season developed with precision. Eakin won the faceoff back to Hemsky, who quickly passed the puck to the far post, where Benn swept it into the net.

Video: SJS@DAL: Benn uses silky hands to beat Dell

 

Highlight of the game

Cracknell completed the hat trick when he intercepted a clearing pass by goalie Aaron Dell, skated in alone and shot under Dell's glove.

"I think he kind of just misplayed the puck and I was coming off the bench so I figured I should just shoot it and hope for the best," Cracknell said. "It was a great feeling."

Video: SJS@DAL: Cracknell buries a breakaway SHG for hatty

 

Unsung performance of the game

Stars defenseman Stephen Johns had five hits and four blocked shots in his return after being scratched in back-to-back games.

 

They said it

"Everyone else in here was. I was trying not to think about it. It's like trying to pitch a perfect game and guys keep bringing it up." -- Stars forward Adam Cracknell on if he was thinking about scoring a third goal

 

"I think so. If you look at a good chunk of those goals, we kind of know whether it was [defensive] zone coverage or off the rush, or just communicating with one another. Stuff that's not like us. I think if we wanted the other 70 games this year those kind of things don't happen. We'd rather this happen right now than two games into a playoff series or the first game of a playoff series. We have a bit of time here, and I think for us we've got enough character in this room that we're going to be able to rebound tomorrow." -- Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon

 

Need to know

Forward Jannik Hansen returned to the Sharks lineup after missing two games with an upper-body injury. … Spezza was back in the Stars lineup after missing two games with back spasms. … Stars forward Jiri Hudler (lower body) and defenseman Dan Hamhuis (lower body) were scratched. ... Seguin played his 500th NHL game.

 

What's next

Sharks: At the Nashville Predators on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; FS-TN, CSN-CA, NHL.TV)

Stars: At the New Jersey Devils on Sunday (5 p.m. ET; MSG+, FS-SW, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Cracknell's hat trick powers Stars past Sharks, 6-1

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