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Sharks extend Dallas misery with 4-1 win

by Steve Hunt
DALLAS -- The San Jose Sharks left the American Airlines Center with two points. The Dallas Stars had to settle for their first goal in a week.

Brent Burns and Logan Couture scored power-play goals as the Sharks beat Dallas 4-1 on Saturday night, handing the Stars their fifth loss in a row.

"We're in a hole. There's no question about it and you can't just jump out of a hole this deep. You have to kind of dig your way out and dig your way up," said Dallas coach Glen Gulutzan said, whose team came in after back-to-back shutout losses to Florida and Colorado. "Our PK kind of let us down and that's what happens when you're in a rut."

The lone bright spot for the Stars was Mike Ribeiro's second goal of the season at 6:22 of the third period, which ended a scoreless streak that had reached 194 minutes and 11 seconds. Ribeiro beat goaltender Anti Niemi top shelf with a 35-foot wrister for his first goal in 11 games and Dallas' first since a second-period tally a week ago at Detroit.

But it was way too little and far too late.

The Sharks converted on the game's first power-play opportunity when Burns scored on a short wrister at 4:58 of the opening period, just 29 seconds after Dallas' Nicklas Grossman was whistled for holding Martin Havlat. San Jose is now 6-0-0 this season when scoring first.

"I think that [scoring the first goal] was important for us," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "They had us on our heels. They really did in the first period. Prior to the game, we talked about composure and discipline. We know they have taken a ton of penalties. We thought that would come into play at some point. "

Couture made it 2-0 at 1:23 of the second period, firing home a 20-foot wrist shot just 18 seconds after a hooking penalty on Dallas captain Brenden Morrow.

Things got a bit heated with just over four minutes gone in the second when Dallas' Krys Barch and San Jose's Jim Vandermeer dropped the gloves at 4:13. Another skirmish between the Stars' Eric Nystrom and the Sharks' Jamie McGinn followed just two seconds later.

Just 37 seconds after Nystrom and McGinn tangled, the Sharks made it 3-0 when Brad Winchester beat Dallas goaltender Andrew Raycroft with a 30-foot wrister to his glove side for his second goal of the season.

McGinn added some insurance with a 10-foot wrist shot 4:44 into the final period. He one-timed a feed by Michal Handzus for his second of the season.

Ribeiro's goal ended the scoreless streak for Dallas. Assisting on the streak-ending goal for the Stars was Loui Eriksson. It was the Stars' first goal since a second-period tally by Morrow in a 5-3 loss at Detroit last Saturday.

Niemi stopped 30 shots for the win, improving his record to 8-2-1. Dallas backup Andrew Raycroft stopped 34 in losing for the fourth time in as many starts.
Raycroft admitted he and his teammates are frustrated with how things have gone during their losing streak.

"I think you can see it, especially probably the second half of the game where our emotions were high. We were just a little rattled," Raycroft said. "We just have to keep our heads down, work hard and get ourselves out of it that way with lots of hard work and some patience."

San Jose is 6-2-0 on the road so far this season, tying them for second-most road wins in the League.

"For whatever reason, we like playing on the road," captain Joe Thornton said. "We're comfortable on the road. It took us seven, eight minutes to kind of get in the game. But once we did, we got our legs and then it was over."

The defeat marked the first time this season that the Stars have dropped consecutive games on home ice. Dallas is 8-3-0 at home through its first 11 games.
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