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Stars continue homestand against Sharks

by Brian Compton
SHARKS (9-5-3) at STARS (9-7-0)

TV: CSN-CA, Fox Sports-Southwest.

Last 10: San Jose 6-2-2; Dallas 4-6-0.

Season Series: This is the first of six meetings between the Pacific Division rivals. Dallas beat San Jose four times in 2009-10.

Big Story: San Jose has been playing better as of late, but saw its three-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday night, when the Sharks blew a 3-1 lead en route to a 4-3 overtime loss at Colorado. Kevin Porter sealed the deal for the Avs when he beat Antero Niittymaki on a breakaway midway through the extra session.

"I was happy with our guys, believe it or not," said Sharks coach Todd McLellan, whose team tied a season high with 43 shots on goal. "We lost the game and that's the real disappointing thing. But for the most part I thought we played a real solid game. They scored a couple goals at fortunate times for them."

Team Scope:

Sharks: San Jose seemed destined to make it four in a row as Logan Couture beat Peter Budaj just 42 seconds into Wednesday's match. Kevin Shattenkirk tied it late in the first for the Avs, but Dan Boyle restored the Sharks' lead just 69 seconds into the second period. Mike Moore made it 3-1 about nine minutes later, making a San Jose victory seem like a lock.

Not so fast.

Chris Stewart got Colorado within a goal at 8:38 of the third, and Paul Stastny tied things up with 5:11 left in regulation to force overtime. Midway through, Porter collected the puck near the red line, blew past Sharks defenseman Kent Huskins and then beat Niittymaki with a low shot just as Porter tumbled to the ice.

"I thought it was a tough game for (Niittymaki) to play because he didn't see a lot of rubber for most of the night," McLellan said. "There were a lot of real positives to take out of tonight's game, though."

Stars: Brad Richards' 200th NHL goal couldn't have come at a better time for Dallas. It required a lengthy video review to determine that his third-period shot just barely edged over the goal line, but it proved to be the game-winning goal as the Stars opened a three-game homestand with a 2-1 victory against the Anaheim Ducks at the American Airlines Center.

"This was very important," said Richards, who also added an assist. "That was three (losses) in a row. It's tough in this League … you start losing on the road like that, it's tough. But we stuck together, got home and got our feet under us and that's kind of what we did. As quick as you lose ground, you can make it back up with a few wins, and that's our goal on this homestand."

Who's Hot: Sharks forward Joe Pavelski has seven points (2 goals, 5 assists) in his last four games. … Dating back to last season, Stars forward Steve Ott has 14 goals in his last 30 games. He scored for Dallas on Tuesday night.

Injury Report: Sharks defenseman Douglas Murray (lower body) has missed the last two games. … The Stars are boasting a healthy lineup.

Stat Pack: Sharks forward Patrick Marleau collected his 100th career power-play goal with his 30th all-time goal against the Kings on Monday. … Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas played almost 30 minutes (28:16) on Tuesday night. Richards' 200th goal came in his 716th NHL game.

Puck Drop: "It kind of sneaks up on you. It's special. To be in the NHL, I never thought I'd get a chance to play this long. To get that many goals, I'm very fortunate, I count my blessings every day I'm here. Hopefully there'll be many more and there's another milestone someday." -- Stars center Brad Richards on scoring his 200th NHL goal Tuesday night

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