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Stars rally for 3-2 shootout win over Sharks

by John Kreiser /

After four consecutive shootout losses, Dallas coach Marc Crawford changed his lineup when Thursday night's game against San Jose went to the breakaway competition -- and got the game-winner from a most unlikely source.

Defenseman Stephane Robidas, who had never taken a shootout attempt, scored in the third round to give Dallas its first shootout win in five tries this season as the Stars rallied for a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night.

Robidas admitted he was surprised to get the call.

"When you look at all the forwards we have, and all the skills, it was pretty surprising," Robidas said. "I scored in a preseason game last year and once in junior hockey but I wasn't comfortable making a move so I just shot it."

The Stars had missed their last 13 shootout attempts before Robidas snapped a shot past Evgeni Nabokov's glove after Marty Turco had stopped all three San Jose shooters.

Robidas didn't do anything fancy -- he skated into the zone, got between the hash marks and snapped off a shot that beat Nabokov cleanly.

"I tried to keep it simple and not think too much," said Robidas, 32, who has 3 goals this season and 33 in his career.

Dallas had lost all four shootouts this season and Stars' shooters were 1-for-15 before Robidas scored.

"To grind out a win is obviously huge," said Turco, who finished with 30 saves.

San Jose, which couldn't hold a 2-0 third-period lead, fell to 6-0-2 at home -- both losses have come in shootouts. The Sharks have eight wins and two shootout losses in their last 10 games.

"It was played very fast and played very hard," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "Going into the third period with a two-goal lead, we would hope that we could hold it."

They led 2-0 after two periods and appeared to be on their way to a nothing-special win before Dallas stunned the sellout crowd at the Shark Tank with two goals in a 1:45 span early in the third period.

James Neal got Dallas on the board at 5:50 with a fluke goal. His long shot appeared to be headed wide before it hit rookie defenseman Jason Demers' skate in the slot and floated past Nabokov's glove.

"The guy just took a shot, and I was standing off to the side. It went right off the toe," Demers said. "You couldn't get an unluckier bounce than that."

Dallas tied the game at 7:35 when Neal had the puck slide off his stick in the Sharks' zone, only to have it go right to Mike Modano for a slap shot from between the circles that beat Nabokov through the five-hole.

"They got a very lucky one to get back in the game," McLellan said. "The other one was a hard-working one, but a little bit lucky too. You have to build that into a season and into a game. It's going to happen at times.

Turco preserved the tie with 3:18 left when he stopped Devin Setoguchi on a rebound try in the slot. Dallas failed to score on a late power play in overtime.

"It was a real entertaining hockey game for everybody," Crawford said. "I thought the overtime was very exciting. Both teams had a couple of chances."

After a scoreless first period, the Sharks went ahead with a pair of goals 2:11 apart midway through the second.

Dany Heatley opened the scoring at 10:32, beating Turco from the slot after a perfect setup pass from Joe Pavelski. Marc-Edouard Vlasic kept the puck in at the right point and sent it down the wall. Pavelski picked it up, circled the net and put the puck right on Heatley's stick.

Ryane Clowe made it 2-0 at 12:43 when his long wrist shot from beyond the top of the left circle went through a maze of bodies and caught the top far corner past Turco.

"I'm not overly disappointed with the effort," McLellan said. "I thought it was a real fast, hard game as compared with some of them that we've played."

Material from wire services and team media was used in this report

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