Skip to main content


Stars rookie scores twice, denies Sharks record

by Eric Gilmore /

SAN JOSE -- Two days after scoring his first NHL goal, Dallas Stars rookie Alex Chiasson did himself one better Sunday against the San Jose Sharks.

Chiasson scored two goals, lifting the Dallas Stars to a 5-4 shootout victory against the San Jose Sharks, ruining their quest to make NHL history with a perfect seven-game homestand.

Chiasson, who was called up from the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League on Tuesday, scored his first goal Friday night against the Anaheim Ducks and now has three goals in three NHL games.

What's going on?

"I'm not sure," Chiasson said, laughing. "I'm just enjoying the moment and the process. I'm playing with great players, all-stars. I'm just doing my thing, keeping it simple and winning 1-on-1 battles.

"This is incredible. You always dream as a kid of being one of those guys. I don't know. I can't really put it into words. I'm just enjoying the process. Guys are super nice to me. Give me a hard time a little bit, but it's OK."

Dallas snapped San Jose's seven-game overall winning streak and seven-game home streak. The Sharks finished 6-0-1 on the homestand and will begin a four-game road trip Tuesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. According to STATS LLC, the Sharks would have become the first NHL team to have a perfect homestand of at least seven games if they had won Sunday.

"We've been really good at home," Sharks captain Joe Thornton said. "It would have been nice to end it off in perfect fashion. They're still trying to fight to get into the postseason so we knew they would have some urgency coming into the third and they did. They've kind of had our number this year."

The Stars improved to 2-0-0 against the Sharks this season, also defeating them 3-1 Feb. 23 at Dallas. That Stars team included Brenden Morrow, Jaromir Jagr, Derek Roy and Michael Ryder. All four have since been traded, but the Stars haven't abandoned their Stanley Cup Playoff hopes.

"The only thing that matters is what we believe in this dressing room," Stars center Jamie Benn said. "It's not going to be pretty some nights. But the effort is going to be there, and the heart and character will be there also."

Benn scored the only goal in the shootout, beating Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi in the second round. Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen stopped all three shootout attempts he faced, from Logan Couture, Dan Boyle and Brent Burns.

Eric Nystrom and Loui Eriksson also scored in regulation for Dallas, which overcame two two-goal deficits and won its second straight game.

"People are counting us out on two fronts, but we're going to battle, and you could see that tonight in the resiliency of the group," Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said. "It's our first trip here this year. There's a little extra edge here I guess. I don't think the teams are in love with each other. It's an exciting building to play in, it's always full, and I think that brings out the best in us."

Tommy Wingels, Brent Burns, TJ Galiardi and Marc-Edouard Vlasic each scored a goal for San Jose, and Raffi Torres had a pair of assists and seven hits in his Sharks debut.

The Sharks took a 4-2 lead into the third period, but the Stars fought back and pulled even. Chiasson took a cross-ice pass from Ray Whitney and beat Niemi at 6:07, cutting San Jose's lead to 4-3.

At 9:14 of the third, Eriksson knocked a rebound past Niemi, who had stopped a Matt Fraser blast but couldn't control the puck.

The Sharks gave up more than three goals in a game for the first time since a 5-3 road loss to Anaheim on March 18.

"I didn't like our game basically the whole night," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "It was great we were able to score four, but we had a lot of key, key people, high-minute, high-end players who really didn’t perform very well tonight. Some of the workers worked, but we need more from those guys heading out on the road right now.

"When you're up like we were, you shouldn't give them back. A lot of mistakes. We didn't look very quick."

The Sharks took a 1-0 lead in the first period on Wingels' goal and made it 2-0 at 3:06 of the second when Burns' laser from the right circle banked off Lehtonen's glove and into the net, just inside the right post.

The Stars answered later in the second with a pair of goals in the span of 26 seconds, pulling even. First, Nystrom took a pass from Vernon Fiddler and scored from close range at 3:41, capitalizing on a turnover by Vlasic behind the Sharks' net. Then Chiasson scored his second goal of the game, beating Niemi after a loose puck came his way, just right of the crease.

"He's playing the right way," Whitney said of Chiasson. "He's got three goals. That's not what impresses me as much as what he's doing with the pucks along the walls, in our own zone, getting the pucks out. He competes for pucks in the offensive zone, protects it, doesn't just throw it around, and gives our line an opportunity to have some offensive-zone possession. That's a difference in his game that I see from some of the other inexperienced guys I see around the League."

Galiardi gave the Sharks a 3-2 lead with a highlight-reel goal, spinning counterclockwise in the right circle and whipping a backhand shot past Lehtonen at 7:48 of the second. Torres earned his first assist with the Sharks after separating Nystrom from the puck with a check in Dallas' zone and getting the puck to Galiardi.

"Raffi did most of the work and the puck was sitting there for me and I was just figured spin and fire and put it on net," Galiardi said. "Luckily it went in."

Vlasic increased San Jose's lead to 4-2 with 4:29 left in the second, scoring a wraparound that wasn't credited until after a long video review. The puck snuck under Lehtonen's stick and pad, just inside the right post.

But the Stars refused to quit.

"This is just a passionate group of guys," Chiasson said. "You can see guys want to win here. I think we're just going game by game, see where it takes us. We're getting closer and closer."

Torres made his Sharks debut, four days after being traded by the Phoenix Coyotes for a third-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft. He wasted little time making an impact, finishing checks, throwing well-placed elbows and being a major irritant.

Midway through the first period, Torres sent a Stars defenseman to the ice on his backside with a hard check behind the Dallas net. Moments later, Stars defenseman Brendon Dillon drew a two-minute penalty for cross-checking Torres at 11:49.

Torres skated on the third line with center Joe Pavelski and Galiardi, replacing James Sheppard in the lineup.

The Sharks took a 1-0 lead at 8:39 on Wingels' fourth goal of the season. Couture set the scoring play in motion when he battled defenseman Aaron Rome for the puck behind Dallas' net. Couture sent a pass to Patrick Marleau in the low slot. Marleau whiffed, but the puck went a few feet farther out to Wingels, who ripped it past Lehtonen.

The Sharks scored first in five of their six wins at home. This time, scoring first didn't translate into a victory.

"It's very disappointing," Wingels said. "We're happy with the homestand as a whole, but you're only as good as your latest performance. There are things we need to clean up and move on."

Sharks defenseman Jason Demers returned to the lineup after missing four games after taking a shoulder-to-head hit from the Detroit Red Wings' Cory Emmerton on March 28. Demers replaced rookie Matt Tennyson in the lineup.

Stars wing Lane MacDermid, who scored a goal in each of his first two games with the Stars, was out with an upper-body injury he suffered Friday against Anaheim. Gulutzan said MacDermid didn't suffer a head injury and shouldn't be out long term. Tom Wandell played his first NHL game since Jan. 29.

View More