The Sharks came out of the gate strong Thursday night against Dallas, but failed to maintain their intensity and fell 4-2 against their Pacific Division foe.
“In the first period we played well, but they took over the second part of the second and the third,” said Joe Thornton
Dallas accomplished what they wanted to by the end of the game.
“We didn’t do enough to win this hockey game,” said Craig Rivet. “They worked harder and deserved it.”
Dallas was on the final stop of a five-game road trip and the Shark had hoped to take advantage a tired team.
“A team like that has been on the road and we wanted to squeeze the life out of them,” said Sharks Head Coach Ron Wilson. “We didn’t match their desperation.”
San Jose was able to rally and tie the game after trailing 2-1 following 40 minutes of action.
“We came out early in the third and got that goal back,” said Thornton. “There seemed to be a momentum shift, then they got the third.”
That proved to be the game-winner, although San Jose had a power play opportunity soon after their second tally that could have provided them the 3-2 lead.
“Maybe if we had scored on the power play . . . ,” said Thornton.
The Sharks know that they can’t continue to play with their current up and down personality or they will face similar outcomes.
“(If we do) we’ll keep getting the same results,” said Thornton.
The goal that tied the game at two was the result of hard work by Milan Michalek and Steve Bernier. Michalek kept Mike Modano tied up along one side of the ice to keep the puck in and when Dallas tried to exit from the far side, Bernier came in with a thunderous hit to force the turnover. Michalek took possession and set up Thornton for the goal.
“We need more of that,” said Thornton. “Hopefully that play will be contagious. They worked hard to get the puck back.”
They also had the element of surprise as Thornton was coming onto the ice.
San Jose led 1-0 thanks to similar goal from someone coming off the bench. On the scenario, San Jose turned a shorthanded situation into a two-on-on rush. When Curtis Brown put the puck in the slot, Michalek was there to jam it home.
“I don’t know if the D saw me,” said Michalek.
It didn’t result in a goal against, but San Jose had a power play wiped out when Joe Pavelski
was called for goaltender interference at the end of the first period.
“I didn’t feel like I backed into him (Turco), but I haven’t looked at it yet,” said Pavelski. “The refs are looking for that and you have to be careful.”
Following his big hit on Brenden Morrow, Craig Rivet expected that a player like Trevor Daley would quickly find him.
“Obviously, someone would stick up for their teammate and you have to expect that,” said Rivet. “It’s part of the game.”
6 FOR 6
All six goals on the night came at even strength.
Modano once again had a big evening against the Sharks at HP Pavilion. In the Stars three victories in the building this season, Modano has accumulated four goals and one assist. In the Stars three losses to Team Teal in Dallas, he has posted one goal and two assists.
“He had a strong game against us and we have to do a better job of keeping him in check,” said Sharks Captain Patrick Marleau
3 IN A ROW
The Sharks were red hot a week ago, but have now lost three in a row and surrendered first place in the Pacific Division.
With his goal against Dallas, Thornton has now scored 10 points (2-8=10) in his last five games. Michalek’s two points give him 13 points (6-7=13) in his last 12 games.
Alexei Semenov’s assist gave the Sharks defensive unit a nine-game point streak. They have produced 17 points (6-11=17) in that span.
STARS HEAD COACH DAVE TIPPETT
“Trevor Daley responded very well. I still don’t know how that wasn’t a penalty. I thought our guys competed hard all night. That’s what we were looking to see from our group.”
“It’s been a very good building for him (referring to Morrow). He was opportunistic tonight. I thought his line was very good tonight. They played against Thornton for most of the night. It was a hard fought hockey game and we just found a way to win.”
“Those are the kind of wins that build confidence, especially with our young group of defensemen.”
Detroit will visit HP Pavilion Saturday night in a 7:30 p.m. contest with limited tickets available at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office and at www.ticketmaster.com. The game will be aired on FSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.