Returning home for one game before embarking on their final road trip of the season, the San Jose Sharks played host to the Dallas Stars Sunday night at HP Pavilion. Three second period goals were enough for Team Teal to earn their fourth consecutive victory as they defeated the Stars by the final score of 4-1.
Vesa Toskala, winner of his last four games, manned the net for the Sharks, while the always tough Marty Turco opposed him.
Just over a minute into the game, Trevor Daly was given a four minute penalty for high-sticking Ville Nieminen, but the entire advantage wasted away without a tally for the Sharks.
One minute after the penalty expired, however, Steve Bernier put the Sharks on the board. He took a shot from one knee, lifting the puck past Turco after the netminder had made a stop on a Mark Smith shot. The Sharks took the early 1-0 lead.
San Jose headed back on the power play with nine minutes left in the first after Jason Arnott was whistled for hooking, but the advantage went awry despite several shots on goal.
When the first period came to a close, San Jose led 1-0, but was more impressive in keeping up their stingy defense, out-shooting the Stars 12-4.
When play resumed in the second, Stu Barnes was called for hooking 56 seconds in, and the Sharks headed on the power play. Barnes’ penalty expired, but just five seconds after, Bill Guerin headed to the box for high-sticking. This time the Sharks would make them pay.
On their fifth power play of the night, Christian Ehrhoff fired what appeared to be a slapshot, but it was in fact a pass to Patrick Rissmiller to the right of the slot. He stuck his stick out and redirected it right past Turco. The Sharks now led 2-0.
With just over eight minutes left in the second stanza, Dallas went on their first power play of the night after Mark Smith was called for tripping. Eight seconds into the advantage, Josh Gorges was penalized for tripping as well and the Sharks had 1:52 of five-on-three time to kill. Dallas capitalized 21 seconds in after Sergei Zubov rifled a slapshot past Toskala. The Sharks lead was cut to one.
After Gorges’ penalty expired, the Sharks extended their lead when Joe Thornton
skated around the net and fed Jonathan Cheechoo with a perfect pass. Cheechoo knew exactly what to do, as he sent a one-timer past Turco. The two-goal advantage had returned.
The Sharks earned two full minutes of five-on-three when Jon Klemm was called for tripping and Turco was called for roughing. 1:10 into the advantage, Patrick Marleau
tipped in a pass from Joe Thornton
, making the score 4-1 in favor of Team Teal.
Just seconds after the Turco penalty expired, the Sharks earned yet another power play after Steve Ott was given two minutes for roughing, two minutes for tripping and a 10-minute game misconduct.
San Jose could not add to the advantage, but the crowd roared their approval of the 4-1 second intermission lead.
Dallas prevented a fifth tally early in the third when they killed off the remainder of the Sharks power play.
San Jose maintained their stifling defense through the final stanza as the Stars were limited to 15 shots with just six minutes left in regulation.
The final minutes of the clock expired without the Stars being able to solve Toskala, as the Sharks skated off with the 4-1 victory.
The Sharks will travel to Phoenix to take on the Coyotes Monday night at 7 p.m. The game can be seen on FSN Bay Area and heard on the 98.5 KFOX or sjsharks.com.