In a night the Sharks seemed to do just about everything right, they still fell 3-1 to the Dallas Stars led by Mike Modano who broke the all-time points mark for U.S. born players.
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San Jose opened their game with the Stars in impressive fashion with a 53 second shift in the Dallas end. But just 2:19 into the contest, it was Dallas that struck first.
Mike Modano came down the left wing and rifled a shot that beat Nabokov to the far post, giving the Stars center a tie for first place in points scored among American-born players. Sergei Zubov and Stu Barnes assisted on the historic marker. The HP Pavilion crowd showed their class with a rousing ovation.
The one-goal lead would not last long as minutes later, with the Stars down a man, Modano struck again. This time, a loose puck found its way to him near the blue line and the Michigan native skated in alone on Nabokov, pushing the puck through the five-hole. Modano not only set the American points record on the night, but he had single-handedly provided a 2-0 lead.
Things looked to be getting a bit more dangerous when Steve Bernier was given a double minor and while shorthanded, Nabokov was called for throwing his stick. The call provided a penalty shot to Sergei Zubov, but Nabokov made a strong pokecheck to keep the deficit at two.
The Sharks were outshooting Dallas 12-4 nine minutes into the second, but found themselves in a hole.
Bernier received another four minutes later in the first, two for highsticking and two for unsportsmanlike conduct, but the second penalty was wiped out by a Stars penalty. A subsequent call against Dallas provided San Jose with almost a minute of four-on-three time. With five seconds left in the advantage, Matt Carle provided the first goal.
Holding the puck near the right faceoff dot, he simply wristed a shot to the far post to pull Team Teal within one. It was Carle’s first tally of the season. The period would conclude with Dallas holding their 2-1 lead.
The middle period saw any momentum gained from Carle’s goal quickly dissipate. Todd Fedoruk sprung Steve Ott up the middle on a breakaway and he slipped the shot under Nabokov to retake a two-goal lead.
While down 3-1, the flow of play was clearly in San Jose’s favor, outshooting and out chancing Dallas 3-1. Near the six minute mark, the Sharks appeared to have their second goal, but Milan Michalek was called for incidental contact with Marty Turco and the referee waived off the tally.
San Jose would have to find a way in the third to get some of their quality chances across the goal line.
The chances kept coming, but the result did not change for the better part of the third. That shot ration stayed the same, but putting the puck past Turco stayed the same as well.
Not even an extra attacker at the end could alter the outcome as the Sharks fell to 1-4 at home this season.