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Stars fall to Sharks in OT, 4-3

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars rallied twice from one-goal deficits to force overtime and pick up one point in San Jose Saturday, but they couldn’t get two, falling in overtime, 4-3, to the Sharks at SAP Center.

“It was a good point for us. I thought we played a heck of a third period,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “That looked more like us.”

The Stars trailed 2-1 heading into the third period but dominated play. They tied the game on a goal by Tyler Seguin early in the period and then answered a San Jose power-play goal with a Jason Spezza tally to make it a 3-3 game.

“It was a tough penalty on us, and I think that was their only chance to score,” Ruff said. “We had three or four other looks that could have won the game for us. We had some guys that really skated well for us. We started a little tentative, but I thought we really came on in the third.”

But in overtime, San Jose’s Tomas Hertl scored from the right circle at the 1:12 mark to keep the Stars from getting back in the win column.

The loss was the sixth in the past seven games for the Stars (1-4-2) and their seventh straight defeat on the road (0-4-3). The Stars, who are 3-5-3 in their past 11 games, are 29-12-5 on the season.

“It was a step in the right direction for us,” Spezza said. “We much more resembled the type of team we are and have to be. It’s disappointing to lose a game. We deserved a better fate tonight.”

Ales Hemsky also scored for the Stars. Goaltender Antti Niemi, who was playing his first game in San Jose since the Sharks traded him to Dallas, stopped 35 of 39 shots.

“He made some good saves. I think he’d like a couple back,” Ruff said. “I think both goaltenders made some key saves at key times.”

Marc-Edouard Vlasic registered three points (two goals, one assist) for the Sharks, who won their fifth straight game and improved to 23-18-2.

“In this new NHL you have to get points,” Vlasic said. “You just have to find a way to win. That’s what we did. We’ve put a couple in a row, and we’ve got to keep it rolling. We’ve got teams to catch. We want to secure a playoff spot and we’re far from it.”

The Stars led 1-0 after the first period. Niemi stopped 15 shots in the first, including big stops on Melker Karlsson, Tommy Wingels and Paul Martin. The Stars scored at the 11:15 mark when Mattias Janmark tracked down the rebound of his own shot and chipped the puck into the slot, where Hemsky picked it up and slipped it past Sharks goaltender Martin Jones.

The Sharks scored twice in the second to take a 2-1 lead. Vlasic scored off the rush at the 3:54 mark to make it a 1-1 game. Chris Tierney scored on the rebound of a Wingels shot with San Jose on the power play at the 11:07 mark to put the Sharks up 2-1.

Ruff put together a line of Jamie Benn, Seguin and Spezza to start the third period and that trio struck twice as the Stars rallied twice to tie the game. Seguin scored from the slot 33 seconds into the period to make it a 2-2 game. With Benn in the penalty box for tripping, Vlasic scored to put San Jose up 3-2 at the 7:51 mark. But 12 seconds later, Spezza responded with a goal to tie the game at 3-3. That’s the way it stayed until overtime when Hertl scored to send the Stars to another defeat on the road.

“We did better tonight,” said Spezza. “Even some of the mistakes we made were harder working mistakes. Sometimes when you go through a stretch like we went through, you’ve got to crawl before you can walk. It’s hard to get that first win and get back on track.”

Stars defenseman Jordie Benn did not play after the first period. The Stars said he was out with a lower-body injury. There was no update on his status after the game. Benn returned for Friday’s game in Anaheim after missing the previous two games with a lower-body injury.

Saturday morning, the Stars assigned defenseman Jamie Oleksiak to the Texas Stars (AHL) on a conditioning assignment.

*The Stars are 5-5 in games that have gone beyond regulation, including 3-3 in three-on-three overtime and 2-2 in shootouts.

*The Sharks outshot the Stars 39-35, and the Stars had a 63-59 advantage in attempted shots.

*Patrick Sharp led the Stars with six shots on goal and ten attempted shots.

*Ales Hemsky’s goal was his first since Nov. 12 vs. Winnipeg.

*The Stars were 0-2 on the power play and 0-2 on the penalty kill.

*The Stars won 33 of 72 faceoffs (46 percent).

*Jason Spezza won 10 of 17 faceoffs (59 percent). Tyler Seguin won 7 of 13 (54 percent). Cody Eakin won 6 of 12 (50 percent). Vernon Fiddler won 4 of 11 (36 percent). Mattias Janmark won 3 of 14 (21 percent).

*Jason Demers led the Stars with 26:49 of ice time.

The Stars conclude their three-game road trip when they play the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday. It will be the first meeting of the season between the Stars and Kings.

Jamie BennCody EakinTyler Seguin

Valeri NichushkinJason SpezzaPatrick Sharp

Antoine RousselMattias JanmarkAles Hemsky

Travis MoenVernon FiddlerColton Sceviour

Alex Goligoski
John Klingberg

Johnny OduyaJason Demers

Patrik NemethJordie Benn

Antti Niemi

Kari Lehtonen

Injured: None

Scratched: Patrick Eaves, Jyrki Jokipakka

Conditioning: Jamie Oleksiak

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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