A few weeks ago the Stars celebrated Jason Spezza’s 1000th NHL game, and although that was special, Stars fans witnessed something better tonight. The Sharks Joe Thornton played in his 1500th NHL game and is only the 19th player in history to do just that. However, that special moment was not enough to motivate the Sharks.
The game began with the Stars controlling the pace of the game, but San Jose eventually reversed that. The Stars’ strong puck possession did lead to a power play, but nothing came from it. Then a few more minutes after that, the Stars found some holes in the Sharks defense and made them pay. With some great maneuvering from Val, he gave the puck to Seguin who then passed it off to Shore, who sniped one over the right shoulder of Martin Jones. The Sharks responded well by matching Dallas rush-for-rush and then eventually were able to control the pace. With about five minutes left, the Sharks kept Dallas in their zone and Timo Meier skated to the net and took a great feed from Kevin Labanc to knot the game at one.
Then the second period came at the pace drastically changed. The Sharks really did dominate the play of the game, but the Stars struck quick and early. The Sharks defenseman Brendan Dillon fanned on a pass in his own zone and Seguin stole the puck to rip one past Jones. That was Seguin’s first goal in 12 games. Then about 45 seconds later, the Stars scored another goal on a beautiful tic-tac-toe play. Dickinson got a return pass from Heiskanen and then passed it to Gemel Smith who tapped it in back-door. Then with about five minutes remaining, the Sharks Joe Pavelski redirected a shot from Brent Burns and drew the Sharks to within one.
In the third, the Stars once again turned to Anton Khudobin to save the game, and he did just that. Although Khudobin gave up a weird goal from Evander Kane, he kept the Stars hope afloat. Khudobin repelled every shot after that and gave the Stars the energy to mount an attack. The Stars weaved their way into the Sharks zone and Heatherington’s shot from the blue line ricocheted off a player. The puck then found it’s way to Devin Shore who sniped it over the right shoulder of Jones again, for his second of the game. Dallas then killed the remaining five minutes to hold on for the win.
This was a great win, but a tough loss. It seems that the injury bug is hitting Dallas often and has taken another one of their best players. Defenceman John Klingberg blocked a shot in the third and never returned. Monty said that Klingberg is now out for at least three weeks. But this is an opportunity for Lindell, Heiskanen, Heatherington, and Honka to show their worth in the NHL. Just as the Dallas netminders have done this season. The Stars’ goaltending has been nothing short of spectacular and is the biggest reason that they have been successful. Dallas is gonna need some more of that elite goaltending while their defense recovers.
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