The Dallas Stars refused to fall victim to the red-hot San Jose Sharks, instead ending their 7-game winning streak with a 5-4 shootout victory Sunday night.
San Jose had two-goal twice in the game, but the Stars came back to tie the game up with relatively quick strikes both times. Kari Lehtonen made 32 saves on 36 shots and stopped all three attempts in the shootout for the victory.
The Sharks were first on the board with the only goal of the first period. Aaron Rome and Philip Larsen both lost the puck behind the Stars’ net and Logan Couture sent a pass out front that was buried by an open Tommy Wingels in the slot 8:39 into the opening frame.
Brent Burns gave the Sharks a 2-0 lead just 47 seconds into the second period when he skated into the Dallas zone along the left wing boards and wristed the puck past Lehtonen’s glove. The Stars began their comeback 35 seconds later.
Eric Nystrom intercepted a pass from Marc-Edouard Vlasic along the right wing boards and sent the puck low for Vernon Fiddler. Fiddler skated toward the back of the net and centered the puck for Nystrom as he drove to the net for the goal.
Twenty-six seconds later, Alex Chiasson tied the game 2-2. Ray Whitney won a race to eliminate an icing and Jamie Benn eventually attempted a shot on goal that was broken up. The puck slid loose to the right hashmarks and Chiasson wristed it past Antti Niemi.
The Sharks regained the lead on a blistering backhand by T.J. Galiardi 7:48 into the second period. Nystrom was hit off the puck near the blue line, but when he regained possession of the puck, Galiardi was in position to steal it and fire it on net.
Video review awarded the Sharks with a controversial goal with less than five minutes left in the second period. A Sharks shot from the point went wide left of the net, but a scuffle in front resulted in contact with Lehtonen. He was flat on the ground sprawling when Vlasic collected the puck behind the net. Lehtonen turned to stack the pads along the left post, and Vlasic put it on net. The whistle blew and it seemed as if it was save, but video review awarded the Sharks a goal.
No conclusive evidence was provided on the broadcast, so it is possible the NHL’s Situation Room in Toronto had another angle that showed the puck cross the line.
The Stars scored two goals little over three minutes apart in the third period to tie the game and send it to overtime. Chiasson netted his second goal of the game on a beautiful feed by Whitney that went tape-to-tape through a crowd as Chiasson drove the net.
Loui Eriksson scored the game-tying goal 9:14 into the third period when he buried a rebound off a Matt Fraser shot from the blue line. The Stars controlled the puck for most of the overtime period. Both teams took two shots on goal, but Eriksson rang one off the post with 1:08 remaining.
Lehtonen stopped Logan Couture, Dan Boyle and Burns in the shootut and Benn was the only player to score, but it was enough for the win.
The Stars will head home to face the Los Angeles Kings Tuesday night.