The Dallas Stars’ playoff hopes took a major hit with a 3-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks Tuesday night.
The Stars had a 2-1 lead late in the third period, but they conceded two goals in 30 seconds to fall to the Sharks.
Kari Lehtonen stood on his head to give the Stars a chance to win. His 34 saves and goals by Loui Eriksson and Antoine Roussel weren’t enough to earn two crucial points in their hunt for the playoffs. The Stars now need to win their last two games of the season in regulation and get help in the form of a regulation losses for Detroit and Columbus in their other games to keep their playoff hopes alive.
A power play goal put San Jose on the board 12:53 into the first period. The Sharks skated into the Dallas zone and Raffi Torres deflected in a centering feed from Scott Gomez for the goal.
Roussel answered for the Stars when he fought his way to the front of the net and buried a rebound off a Cody Eakin shot from the right circle. The goal tied the game 14:32 into the first period.
Seventeen seconds into the second period, Eriksson scored his 12th goal of the season and gave the Stars a 2-1 lead. During a 5-on-3 power play, Eriksson drove the net and tucked in a rebound off a blast by Alex Goligoski.
The Stars seemed in control of the game, and were holding off the Sharks wave after wave until the final six minutes of the game. Joe Pavelski deflected a shot in from the slot to tie the game at two 14:23 into the third period.
Thirty seconds later, Ray Whitney failed to get the puck out of the zone and Justin Braun took a slap shot from the point. The puck hit someone in the slot and Patrick Marleau sent a behind-the-back pass to a wide open Logan Couture for the goal.
Dallas will head home and prepare to face the Columbus Blue Jackets Thursday night.