Sharks Beat Stars 2-1, Marleau Scores Game Winner in 1700th Game photo: San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl (48) congratulates Patrick Marleau (12), who scored a goal against the Dallas Stars during the second period of an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Saturday, Jan. 11

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE– Patrick Marleau scored the game-winner in his 1700th career game as the San Jose Sharks defeated the Dallas Stars 2-1 on Saturday. Brent Burns also scored for the Sharks and Aaron Dell made 27 saves in the win. Jamie Benn scored for Dallas and Anton Khudobin made 24 saves in the loss. The Sharks have now won five of their last eight games, and earned points in seven of their last ten. The game also ended a six-game winning streak for the Stars.

This was the second game, and second win, for the Sharks after losing Logan Couture to an ankle injury. Of this challenge, Sharks forward Tomas Hertl said that “The best player has to be extra better if we’re missing a player like that but I think last two games was awesome for our team,” with every player doing exactly what he was supposed to do.

Asked whether the Sharks have turned a corner in their season, Sharks interim head coach Bob Boughner said: “I think we’re turning a corner within ourselves internally. I think we’re playing the right way, we’re giving ourselves a chance to win every night. You know, we’re not looking at the standings board yet and we’re not looking too far ahead at the trip.”

This was Joe Pavelski’s first game back in San Jose since signing with the Stars over the summer. The game was preceded by a video tribute and ceremony for the Sharks fan favorite. Pavelksi received a warm welcome from Sharks fans, despite his new colors and new number, 16. (Bill Goldsworthy’s number 8 was retired by the Minnesota North Stars in 1992, just before they moved and became the Dallas Stars.) After 13 seasons with the Sharks and this season with the Stars, Pavelski recently played his 1000th NHL game. His Dallas teammates gave him a trip to Scotland for that, and some of his Sharks teammates got him a watch.

The first period began with a Stars goal in an early power play. Miro Heiskanen passed the puck across the ice to Tyler Seguin, who quickly took a shot for Jamie Benn to deflect in. Assists went to Seguin and Heiskanen. The time of the goal was 1:32.

At 8:57 of the period, Stafan Noesen put a puck in the net after Melker Karlsson kept the puck in the zone by lifting it in the direction of the net. The puck was on its way over the net and Noesen had to lift his stick well above his head to tip the puck. The goal was disallowed with little review.

The Sharks scored for real at 15:33 when Timo Meier’s shot went off of Brent Burns’ skate and under Anton Khudobin. Assists went to Meier and Erik Karlsson.

At the end of the first period, the Sharks had a 9-7 lead in shots and had won 68% of the face-offs.

The Sharks got their first power play of the game at 2:52 of the second, in which they had just one shot. Seconds after the penalty expired, Patrick Marleau picked up a trickling rebound right outside the blue paint to score. Assists went to Tomas Hertl and Brent Burns. It was Marleau’s eighth goal of the season.

As the Sharks went into their second power play of the game, at 11:31, Brent Burns went to the locker room after a hit from Roope Hintz. The penalty was unrelated to that collision and went to Radek Faksa for hooking Erik Karlsson. The Sharks registered no shots during the power play.

Brent Burns did not return to start the third period but was back on the ice in the first five minutes. After the game, Bob Boughner said: “It’s an upper body thing. He tried to come back in the third, and he played through it so I don’t think it’s anything major. But I think we’ll just see tomorrow. We’ll have a better idea tomorrow but I don’t think it’s anything too crazy.”

The teams were tied in shots during the second period at 10 each, and the Stars won 58% of the face-offs.

The Sharks had one penalty to kill in the third period, at 12:37. The Stars recorded one shot in that power play. Dallas pulled their goaltender with just under two minutes left but could not tie the game. The Stars out-shot the Sharks 11-7 in the third and won 67% of the face-offs.

San Jose’s Tomas Hertl and Antti Suomela each took 13 face-offs in the game and each won 8 of them.

The Sharks will next play on Tuesday in Arizona against the Coyotes at 6:00 PM PT.

Sharks Beat Stars 4-3, Home Win Streak at 3

By Mary Walsh

photo credit: San Jose Sharks facebook page: Sharks Tomas Hertl scores and celebrates the game winner over the Dallas Stars on Saturday

SAN JOSE- The San Jose Sharks defeated the Dallas Stars 4-3 Saturday, in overtime. The Sharks finally came back to win after giving up the first goal, on home ice. The Sharks’ record when giving up the first goal on home ice was 0-18-1 going into Saturday’s game. The Sharks now have a three-game winning streak on home ice. It is possible that the 2015-16 Sharks have found their groove at last. Their power play got perfect results, as did their penalty kill.

Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic scored two goals Saturday, while Tomas Hertl scored the overtime game winner and Chris Tierney gave the team its first lead by scoring a power play goal in the second period. The Sharks’ two power play goals broke another recent pattern of icing a feeble power play. Joe Thornton earned his 926th assist, tying him with Stan Mikita for 17th place on the NHL’s all-time assists list.

The Sharks and the Stars played an almost perfectly balanced game. In shots, faceoffs, blocked shots, and goals, the Sharks and the Stars stayed neck and neck from start to finish. The teams traded one-goal leads, their shot counts were very close, and where one led in the second period, the other team led in the third. the Sharks led in hits and takeaways, but

The game started with plenty of offense. The teams stayed neck and neck on the shot clock until past the eleven minute mark, when an unfortunate bounce gave the Stars that critical shot: the first goal. Dylan DeMelo was trying to clear the puck out along the boards but instead it bounced out into the slot, where Ales Hemsky waited to put it past Martin Jones. Assists went to Mattias Janmark and Antoine Roussel. It was Dallas’ tenth shot of the game, where the Sharks had nine.

With 3:19 left in the first, the Sharks took the first penalty of the game, a goaltender interference call to Joonas Donskoi. It was an odd incident. Donskoi lost his balance just enough so that the lightest push from a Dallas defender caused him to fall over Antti Niemi. The Sharks killed it off, and by the end of the period the teams were still close in shots, with the Sharks leading 15-13. Many of those shots went off the post, on good chances, but the score was still 1-0 Dallas.

The teams started the second with the same energy as they started the first, keeping the goalies busy and everyone’s feet moving. It was on the Sharks’ 17th shot of the game that Marc-Edouard Vlasic scored on a nice rush from Tomas Hertl and Joe Thornton. Hertl caught up to the puck just as it came into the Dallas zone, protect the puck long enough to find Thornton on his way to the slot. Instead of taking a shot, Thornton made a pass to Vlasic, who was coming down the left side. Vlasic wasted no time as the puck came to him and put it under Niemi’s left pad. It was Vlasic’s sixth goal of the season, with assists to Thornton and Hertl.

Near the midpoint of the game, Alex Goligoski was called for interference on Tomas Hertl, giving the Sharks their first power play of the game. The power play was as anemic as it has been lately, including one very confident pass to an empty corner. Seconds before the penalty expired, Matt Nieto skated into the Stars zone, avoiding defenders with some nifty stick handling. He got the puck to Tommy Wingels, who handed it off to Chris Tierney. Tierney did not dawdle and put it over Niemi’s shoulder. It was Tierney’s of the season. Assists went to Wingels and Nieto.

The second period ended with the Sharks leading 2-1 and 30-21 in shots.

One of those leads evaporated in the first minute of the third period. 37 seconds into the period, Tyler Seguin caught the puck in his skates on a failed clear by the Sharks, then beat Martin Jones from the slot. Assist to Jamie Benn.

The Stars kept coming after that, and had the Sharks in such a fluster that they took a too many men on the ice penalty at 1:49. They killed the penalty off, despite a pretty well-orchestrated power play from Dallas. Martin Jones was especially sharp.

The Sharks took another lead at 7:51 of the period. Jamie Benn went to the box for interference on Joe Pavelski. Vlasic, on the second power play unit, put the puck over Niemi’s arm during the second minute of the penalty. Assists went to Dylan DeMelo and Joonas Donskoi.

The goal was challenged by Stars coach Lindy Ruff, for a missed offside call. The goal stood up and 12 seconds after the announcement, Jason Spezza tied it back up with a spin-o-rama off a pass from Jamie Benn. Assists went to Benn and Seguin.

The teams continued tied up until overtime, when the Sharks’ second three-man unit ended the game. Overtime was probably the only time in the game when one team dominated the other, but it only lasted one minute and 12 seconds, so perhaps it did not break pattern. The goal came after Vlasic made a try for a hat trick, shooting into Niemi’s pads from near the goal line. The shot was well-timed and placed, because he was able to collect his own rebound and take it around behind the net for another try. But it was not to be, as Tomas Hertl scored the game-winner, bringing an end to the “score first or lose” home ice curse that has haunted the Sharks since the start of the season. Assists went to Vlasic and Logan Couture.

The Sharks will finish this home stand on Monday, against the visiting Ottawa Senators at 7:30 PT.