Sharks maintain dominance over Dallas, win 5-2

February 3, 2012, 5:58 am
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SAN JOSE A common theme when the Sharks and Stars meet is that the games tend to be nasty, physical, and intense.Theres another theme emerging, too, now that San Jose has defeated Dallas for the third straight time in convincing fashion, this one coming on Thursday night at HP Pavilion, 5-2. The Sharks have the Stars number.
Sometimes you play teams well, and for whatever reason we play them real well, said Joe Thornton, who scored for the second straight game and added an assist. We like playing that feisty game like they play, and they kind of bring the best out of us. It was the fifth straight win overall for San Jose head-to-head, and in the three games this season, the Sharks have outscored the Stars 14-5. All three wins have come by a comfortable three-goal margin.

It was San Joses third straight victory, as the Stars fell 10 points behind the Sharks, who continue to lead the Pacific Division with 64 points (29-14-6).Ryane Clowe, who returned after a six-game absence due to a facial fracture, said: We play the way were supposed to play against them, and we get our chances. We forced some turnovers tonight and capitalized on them. I think it was more how we played, than what Dallas did.San Jose managed to set a franchise record in the game, too, increasing its shutout streak to 190 minutes and 51 seconds before Steve Otts second period power play goal at 12:41. That broke the old mark of 171:18, set in 2009.Even though Ott got credit for the goal, it was actually defenseman Dan Boyle who put it past goaltender Thomas Greiss. The Sharks defenseman was trying to tie up Otts stick when he accidentally slid it in his own net.The goal was a big one at the time, as it cut San Joses lead to 2-1 despite thoroughly outplaying Dallas up to that point.No matter, though. A pass from Brent Burns on the power play deflected in off of Patrick Marleau at 14:59 of the second period, and Thornton gave the Sharks a three-goal cushion before the second intermission with his 11th goal of the year at 16:43 after Joe Pavelski forced a turnover.It was huge, said Thornton, of the teams ability to respond after Boyles own-goal. Weird one by Danny, weve seen him do that before (laughs).Thorntons marker came off of a terrible turnover by the Stars Nicklas Grossman. The defenseman tried sending a pass up ice from behind his own net when Pavelski picked it off in San Jose's offensive zone. Pavelski faked a shot, getting goaltender Richard Bachman to commit, and passed to Thornton at the side of the net for an easy forehand-to-backhand tap in for the captain to make it 4-1.The Sharks seemed to get the bounces all night, really, including their first two goals in jumping out to a 2-0 lead on markers from Michal Handzus and Pavelski. Handzus got credit for his fifth goal of the season when a wrister from the point by Burns deflected off of his leg and past Bachman just 4:42 into the game.Pavelski took advantage of a fortunate deflection on his goal, too, when his slap shot from the point bounced off of Vernon Fiddlers stick and trickled in at 16:32 of the first period on the power play.It was nice to see even the turnovers they had, that we created, we capitalized on right away, Clowe said.The teams traded goals in the third period. Jamie Benn managed to put in a rebound at 6:22, but Clowe flipped in a loose puck after Couture threw it softly towards the net at 11:34 to cap the scoring.Burns registered an assist on three of the Sharks five goals in playing perhaps his best game of the season at least on the scoresheet, where he had his first three-point game as a Shark and first multiple-assist night, too.He looks like the player we thought we were getting. He looked very powerful on the ice tonight, I thought, Todd McLellan said. Jumping to loose pucks and winning races to five or six foot areas. And, hes got that dangerous shot. When he uses it, theres a big reward for a lot of other people in and around the blue paint.Greiss finished with 19 saves to win his seventh game of the year, and improve to 3-0-1 in his last four starts. Antti Niemi missed the game after getting dinged up in practice on Wednesday, but the injury is not expected to sideline him for very long.Greiss starts were sandwiched around Niemis shutouts in the previous two wins against Calgary and Columbus, so the goaltenders will share the franchise shutout streak.Its pretty cool. Im happy about that, said Greiss.There were long stretches of time where Greiss didnt have a whole lot of action, as the Sharks dominated territorially and didnt give up many prime scoring chances.Not much to do, Greiss said. A lot of their shots were like, off-speed, half-blocked and just trickling to the net. Weird game to play.Another positive development for the Sharks is that their power play scored two goals for just the second time in the last 32 games. After two months of relative ineptitude, San Jose is 5-for-13 with a man advantage in its last five games.Has it turned the corner?I think our power play is starting to look more like it should, McLellan said. There is some motion, and were shooting it a little bit more. We sense a more confident group when they go on the ice.We played well, really, from start to finish. It was just a good, competitive game, Thornton said. We always play them tough. We know its going to be a mans game out there. Big win, keep them behind us in the standings, and a real good effort.Odds and ends: The Sharks won 77 percent of the games faceoffs the fourth best mark by any NHL team since the beginning of the 2005-06 season. ... Jason Demers remains out with a lower body injury, and was placed on injured reserve earlier in the day. ... Andrew Murray and Benn Ferriero were the healthy scratches. ... Dallas was 1-for-2 on the power play, while the Sharks were 2-for-5. ... San Jose had 73 attempts at the net: 37 shots, 21 blocked by Dallas, and 15 missed shots. ... The Stars fell to 0-8-1 in the second game of back-to-backs.

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Logan CoutureAnother solid win. Once again all the guys chipped in. Just wanna say take a bow Sammy G. What a performance. 8points
Feb 03 via Twitter for BlackBerry Favorite Retweet Reply

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Brent BurnsBig W tonight, gr8 to have dads in town for that, can't wait to see them on the road! morechocolateontheplane latenightsundaes
Feb 03 via web Favorite Retweet Reply