McLellan on Stars: 'They played a fast, hard game'
The Sharks missed a chance to start a second-straight season with a 7-0-0 record with a 4-3 shootout loss in Dallas Thursday. (USATSI)
DALLAS – Alex Chiasson scored the only goal of the shootout to give the San Jose Sharks their first loss of the season, 4-3.
Chiasson scored on Dallas’ third attempt, and the game ended when Dan Ellis stopped Brent Burns.
The Sharks are now 6-0-1, while Dallas improved to 3-4-0.
San Jose had a great opportunity to win in overtime, when Sergei Gonchar was called for boarding Burns with 1:02 to go, but Ellis stopped Logan Couture on the doorstep in the closing seconds.
The Sharks took three separate leads through the first two periods, but the Stars answered each time.
Tyler Kennedy’s first goal with the Sharks came on a wrist shot from the circle just nine seconds after the opening faceoff. It was the fastest goal the Stars have given up in franchise history. At 16:44, though, Dallas newcomer Tyler Seguin deposited a loose puck near the crease after a Stephane Robidas point shot to tie it at 1-1.
Rookie Matt Nieto scored an impressive goal later in the first, blazing past Trevor Daley and ripping a shot past Ellis at 17:52. Daley managed to tie the game early in the second when a Cody Eakin shot attempt was muffled by Matt Irwin, but went right to Daley’s stick in the slot at 1:53.
Patrick Marleau gobbled up his own rebound and scored a wraparound goal at 12:30 of the second, but Eakin deposited a juicy Antti Niemi rebound of a Chiasson shot just 28 seconds later to tie the game at 3-3 after 40 minutes.
[VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: Stars score lone shootout goal to hand Sharks first loss]
That’s where it stayed through the third period and overtime, in what was San Jose’s first game that required extra time.
Todd McLellan made a change to his lines in the second period and part of the third, swapping Nieto to the top line while Tomas Hertl skated on the third line with Joe Pavelski and Tommy Wingels. The lines were back to how they began by the middle of the third period.
Kennedy’s early goal was one second off from tying a franchise record for fastest goal to open a game. Stephane Matteau scored eight seconds into a game against St. Louis on Jan. 11, 2000.
This was the Sharks’ only visit to Dallas, a former Pacific Division rival now in the realigned Central Division. The Stars make two trips to the Bay Area later this season.
The Sharks failed on five advantages, after scoring at least one power play goal in four of the last five games.
Dallas was 0-for-3, including a four-minute power play in the first period when James Sheppard was called for high-sticking Valeri Nichushkin.
Niemi finished with 28 saves to fall to 6-0-1. Ellis made 32 saves to get the win.
Niemi allowed more than two goals for the first time this season. His best saves came in the third period, when he gloved a Daley blast from the circle with 14:35 left, and made a right kick save on a Jamie Benn backhander in the final minute of regulation.
Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen was out with a lower body injury. It was his third straight game out of the lineup after he was hurt on Oct. 11 during a game in Winnipeg.
Dan Boyle missed his first game with an upper body injury after his head went violently into the boards on Thursday in St. Louis and he had to leave on a stretcher. The extent of Boyle’s injury is still unknown.
Brad Stuart returned from a three game suspension, skating in Boyle’s place with Matt Irwin, and Bracken Kearns made his season debut in place of Matt Pelech.
Thornton played in his 600th game with the Sharks.
The Sharks return home to play Calgary on Saturday night, but then get right back on the team charter. A five-game road swing starts in Detroit on Monday, Oct. 21, and continues with games in Boston, Montreal, Ottawa and Los Angeles.