There were a lot of things that could be made into a story before tonight’s game like the return of Adam Burish to the American Airlines Center in a Sharks’ jersey, Brenden Morrow being named as the second member of the 20th anniversary all-time team, the Sharks struggles after a 7-0-0 start or how both teams have struggled on the powerplay as of late, but at the end of the night in a classic divison rival match-up the goal scorers for the Stars came through and they earned a much needed two points closing out a three game homestand against the San Jose Sharks.
The game started off at a fast pace as the Stars and Sharks got quickly re-acquainted as division rivals. The shots in the period were 14-12 in favor of Dallas. Starting goalies Cristopher Nilstorp and Antii Niemi had a goaltender’s duel in the first. The Stars had numerous opportunities to score first including a one minute and two second 5-on-3 powerplay. The Stars went scoreless on three first period powerplays as the period ended with the score still 0-0.
The Stars had some early period penalty trouble as Jordie Benn, Philip Larsen and Jaromir Jagr all took minors that the Stars killed off within the first eight minutes of the period. The Stars needed a spark and this time it came from Jamie Benn as he and Sharks captain Joe Thornton had an electrifying fight that brought the crowd at the American Airlines Center to their feet. The fight definitely put the pace back into the game. The first goal of the game came with just 58 seconds left in the period as Sharks defenseman Brian Boyle was in the penalty box, Jaromir Jagr finished with a nice drive by wrist shot off a setup by Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson for his fifth goal of the season. The period ended with the Stars up 1-0.
Douglas Murray took an unsportsmanlike minor after the Jagr goal, so the Stars would start off the third period on the powerplay and it only took them thirty-four seconds to score as Michael Ryder fired a wrist shot past Niemi after a keep by Alex Goligoski on the point to give the Stars a 2-0 lead. It didn’t take the Sharks long to respond as Stephane Robidas was in the box for a hooking minor. Joe Thornton passed the face-off to Patrick Marleau who shot it past Nilstorp putting the Sharks on the board and cutting the Stars lead to one. The Stars shortly after had a big penalty kill and then attacked the Sharks zone, and this rush paid off as Jamie Benn wristed a shot from the high slot past Niemi giving the Stars a 3-1 lead, which would be the final.
- Congratulations to Brenden Morrow who was named to the Stars 20th Anniversary all-time team
- Seems both teams lost defensemen tonight: Aaron Rome and Philip Larsen left tonight’s game injured, and Brent Burns wasn’t seen noticed on the San Jose bench after the first period.
- Good news on the injury front as Trevor Daley and Kari Lehtonen are close to returning and Ray Whitney started skating this week.
- Michael Ryder pushed his point streak to four games with tonight’s goal, and goals in consecutive games.
- Congratulations to Cristopher Nilstorp on his first NHL victory.
- Adam Burish made his return to Dallas in a Sharks jersey and was a thorn in the side of Dallas for 8:28 seconds of game time.
- Before both teams scoring powerplays they had bad streaks going: Dallas- 0 for its last 16 before the Jagr goal. San Jose- 0 for its last 22 before the Marleau goal.
- Announced Attendance- 18,584
- Three Stars of the game chosen by Mike Heika, Stars beat writer for the Dallas Morning News: 1. Cristopher Nilstorp 2. Jamie Benn 3. Joe Thornton
- The Stars travel to Nashville to play the Predators Monday puckdrop at 7:00 on NBCSN