The San Jose Sharks and Dallas Stars squared off as San Jose continued its six-game homestand and the Stars started a trip through Western Canada with a stop in Northern California. The Sharks’ floundering power play struggled again and went 0-5 with the man advantage against the Stars.
The lack of defensive structure in the Stars’ game evidently is contagious. The first period featured a trio of goals, and all of them had some ‘Charmin-soft’ defensive play.
On the opening goal, Patrick Marleau was left completely alone in front of Kari Lehtonen and went bar down on the Finnish netminder. All five Stars players skated away from Marleau right in the crease, and he rifled home his 504th career goal. The Sharks were not impervious from the shoddy defensive-zone play.
Remi Elie, a recent call-up from the Texas Stars of the AHL, scored his first career NHL goal as Mikkel Boedker and Brent Burns barely noticed the 6-foot-4-inch, 203-pound winger take a few whacks at the puck in the blue paint. Credit Aaron Dell for making the first stops, but it was too much.
Finally, in another defensive breakdown, Joe Pavelski wristed home the second goal for the Sharks, beating Lehtonen low blocker side after the Stars defender kindly slid all the way over to cover the pass, allowing Pavelski all the room he needed to shoot against the grain. Both coaches between periods may have had a few choice words for their respective teams’ defensive play. But somehow, the Sharks took a 2-1 lead into the locker rooms despite being outshot 15-6 on, once again, stellar goaltending from Dell.
The Sharks struck again in the early going of the second period. Couture found a camped-out Joel Ward in the slot and he one-timed a shot past Lehtonen with a perfect screen by Jamie Oleksiak in front of the Dallas net. Stars coach Lindy Ruff had seen enough, and for the second consecutive game and 12th time this season he made a goaltending change. The goalie switch took a second as they first had to find Antti Niemi, but he did enter the game eventually.
It looked like they were ready to pull Lehtonen for Niemi, but I don’t see Niemi anywhere. Now he’s coming. Where was he?
— Kevin Kurz (@KKurzNHL) March 13, 2017
The Sharks extended the lead with Joe Pavelski’s fourth career shorthanded marker. The San Jose captain broke in alone and beat his former teammate Niemi glove side.
— Brodie Brazil (@BrodieNBCS) March 13, 2017
San Jose kept pouring pressure on late in the period and outside of a Tyler Seguin shot off the post, little else threatened Dell in the middle stanza. The Sharks were a drastically improved squad in the second period, and the Stars’ defensive struggles continued.
The Sharks got right back at it in the early going of the third period as Chris Tierney scored his first goal since Feb. 2 to extend the Sharks’ lead to 5-1. Dylan DeMelo one-timed the puck towards the net and Tierney deflected it on goal for a Niemi save. The puck bounced right back out to the Sharks’ fourth line center, who notched his seventh of the season. Thirty seconds later, Dallas goalscorer Elie was sent off for holding Marc-Edouard Vlasic. The Stars had a pair of great looks on the Sharks’ net but the Sharks’ rookie backup, as he has been all year, was up to the task.
Sharks power play results in 2 huge goalies saves … by Aaron Dell …
— Teal Town USA (@TealTownUSA) March 13, 2017
Jamie Benn found the third post of the night for Dallas just after the nine-minute mark, as the Stars’ bad luck on both ends of the ice continued. The game mercifully ended for the Stars at the 5-1 mark as both teams finished out the contest without any extracurricular activity.
Patrick Marleau (23) assisted by Justin Braun and Logan Couture
Remi Elie (1) (unassisted)
Joe Pavelski (25) assisted by Joe Thornton and Paul Martin
Joel Ward (8) assisted by Logan Couture and Paul Martin
Joe Pavelski (26) (Shorthanded) (unassisted)
Chris Tierney (7) Assisted by Dylan DeMelo and Marcus Sorensen
THW Three Stars
First Star: Aaron Dell (29 saves)
Second Star: Joe Pavelski (Two goals)
Third Star: Paul Martin (Two assists)
San Jose Sharks vs. Team
SAP Center – 7:30 PM PST on March 14, 2017
Broadcast Channels: CSN-CA, MSG-B
Feb. 7: Sabres 5 – Sharks 4 (OT)
Dallas Stars vs. Edmonton Oilers
Rogers Place – 9:00 PM EST on March 14, 2017
Broadcast Channels: SNW, FS-SW
Nov. 11: Stars 3 – Oilers 2
Nov. 19: Oilers 5 – Stars 2