It's fitting that it took a shootout in Texas to end the Sharks win-streak as they dropped their first game of the season 4-3 to the Dallas Stars.
Alex Chiasson posted the lone goal of the shootout, shooting the puck over Niemi's left shoulder (GLOVE SIDE. GLOVE SIDE) to give the Stars the win.
While on their first powerplay of the night the Sharks nearly got back into the national headlines for all the wrong reasons. Niemi left his net to play a puck to his right and nearly deflected it back into his own goal ala Jonathan Quick.
The Stars went on a four-minute powerplay at 9:01 after James Sheppard caught Nichushkin in the lip with a high stick and drew blood. Dallas' first shift on the man-advantage was very active and without a nice save from Niemi the Stars could have easily tied the game up. San Jose was able to kill both penalties, but Dallas looked poised to even the score.
And score they would. After icing the puck, the Thornton line was unable to clear the puck after Hertl won the draw in the defensive zone. Thornton was crushed in the corner by Jamie Benn who then set up camp in front of Niemi. After a shot was deflected in front, new Star Tyler Seguin buried the rebound.
The deadlock did not last long as Matt Nieto showed off his wheels late in the first period. After picking up a pass while entering neutral ice, Nieto turned on the gas and sped into the Dallas zone. With a defensive player closing in on him the Long Beach native ripped a shot over Ellis to give the Sharks the lead again.
Trevor Daly evened the game up tow minutes into the second period by burying a rebound off a one-timer from Cody Eakin that deflected off of Brad Stuart and into the net a few minutes into the second period.
But the Sharks were able to retake the lead (again) thanks to a Patrick Marleau wraparound that was reviewed by the Command Centre in Toronto. Ellis was taken out by a fellow Star and Marleau took advantage, picking up his own rebound and stuffing it home. That lead would not last long, though.
Eakin picked up his second point of the night, burying a juicy rebound from a Chiasson shot to make it 3-3 just seconds later.
The third period featured plenty of open and physical play but no goals which brought us to overtime. With one minute remaining in the extra frame the Sharks were handed a 4-on-3 powerplay but could not capitalize sending the game into the dreaded skills competition.
And, well, you know what happened next. Pavelski, Couture and Burns all failed to score while Chiasson beat Niemi glove side to win the game for the Stars.
- That was an ugly, ugly hockey game.
- Shooting attempts were pretty even throughout until halfway through the third period where the Sharks finally started to pull away.
- Logan Couture had his worst game in a long, long time tonight.
- Speaking of bad games, Jason Demers did not look too spectacular either.
- Despite giving up big ole' rebounds for most of the night, Antti Niemi made some huge saves in the third period to earn the Sharks a point.
- I hate the shootout.
- A lot of people were hoping to see Hertl in the shootout. Since the Sharks lost, I guess I wish he had taken a shot, too.
- I'm looking forward to seeing what the scoring chances looked like in this one. The Sharks had some great opportunities that they were unable to pull the trigger on.
- In the end, the Sharks were probably lucky to get a point out of this game.
- I still hate the shootout.