Quick Bite: Sharks drop Halloween matinee to Stars

The power play scored two goals but it wasn't enough for a win in Dallas on Saturday afternoon.

It was all trick and no treat as the Sharks fell to the Stars 5–3 in a Halloween matinee. The Sharks kept the NHL’s leading scorer, Jamie Benn, off the scoresheet but allowed a pair of goals to Dallas' fourth line and a short-handed goal on the power play, and two power play goals of their own weren’t enough to come away with a win.

Pete DeBoer opted to start Alex Stalock today, saving Martin Jones for tomorrow afternoon’s game in Colorado, and the Sharks’ backup goalie allowed the Stars to jump out to an early 1–0 lead just 2:27 into the game. Patrick Sharp took the puck away from Brent Burns at the blue line to set up an odd man rush, then finished off Jason Demers’ rebound for the first goal of the game.

The rest of the first was relatively nondescript even though the Sharks spent a lot of time in their own end, thanks in part to too many men (served by Tomas Hertl) and interference (Joonas Donskoi) penalties. The Sharks actually had the better chances on the first penalty, while the crossbar saved a shot off the stick of Jason Spezza on the second. Shots were only 10–9 in favor of the Stars after the first, but the shot attempts (19–11 including 14–8 at even strength) told the real story of the period.

The second period was as crazy as the first was not. The Sharks fell behind 2–0 on a shorthanded goal by Jason Demers just 12 seconds after Alex Goligoski was called for interference at 6:57, but Joe Pavelski quickly made it 2–1 when he redirected Brent Burns’ shot for the Sharks’ first power play goal since October 13 against the Capitals.

That wasn’t it for the Halloween weirdness in the second period; after Justin Braun took a delay of game penalty for closing his hand on the puck, Matt Nieto scored the second shorthanded goal of the period to tie the game up at 2. Tommy Wingels assisted on the goal for his 100th career point.

Vernon Fiddler got the lead back for the Stars at 15:00 when the fourth line got stuck on the ice after an icing and Burns fell behind the net. Burns was probably interfered with on the play but didn’t get the call.

The Sharks tied the game up again with a little over two minutes left in the second when Joel Ward scored their second power play goal of the game and his sixth of the season. Shots and shot attempts were both almost even after the period, but that was as close as the Sharks would get.

The third period was a back-and-forth affair, with both teams trading chances until the Stars broke the tie on a tip-in by Antoine Roussel at 13:33. DeBoer used his coach’s challenge to check if the Stars were offside, but the call on the ice stood to give Dallas a 4–3 lead, which they extended a few minutes later when Brent Burns was sent to the penalty box for interference. Down a man with less than two minutes to go, DeBoer pulled his goalie to get back to even strength and Tyler Seguin scored a power play goal into the empty net to ice the game for the Stars.

After starting the season 4–0, the Sharks have lost five of their last six games to drop their record to .500 at 5–5. They’ll try to end the skid tomorrow afternoon when Martin Jones gets the start against a Colorado team that’s sitting in last place in the Central Division.

Sharks goals: Joe Pavelski (Brent Burns, Joel Ward), Matt Nieto (Tommy Wingels), Joel Ward (Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton)

Sharks saves: Alex Stalock—20

[Fancy Stats] - [Stars Reaction] - [Event Summary] - [PBP Log] - [TOI Log] - [Faceoff Report]

Fear the Fin's Three Stars

1) Antoine Roussel

2) Jason Demers

3) Antti Niemi