Tuesday, March 15, 2011

San Jose Sharks Roll In Big D; Keep Dallas Stars At Bay

Just when you thought the San Jose Sharks were going to take a turn for the worst, they beat down their division rival 6-3 Tuesday night.

It seemed like the perfect time to strike for the Stars. The Sharks had lost three in a row, two of those coming in a shoot-out, including a thrashing by the Chicago blackhawks on Monday night.

Just like that, the Sharks led the Pacific Division by just one point over the Los Angeles Kings.

It seemed like the perfect opportunity for the Stars, right?

Evidently not.

After no goals in the 1st period, things got going in the 2nd period.

Two early goals by Stars' Mike Ribeiro and Toby Peterson (shorthanded) gave Dallas a two-goal lead.

And we thought: Here we go again. Sharks treading water.

But two crucial goals by Joe Thornton and Dany Heatley put the Sharks back in business and tied going into the 3rd period.

The Sharks would storm out of the second intermission with a goal by Ryane Clowe just 1:51 into the period, followed by another goal by Torrey Mitchell just two minutes later.

The Sharks wouldn't look back.

After a Jaime Benn power play goal for the Stars, the Sharks would tack on two empty net goals for the 6-3 win.

It was a good sign for the Sharks because this was a big game, believe it or not.

It seemed like the Sharks were reeling after back-to-back defeats in shoot-outs, and then a meltdown in Chicago. Add that to the fact they were playing the second game of a back-to-back on Tuesday to the rival Stars, and this one didn't seem like it would go San Jose's way. That was especially true when Dallas scored the first two goals of the game.

Give the Sharks credit, though. They haven't had many meaningful games since their surge up the Western Conference in February (by the way, every game is meaningful in the Western Conference).

A good win in the second game of a back-to-back on the road is nice no matter how you get it.

It was also nice to see a large contribution from Thornton and Heatley.

Two goals apiece from both of them seemed to set the tone for the Sharks and goalie Antti Niemi, who had a bit of a rough night in Chicago on Monday, but seemed to rebound, at least a little, on Tuesday with 34 saves.

It was a good way to get the team back on track. A good bounce-back win against a challenging opponent looking for blood.

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