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Dallas halts Sharks' win streak at seven

San Jose Sharks' Patrick Marleau, center, watches the puck pass him Sunday in San Jose.

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 8:58 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 8:58 p.m.

SAN JOSE — The Sharks couldn't make it a clean sweep of their seven-game homestand Sunday afternoon, dropping a 5-4 shootout decision to the Dallas Stars after twice failing to hold a two-goal lead.

Dallas forward Jamie Benn scored the only shootout goal, beating goaltender Antti Niemi on the stick side while Stars netminder Kari Lehtonen stopped shots by Logan Couture, Dan Boyle and Brent Burns.

The loss ended San Jose's winning streak at seven games, but the one point at least temporarily moved San Jose into a tie for fourth place in the Western Conference.

The San Jose goals in regulation came from Tommy Wingels, Brent Burns, TJ Galiardi and Marc-Edouard Vlasic while the Stars got two goals from Alex Chiasson and one each from Eric Nystrom and Loui Eriksson.

The game also marked agitator Raffi Torres's first as a Shark and he earned two assists in addition to drawing one penalty and being a disruptive force for San Jose.

The Sharks scored the only goal of the first period when Logan Couture stripped a Dallas defender of the puck behind his own net, then threw it into the slot. Patrick Marleau whiffed, but Wingels connected with a 20-foot wrist shot at 8:39.

Burns made it a 2-0 game at 3:06 of the second period when his shot from the right faceoff circle found a short-side spot between Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen, but the lead didn't last long.

Shortly after Burns scored, however, Dallas found the back of the San Jose net twice in a span of 26 seconds to make it a 2-2 game. A Vlasic turnover along the board led to Nystrom's goal at 3:41 and after San Jose had trouble clearing the puck in front of its net on the next shift, Chiasson tied it by converting a rebound of a host by Jamie Benn.

The Sharks showed their resiliency, however, on a beautiful goal by Galiardi on a play that started with Torres pressuring Nystrom into coughing up the puck. It found its way to Galiardi, whose spin-o-rama backhand move from 22-feet out seemed to catch Lehtonen off guard.

It took a video review by NHL officials in Toronto for the Sharks to make it 4-2 as Vlasic's wraparound attempt wasn't called a goal on the ice, though replays showed it did cross the line.

Dallas got the next two goals, however — Chiasson's second of the game at 6:07 of the third period on a nice pass from Ray Whitney, and Erikkson knocking a rebound past Niemi at 9:14.

Torres's presence in the lineup meant somebody had to sit and that turned out to be James Sheppard.

“Shep is coming out and by no means is it a reflection on his performance. He's played well,” McLellan said. “But we have to get some people into the lineup and get them playing so they get accustomed to what we're trying to do. And we're running out of games to do that.” Defenseman Jason Demers also played after missing the past four games with a head injury suffered when he was hit March 28 by Detroit Red Wings center Cory Emmerton. Rookie Matt Tennyson, who was called up from Worcester when Demers was hurt, was a healthy scratch.

“Again, it's not a reflection on poor play. It's getting Demers back in,” McLellan said.

Niemi earned his first point of the season with an assist on Burns's second-periood goal.

The Sharks were trying to become the first NHL team with a perfect record on a homestand of seven games or more, according to STATS.

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