Sharks turn back Stars 5-2 for third straight win


JOSE – When Joe Thornton scored a goal into an open net 16:43 into
the second period, the centerman pulled into a point-per-game pace
for his career.

Thornton’s goal
and assist helped the San Jose Sharks win a third straight game, a
5-2 nod over the visiting Dallas Stars, and open a four-point lead
over the Los Angeles Kings in the Pacific Division.

After 1,044 NHL
games, Thornton has 1,044 points, coming from 317 goals and 727
assists. He tops the Sharks scoring list with 43 points this

Coming off a 6-0
blanking of the Columbus Blue Jackets Tuesday that featured
two-goal production in each period for the Sharks, the trend
continued Thursday through two periods as San Jose came away with a
4-1 cushion.

The only mark on
the San Jose defensive effort during the first 40 minutes came at
12:41 of the second period when Dallas winger Steve Ott jetted
through the Shark zone to score an unassisted power play goal to
leave the Sharks up 2-1.

Ott’s goal ended
a franchise scoreless streak of 190:51 for San Jose.

The Sharks visit
the Phoenix Coyotes Saturday night before home games next week
against Calgary (Wednesday) and Chicago (Friday).

Joe Pavelski
fired four shots on net in the first period as San Jose built a
15-7 edge in shots and came out of the period with a 2-0

Center Michal
Handzus was in the line of fire 4:42 into action when Brent Burns’
blistering low shot from the right point skimmed off Handzus’ leg
and past goaltender Richard Bachman for the 1-0 San Jose

Pavelski notched
the second goal 20 seconds after Star Alex Goligoski was called for
high-sticking Torrey Mitchell. Pavelski’s hard shot from the top of
the slot was slowed by Star Vernon Fiddler but had enough speed to
drop through the pads of Bachman for Pavelski’s 19th
goal of the season at the 16:32 mark.

Once Ott ended
the San Jose scoreless streak, the Sharks rebounded with two goals
within the next 4:02.

Logan Couture
collected his team-high 22nd goal of the year 14:59 into
the second. Burns feathered a pass from the right point that
allowed Couture, in the low slot, to redirect the puck past Bachman
despite defensive pressure from Dallas’ Trevor Daley.

The two-goal
period reached five when Thornton recorded his goal. Thornton
ignited the play when he stopped in front of the Dallas net as
defenseman Nicklas Grossman waited at the back of the net with the
puck. When Grossman skated around the net, his clearing attempt was
intercepted by Pavelski. Both Bachman and Grossman moved toward an
advancing Pavelski, but the Shark dished the puck to an unmarked
Thornton at the left post for the easy jam shot.

Ott assisted on
Jamie Benn’s 15th goal of the year 6:22 into the third
to leave the Stars down 4-2. San Jose regrouped to take a 5-2 lead
at the 11:34 mark when Ryane Clowe turned a rebound of a Couture
shot into his 10th goal of the season. Clowe had missed
the last six games with a facial injury.

Burns finished
with a season-high three points.




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