It wasn't the full two points, but it was progress. The Dallas Stars turned a dominant third period effort into a point in a 4-3 overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks. The Stars are still trying to fix things on the fly. This game was an example of how bipolar this team is right now. Through two periods the Stars were falling over themselves trying to turn the puck over. They couldn't complete a pass. They couldn't cover anyone. Nothing was working offensively, but still they managed to pull a point out.
At the end of the first period the Stars had a one goal lead thanks to an Ales Hemsky goal. If the league could award goals based on contributions to said goal, Hemsky wouldn't have gotten more than a 10% share. The rest of it would have gone to to Mattias Janmark. Janmark skated the puck into the zone and sent an errant pass across the slot. Somehow he managed to skate all the way around the back of the net to the far boards and get the puck back virtually untouched. After he got the puck back to the front Hemsky put it in.
The second period saw the Stars sad side take over. Jordie Benn left the game in the second period and wouldn't return, but it was bad before that. San Jose put two tallies on the board, but it probably could have been more. The Sharks had a 32-21 lead in shots through two periods, but oh how that would change in the third.
One thing we've learned about this team is that when they attack and play without fear they are one of the best, if not the best, teams in hockey. Lindy Ruff reunited Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, and Jason Spezza for the third period and the good side of the Stars returned. That line contributed both of the Stars goals in the period. Seguin scored from the high slot essentially one on one with Sharks goaltender Martin Jones. After the Sharks scored again to re-take the lead on the powerplay Spezza spun around and got a surprisingly hard shot off to tie the game at three.
In the third period the Stars outshot the Sharks 13-4. For a good 20 minutes on the road down a defenseman the Stars more or less dominated a quality team. Because of that period they forced overtime and guaranteed that they would leave San Jose with at least one point.
Three on three overtime was three on three overtime. Chaotic hockey, shots fired from everywhere, and chances for everyone. John Klingberg narrowly missed ending the game halfway through the session, but Tomas Hertl wouldn't moments later. He beat Antti Niemi in tight to secure the extra point for the Sharks.
The Stars now have two nights off in Southern California before they take on the Los Angeles Kings. There are only three more games before this awful month is over. Progress was made however. If the Stars ever need proof of how they need to play they just need to loop the tape of the third period for the next two days. Stay on the attack and you're a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. We'll see if the message has sunk in yet on Tuesday.