Coming off of a collapse in the third period last night against the Anaheim Ducks, the Dallas Stars looked to bounce back tonight by completing a series sweep against the San Jose Sharks. Instead, the team fell short yet again in California, dropping to 0-3 on their current road trip.
After a slow first period that featured only eight shots on net combined, the Stars jumped out to a 1-0 lead early in the second thanks to Radek Faksa and two other former first rounders, Valeri Nichushkin and Julius Honka. Unfortunately, Timo Meier scored towards the end of the period and again to start off the third, giving the Sharks a 2-1 lead. Joe Thornton potted one just five minutes later, and while Miro Heiskanen was able to cut the lead to within one with a beautiful wrist shot, the Stars were unable to complete the comeback, falling 3-2 in regulation.
The game started slowly. Very, very slowly. Both the Stars and the Sharks looked rather sluggish, trading the puck back and forth while not really doing much from it. Dallas didn’t register a shot on goal until shortly after the 10 minute mark, and both teams combined had only 12 shot attempts after 15 minutes, with only five on net.
The best opportunities for each side came in the last couple minutes. The Sharks had a breakaway down the side, but Roman Polak was able to tie up the forward and prevent a shot attempt. Not much later, the Stars’ top line was able to get some extended time in the offensive zone, but it didn’t amount to anything and the first period ended without much fanfare.
Allegedly the Stars and Sharks just played a period of hockey.— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) December 14, 2018
Score: Dallas 0, San Jose 0
Shots: Dallas 3, San Jose 5
The middle frame started off with a bit more offense, albeit all of it coming from San Jose. But that changed starting with a rush towards the net by Valeri Nichushkin. The puck was poked loose before Nichushkin could get a shot off, but he was able to recover the puck and then slide it across the net towards Julius Honka. The young Finn’s shot rang off the post, but luckily Radek Faksa was there to get the rebound and fire it into the open net. That gave Dallas the first goal of the night on just their fourth shot, courtesy of three former first round draft picks.
Valeri Nichushkin gets a nice puck over to Julius Honka. He hits a post and Faksa is there to lick up the gravy and break the deadlock.— Dylan Nadwodny (@dnadders) December 14, 2018
SJS 0 - 1 DAL pic.twitter.com/LG4WVLZzBL
That seemed to awaken something inside the Stars, who then proceeded to pick up the pace and put more pressure on Martin Jones and the Sharks. The Stars even took the lead in shots on net, but then Devin Shore took a delay of game penalty for “purposefully” dislodging the net with about eight minutes left.
The Stars were able to kill off the penalty and pick up where they left off, but unfortunately, they weren’t the next team to score a goal. With 3:40 left in the period, Timo Meier zipped one past Anton Khudobin to put San Jose on the board, and the score would remain tied heading into intermission once more.
Score: Dallas 1, San Jose 1
Shots: Dallas 15, San Jose 15
A little less than three minutes into the third, the Sharks had a 3-on-1 rush against Dallas with Polak as the lone defender. Meier, who is apparently a new Stars-killer in the making, had a quick back-and-forth with Logan Couture before wristing one past Khudobin to take the lead. Five minutes later, Joe Thornton was on the receiving end of a very fortunate rebound and found himself with a wide open net, putting the home team up by two.
For awhile, it seemed like that was it for the Stars, who were destined for another rough third period in California. But with 7:36 left, Miro Heiskanen called “8-ball corner pocket,” sniping the puck above Jones and cutting the Sharks’ lead in half.
There is life again, thanks to Miro Heiskanen's lethal wrist shot. The Stars are within one now.— Dylan Nadwodny (@dnadders) December 14, 2018
SJS 3 - 2 DAL pic.twitter.com/JfuwlDdztd
Unfortunately, the Stars weren’t able to complete the comeback. After multiple failed attempts to enter the offensive zone, the Stars finally managed to pull Khudobin for the extra attacker with 1:38 left. The Stars had several quality chances on net, but failed to get a third goal past Jones, falling in regulation.
Final Score: Dallas 2, San Jose 3
Final Shots: Dallas 22, San Jose 24
The Stars will finish up the road trip in Colorado on Saturday. Puck drop against the Colorado Avalanche is scheduled for 8 p.m. CST.