After a strong victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night the Dallas Stars headed north to the California Bay Area to face the Pacific division leading San Jose Sharks. Even with a somewhat miserable record so far this year the hype was tremendous and for three solid periods both teams lived up to expectations. At times the teams resembled last seasons playoff matchup, that is until this seasons cursed Marty Turco showed him self late in the third period costing the Stars the victory.
"It's self explanatory," a distraught Turco said in the Stars postgame recap. "Generally, I let them dictate the play and I shouldn't be going high over the middle. To make matters worse, I knocked it into the net. I don't know what I was thinking."
The good news is, the Stars played a solid game and don’t have much to hang their heads about as they prepare for the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.
The game started out just like any follower of these teams would have expected, feisty. The Stars B.J. Crombeen and the Sharks Ryane Clowe jumped out at 5:49 into a nice exchange of fists. Crombeen ended the brawl with a crushing right to Clowe’s jaw. The Sharks would draw early blood at 7:13 on a Dan Boyle goal from Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau. Sean Avery would earn himself two penalties in the first period, one for cross-checking at 8:42 and one for slashing at 18:20.
The second period saw more even-played action with the Stars looking to tie the game. Neither team would find themselves on the scoreboard in the second, even though San Jose gave Dallas two power play chances at 6:44 (Setoguchi served the bench minor for too many men on the ice) and 12:04 (Thornton–boarding). The Stars Brenden Morrow gave the Sharks their only extra man chance with a two minute tripping penalty at 10:54.
The third period saw even higher-paced adrenaline action. Dallas’ Loui Eriksson scored on a backhand goal to tie the game at one. Steve Ott recorded an assist on the goal. Jeremy Roenick would get a two minute hooking penalty at 4:10, but Dallas would not be able to score on the man advantage.
Each team looked destined for overtime until, with the final thirty seconds dripping away, Marty Turco mishandled a puck. The Sharks Patrick Marleau scored on a backhand goal to earn his team the win.
"I was on the good end of a nice bounce, and I was fortunate to put it in," Marleau said. "We still had a little bit of a bitter taste in our mouth (from last year) so it was good to get the win."
"(Turco) played a very good game," Coach Dave Tippett said. "It was a hard fought game and we played well. But in the end we made a mistake that cost us."
The Stars have a good break to rest and fix minor problems before facing the struggling Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center on Tuesday.
Image: Courtesy of Yahoo Sports and Getty Images
Original Boxscore: Courtesy of NHL.com
Quotes: Courtesy of the Dallas Stars website
Ken Armer is the NHL Community Coordinator for Bleacher Report and also serves as the Community Leader for the Dallas Stars. He can be contacted on his profile or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.