Sharks
Stars
3 - 2 Final
  for this game

Thornton helps Sharks edge Stars

Dec 6, 2007 - 5:40 AM
By John Tranchina PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

DALLAS (Ticker) -- It is sometimes said that the mark of a successful team is that their best players need to be their best players in order to win.

That was the case for the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday night, as Joe Thornton recorded a goal and two assists and two slumping stars also tallied to lead the club to a 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars.

Jonathan Cheechoo, who won the Maurice Richard Trophy as the NHL's top goal-scorer in 2005-06 with 56, netted just his fourth of the season and first in 12 games, while captain Patrick Marleau - the Sharks' all-time leading scorer - registered his first point in six games.

"Patty played really well and Cheech scored," San Jose coach Ron Wilson said. "We depend on them to score. If they don't score, we don't win the game tonight. We want them to score. They've struggled, and then we try to ask people who don't normally score to do it for us."

Mike Modano and defenseman Trevor Daley scored for Dallas, which was returning home following a 4-2-0 road trip.

"I don't think it was fatigue," Dallas coach Dave Tippett said of his team, which was playing its seventh game in a different city over a span of 11 nights. "We're a team that we have to be clicking on all cylinders, and if we have a few hiccups in our game or have a few guys under power, it's hard to win."

San Jose, which won its third straight game, climbed within two points of Dallas for the Pacific Division lead primarily due to Thornton, who scored the game-winning goal with 8:36 remaining in the third period.

"It was a pretty dominating performance," Wilson said of Thornton. "It's not just points, but all the other little details he has in his game. To have a player like that, it's enjoyable to watch."

"Joe Thornton had a goal and two assists, he was the difference in the game," Tippett admitted. "Our guys, we need to find ways to win them, whoever's on the other team. I thought we hung around it, but we came up short in the end."

Modano tied the contest at 2-2 at 6:08 of the third period, less than two minutes after another chance he had was reviewed by the video replay officials and waved off.

On the equalizer, Modano was stationed to the right of the net and received a pass from Loui Eriksson. With goaltender Evgeni Nabokov down, Modano whipped a wrist shot into the open side of the net for his ninth goal of the season.

"Loui made a good play and Nabokov seemed to overplay it and couldn't get back, so it was a bang-bang play," Modano said. "It was quick, but he was out of the net, so it was nice."

San Jose regained the lead with just over 8 1/2 minutes to go, when Thornton netted his 12th tally. Milan Michalek retrieved a dump-in behind the net and made a quick pass in front to a charging Thornton, whose one-timer from the slot beat netminder Marty Turco.

"Milan made a great play," said Thornton, who has four goals and 10 points in his last four games. "I kind of slapped it in. He got it and saw me. I don't think Marty had time to react. With (Michalek's) speed, you've just got to put it in the area. He's really good with the puck. He put it right on my stick."

The Sharks successfully killed a 47-second two-man disadvantage in the final four minutes to seal the victory.

"It did ratchet up the tension," Wilson said of the late 5-on-3. "If they happen to score quick, then we've got another power play to kill. The (fifth-)best power play in the league didn't get a shot. Unbelievable."

"The last two minutes, the ice is horrible at that point in the game," Modano said. "It's beat up, it's snowy. The plays you think you can make earlier in the period when the ice is nice and smooth and not beat up, it's not the case there late in the game. It was a bad time for us to get those power plays."

San Jose took a 1-0 lead during a power play with just 1:45 remaining in the first period. Cheechoo, who had notched just one assist in his previous seven games, banked a pass off defenseman Nicklas Grossman's skate and between Turco's pads.

The goal was the first allowed by the Stars' fourth-ranked penalty-killing unit in 14 shorthanded situations over five games.

Dallas countered just 3:31 into the second, as Daley carried the puck the length of the ice before launching a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle through a screen, beating Nabokov for his first goal of the season.

"He's a good skater. That's what you have to do, put the puck on the net, see what happens," Tippett said of Daley, who scored for the first time in 39 regular-season games. "We need Dales to do that more - not necessarily score more, but just to see him lug the puck up because that's an area that he can continue to excel at for us."

The Sharks responded less than three minutes later as Thornton put a beautiful cross-ice pass from the right wing boards between multiple legs to Marleau in the slot. The captain unleashed a one-timer that sailed over Turco's blocker for a 2-1 edge.

"That was a pass and a half," Wilson marveled. "The pass was like (Wayne) Gretzky and then some."

"We know what kind of player that he is, and the second goal was a prime example," Turco said of Thornton. "Two guys go and leave (Marleau) in front. It was still a great shot, actually, on Patty's off-wing. It happened so fast, I was anticipating he would pass it back, but one guy alone in front, it went through a bunch of guys. That is why he gets the recognition he does."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    SAN JOSE 1 1 1 3
    DALLAS 0 1 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - (PP) JONATHAN CHEECHOO 4 (JOE THORNTON) 18:15
    2ND PRD: DAL - TREVOR DALEY 1 (MATTIAS NORSTROM) 3:31
    SAN - PATRICK MARLEAU 5 (JOE THORNTON, DOUG MURRAY) 6:02
    3RD PRD: DAL - MIKE MODANO 9 (LOUI ERIKSSON, MATT NISK

    Dec 5 11:00 PM


  • NHL
    SAN JOSE 3
    DALLAS 2
    3RD PRD: SAN - JOE THORNTON 12 (MILAN MICHALEK, CHRISTIAN EHRHOFF)
    11:24

    Sharks vs. StarsDec 5 10:45 PM


  • NHL
    SAN JOSE 2
    DALLAS 2
    3RD PRD: DAL - MIKE MODANO 9 (LOUI ERIKSSON, MATT NISKANEN) 6:08

    Sharks vs. StarsDec 5 10:33 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    SAN JOSE 1 1 2
    DALLAS 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - (PP) JONATHAN CHEECHOO 4 (JOE THORNTON) 18:15
    2ND PRD: DAL - TREVOR DALEY 1 (MATTIAS NORSTROM) 3:31
    SAN - PATRICK MARLEAU 5 (JOE THORNTON, DOUG MURRAY) 6:02
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTA

    Dec 5 10:24 PM


  • NHL
    SAN JOSE 2
    DALLAS 1
    2ND PRD: SAN - PATRICK MARLEAU 5 (JOE THORNTON, DOUG MURRAY) 6:02

    Sharks vs. StarsDec 5 9:41 PM


  • NHL
    SAN JOSE 1
    DALLAS 1
    2ND PRD: DAL - TREVOR DALEY 1 (MATTIAS NORSTROM) 3:31

    Sharks vs. StarsDec 5 9:37 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    SAN JOSE 1 1
    DALLAS 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - (PP) JONATHAN CHEECHOO 4 (JOE THORNTON) 18:15
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    SAN 13 13
    DAL 4 4
    GOALIES: SAN - EVGENI NABOKOV
    DAL -

    Dec 5 9:13 PM


  • NHL
    SAN JOSE 1
    DALLAS 0
    1ST PRD: SAN - (PP) JONATHAN CHEECHOO 4 (JOE THORNTON) 18:15

    Sharks vs. StarsDec 5 9:12 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Packerchu Added 5 roots

    Sharks vs. StarsDec 5 2:57 PM