Thursday, February 06, 2014
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Wingels' OT winner rescues 2 points for Sharks

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[February 06, 2014]  SAN JOSE, Calif.  Goals are hard to come by these days for the San Jose Sharks. So what happened in overtime Wednesday was a relief.

Right winger Tommy Wingels scored at 1:52 of overtime on just the team's fourth shot since the start of the third period to give the hosts a 2-1 victory over the Dallas Stars.

"Our forecheck was better tonight, creating opportunities, but still not as many shot as we'd like," Wingels said. "Is every game going to be 4-5 goals? No. But we can't have one or two for this long."

Searching for any sort of sustained attack after the opening period, it came in sudden death as winger Marty Havlat made a nice pass in front to set up Wingels on the game-winner. Veteran defenseman Scott Hannan started the scoring sequence with a pass from the corner to Havlat.

"We were lucky to get a point out of it," Dallas center Vernon Fiddler said. "It would have been nice to get two, but they made a play and we didn't."

Dallas tied the game on its 17th shot when right winger Valeri Nichushkin one-timed a centering feed by defenseman Trevor Daley past Sharks goalie Alex Stalock at 6:27 of the third period to cap a chance-filled Stars' shift.

"They needed a goal, and they ended up getting one," Stalock said. "But we got the last one, we needed it, and we got the two points."

The Sharks didn't record the first of their only two third-period shots until left winger Patrick Marleau redirected a drive from center Joe Thornton at 14:18.

"We've got more patience now and we can play down 1-0 for a while instead of trying to rush things," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "There are times we went right at it hard and got careless. The game just slipped away on us."

Havlat scored his first goal since Dec. 17 late in the second period to account for the only scoring in the opening 40 minutes.

After having put pressure on Dallas during the previous shift, left winger James Sheppard fed Hannan at the right point. He fired a shot-pass just off net where Havlat redirected the puck from the edge of the left circle at 18:06 past Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen, who had stopped the first 14 shots he faced.

"It feels nice to win the game, that's the most important thing," Havlat said. "It's nice to score goals."

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San Jose narrowly missed making it a two-goal lead inside the final minute when an effort by Marleau got behind Lehtonen before cleared by the Dallas defense.

Until that point, the Sharks played very much on the perimeter during the middle period while the Stars, who won the night before at Phoenix, seemed content to defend.

Each team had a failed power play in the second period.

The Sharks held a 9-6 edge in shots following an evenly played and clean first period.

Stalock made the save of the period by going post-to-post to make a diving glove save on left winger Jamie Benn, who one-timed a goal-mouth feed from right winger Rich Peverley three feet off the ice at 13:32.

"I thought Peverley was going to pass it on his backhand there," Stalock said. "It was kind of a desperation save. It would be nice to make those saves a little easier. It's something to work on."

NOTES: RW Adam Burish made his season debut for San Jose after missing the team's first 57 games. Burish had surgery for a herniated disk suffered in the preseason opener Sept. 16. Signed to a four-year contract before last season, Burish collected just three points during 46 games last season, which was interrupted with injury as well. ... LW Matt Nieto did not return after blocking a D Trevor Daley shot at the horn of the second period. ... Dallas concludes the pre-Olympic break portion of the schedule by hosting Phoenix on Saturday. The Sharks cap a four-game homestand by entertaining Columbus on Friday. ... Sharks RW Tyler Kennedy skated in warm-ups on Monday, but suffered a setback and missed his fourth straight game with a lower-body injury. Teammate D Jason Demers missed his third straight with a groin injury. ... The Sharks completed a minor league transaction beforehand, sending F Curt Gogol to Minnesota in exchange for F Chad Rau. In a related move, San Jose sent RW Riley Brace from Worcester of the AHL to the Iowa Wild. ... Rookie D Matt Tennyson was San Jose's lone healthy scratch while C Dustin Jeffrey and D Aaron Rome did not dress for Dallas.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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