DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Dallas Stars continue to prove that playing for each other makes the difference.
The latest opportunity to validate General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk’s confidence in the team was a 4-3 overtime shootout victory over the division rival San Jose Sharks Thursday night. The victory pushes their current win streak to four games and they are 8-0-1 in their last 9 games.
Michael Ryder opened the scoring in the second period with his 29th of season putting the puck underneath the left armpit of Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi.
“He’s (Ryder) be tremendous for us and anytime you can get a 30 goal scorer who works and is a great character guy, then he’s invaluable to us,” said Stars Head Coach Glen Gulutzan.
The Sharks would tie the game up with 00.4 to go in the second period. The goal was scored by Torrey Mitchell, his 7th of the season.
Twenty-five seconds into third period, San Jose forward Patrick Marleau scored his 27th of the season, to give the Sharks a 2-1 lead. The lead went away 6 minutes later with Jamie Benn’s 20th goal of the season, tying the game at 2-2.
“I got a couple of lucky bounces and I don’t think the goalie was expecting a quick shot there,” claimed Benn.
The fans in the arena thought it was over when Sharks forward Joe Pavelski put away the go ahead goal, his 24th of the season, with three and a half minutes to go in the game to make it 3-2. The Stars answered with a goal from Tomas Vincour, his fourth of the season.
The game would go to the shootout and the hero from regulation got the only goal to give his club the victory. Vincour only logged six minutes of ice time during tonight’s contest was not surprised he was picked to shoot. “If I have to be honest…no, I wasn’t surprised he put me out there,” said Vincour.
This win gives the Dallas much needed confidence since San Jose has beaten them three times this year outscoring the Stars 14-5. The Stars came back home after their most successful road trip of the season through Western Canada winning six out of a possible six points.
“It gives us a little bit of a boost. There is no question they (San Jose) have our number but for coming back off the road we played a pretty good game. We gave up a lot but they are a bit of a wounded bear right now. It is not an easy game,” preached Gulutzan.
With two more points added to the total, the Stars pad their lead atop of the division with 79 points. “We’ve had our struggles with them this year and we knew that coming in. We wanted to play our game, play the right way and play the way we have been lately. That’s what we did tonight. We got down and battled back to get two points from a division rival,” said Stars forward Jamie Benn.
The team continues to play good hockey during a stretch that requires resiliency and resolve.
“Those guys are playing for each other showing a lot of resiliency and character. The bench was real good tonight as far leadership from every guy. Just a gutsy performance and the guys gutted it out,” said Gulutzan.
Stars host the Anaheim Ducks Saturday night in Dallas with another opportunity to increase their division lead. Dallas is 4-1 going into the final game against the Ducks this season.
Stars forward Steve Ott was scratched from the game with Back Spasms
Stars defenseman Sheldon Souray did not return after a 2nd period injury labeled as a lower body injury.
Stars defenseman Mark Fistric did not play the third period because of a hand injury. X-rays were negative.
During this 8-0-1 streak, the Stars have come from behind 4 times to win.
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