“Hits and Misses” for Stars at Sharks 3/5/11
Torrey Mitchell/Joe Pavelski/Kyle Wellwood – The trio was once again the most consistent line all game for the Sharks and were responsible for the Sharks first goal of the game, which was Wellwood’s fourth of the season, at 9:55 of the first period. Sharks defenseman Ian White picked up a loose rebound in the slot and fired a shot that was blocked. The puck bounced to Pavelski, who quickly fired a spin around shot that was blocked as well. The puck deflected to the high side of the end board where Mitchell won the race to the puck and sent a beauty of a backhand pass to Wellwood, who was camped out in front of the net. Wellwood got his stick on the puck and tipped the puck in the net through the five-hole of Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen.
Patrick Marleau – Marleau scored his team leading 26th goal of the season, and seventh in last 12 games, at 1:22 of the second period to give the Sharks a 2-1 lead. The play developed in the Sharks own zone as Marleau blocked a Stars shot from the point and quickly got an outlet pass to Sharks forward Dany Heatley at center ice, who skated into the Stars zone 2-on-1 with Marleau and fed Marleau a saucy pass that Marleau put in the back of the Stars net.
Ben Eager – Eager displayed his grit and edginess out on the ice, hitting everything and everyone, including Marleau, and finished with four hits in only nine minutes of ice time.
Ian White – White once again led all players in blocked shots as he had a game high four blocks.
Sharks Team – Simply put, the Sharks didn’t play as hard as the Stars, especially in the third period, and didn’t do the little things they had been doing previously that had made them successful, such as winning the races to loose pucks, getting pucks in deep, getting behind the defensemen, getting pucks to the front of the net and putting pucks in the back of the opponents net.
Third Period – The Sharks entered the third period leading 2-1 and in a 5:11 span, the Sharks surrendered the lead, two goals, the game and two points to a team that was playing the second game of their back-to-back as the Stars had played in Anaheim the night before. The tying goal for the Stars came at 7:37 of the period on Loui Eriksson‘s 23rd goal of the season. Eriksson passed the puck out to teammate Mark Fistric, who fired a shot from the blue-line that was blocked in front. As Stars forward Tomas Vincour created difficulty for Sharks goalie Antti Niemi and Sharks defenders with his body positioning in front of the goal crease, Eriksson worked himself back to the front of the net and banged in the loose puck as no one on the Sharks put a body on him. The game winning goal for the Stars came on Jason Williams first goal of the season at 12:48. Williams won the race to a loose puck at the left side of Niemi, went around the Sharks net and centered the puck out in front of the goal crease where unfortunately for the Sharks, Heatley had his stick laying out and the puck went off of Heatley’s stick and into the Sharks net.
Power Play – The Sharks went 0-for-3 with the man advantage and are now 1-for-12 in their last four games, all of which Sharks defensemen Dan Boyle has missed due to injury. The Sharks failed to capitalize on the Power Play at critical moments of the game, especially at the beginning and tail end of the third period. In addition, the Sharks Power Play unit surrendered a short-handed goal to Stars forward Jamie Benn, who broke in all alone and scored five-hole on Niemi at 1:19 of the first period. The goal was Benn’s 16th of the season and came just 19-seconds into the Sharks Power Play.