Sharks rally to beat Stars 3-2 in SO

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 22, 2013 at 1:26 am •  Published: December 22, 2013
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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Alex Stalock's first start in more than two weeks mirrored the play of the rest of the San Jose Sharks: a shaky start followed by a strong finish that led to a much-needed victory.

Stalock made 44 saves in regulation and overtime before stopping all five tries in his first career shootout to help the Sharks overcome a two-goal deficit and beat the Dallas Stars 3-2 on Saturday night.

"Obviously it wasn't the start I wanted to get off to," Stalock said. "I just stuck with it and just gave the team a chance to win."

Joe Thornton helped deliver the victory by scoring the lone shootout goal in the fifth round. That gave Thornton two shootout game-winners this season on his only shootout attempts since 2009, even if he wasn't enthused about getting the opportunity.

"I've seen him win two games for us," coach Todd McLellan said. "We may call it more often. That's what you expect from your captain, to step up in those situations and deliver, and he did."

Thornton also assisted on Joe Pavelski's tying goal early in the third period. Jason Demers added his first goal of the season for the Sharks, who had lost six of eight before rallying for this win.

Ray Whitney and Antoine Roussel scored for the Stars, who were in position to win their third straight game but couldn't hold a third-period lead. Kari Lehtonen made 37 saves.

"It's always frustrating to lose, and tonight it felt deeper for whatever reason," Roussel said. "They push back and find a way to win. That's why they keep going to the playoffs every year. It's still a learning curve for us. We played a great game but we couldn't get the big bounce."

After neither team scored in the first four rounds, Thornton beat Lehtonen. Stalock sealed the win when he stopped Whitney.

"I just wanted to be as patient as I could," Stalock said. "They have so many guys with some talent and I didn't want to be aggressive and go poke check them because they'll just go around. I just wanted to stay back, and it all worked out."

After a lackluster start that led to a 2-0 deficit, the Sharks fought back and tied the game early in the third period, shortly after failing to convert on the power play.

Thornton did a good job keeping the puck in the zone at the blue line and fed Pavelski, who skated from the boards to the middle and beat Lehtonen with a backhand for his 14th goal.

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