DALLAS – Rookie forward Devin Setoguchi scored twice in his NHL debut, with Joe Thornton earning the primary assists on both goals, as the San Jose Sharks defeated the Dallas Stars on Monday night in Dallas, 4-2.
Click here for pictures (PICS) and video (WATCH) from Monday night's game.
The Sharks scored three goals in a span of 2:51 in the third, coming back from a 2-1 deficit, to earn the victory and snap their two-game skid. Monday’s game was San Jose’s third in four nights following back-to-back road games in Detroit and Columbus on Friday and Saturday respectively.
Dallas forward Mike Ribeiro got the scoring started when he beat Evgeni Nabokov for a rebound goal halfway through the first. Ribero’s goal at 10:20 of the first was set up when Stars defenseman Philippe Boucher fired a bomb towards the Sharks cage. Nabokov made the initial save, but Ribeiro fought through Craig Rivet and roofed the loose puck for the 1-0 lead.
San Jose answered with 7:49 to play in the first, knotting the game at 1-1 on a wrap-around goal by Joe Pavelski. Patrick Rissmiller and Jonathan Cheechoo earned assists on the goal, which was set up by the strong transition play of the Sharks.
Pavelski intercepted a pass in the San Jose zone, then head manned the puck to Rissmiller who in turn passed it to Cheechoo for the shot. Pavelski darted into the zone, collected the rebound, circled behind the Stars net and stuffed the puck past Turco.
Immediately following San Jose’s equalizer, Steve Bernier accepted a challenge by Dallas Captain Brenden Morrow. Bernier had punished defenseman Sergei Zubov with a heavy hit on the forecheck, drawing the attention of Morrow. The two stumbled to the ice before either was able to land a punch, but still earned five minutes for fighting.
The two teams closed the first tied at 1-1, but Dallas wasted no time in regaining the lead once play resumed in the second. Just 5:12 into the second stanza, Stars defenseman Matt Niskanen scored his first career NHL goal when his shot from the point careened off Bernier’s stick, then glanced off Christian Ehrhoff and in behind Nabokov. The fluke goal gave Dallas the 2-1 lead.
On the ensuing faceoff, Douglas Murray challenged Stars enforcer Todd Fedoruk to a scrap and the two dropped the gloves. However, like the Bernier-Morrow bout the two stumbled to the ice before either could land a punch.
Sharks right wing Devin Setoguchi (16) beats Stars goalie Marty Turco (35) for his first career NHL goal (AP Photo/Donna McWilliam).
The Sharks earned a handful of quality scoring chances around the midpoint of the second, and Nabokov was stellar in net keeping San Jose within one, but the Sharks were unable to find the equalizer before the end of the second period.
Nabokov’s acrobatics in the third kept the score at a manageable 2-1 deficit and with 8:07 remaining in the third, the Sharks finally broke through. Setoguchi scored his first career NHL goal, an absolute blast from the slot, taking a brilliant feed from Thornton who was sprawled on the ice after being tripped. The goal tied the game at 2-2 and rejuvenated a hard-working Sharks squad.
On the first shift after scoring his first career NHL goal, Setoguchi scored his second career NHL goal again on a brilliant feed by Thornton. Milan Michalek and Thornton contained the puck behind the Stars net, while Setoguchi found room to Turco’s left and jammed home the puck giving San Jose their first lead of the night, 3-2.
Bernier capped off the Sharks comeback, scoring 17 seconds after Setoguchi made it a 3-2 game. Bernier snapped a laser past Turco for the 4-2 lead, the Sharks third goal in a 2:51 stretch. With his goal and his fighting major, Bernier finished the game just an assist short of a Gordie Howe hat trick.
THORNTON CONTINUES DOMINANCE IN FACEOFF CIRCLE
In addition to his primary assists on the game-tying and go-ahead goals, Joe Thornton also went 14-for-20 in the faceoff circle. Thornton finished 5-for-7 on faceoffs in the offensive zone and 4-for-5 on faceoffs in the Sharks defensive zone.
Entering Monday night’s game, Thornton ranked third in the League in faceoff percentage at 63.5, trailing only Chicago’s Yanic Perreault (70.8%) and Columbus’ Michael Peca (64.0%).
CHEECHOO’S DEFENSIVE PLAY IN FINAL MINUTES HELPS SHARKS
Jonathan Cheechoo made two, key defensive plays in the closing minutes of Monday night’s game, helping preserve the 4-2 victory over the Stars. In the first play, Cheechoo won a race to the puck by splitting two Dallas defenders to nullify an icing call that would have brought the faceoff back to the Sharks zone. In the second play, Cheechoo forced a Dallas turnover in the neutral zone on the Sharks side of center ice. With an empty net at the far end, Cheechoo gained the red line, then threw the puck in deep and went for a line change.
Forwards Ryane Clowe (knee) and Rob Davison (finger) were placed on injured reserve, creating roster spots for Devin Setoguchi and Lukas Kaspar to make their NHL debuts. Setoguchi and Kaspar were recalled on Sunday from the Worcester Sharks, San Jose’s top development AHL Affiliate.
Douglas Murray returned to the lineup, swapping places with defenseman Alexei Semenov. Mike Grier (groin) was scratched from the lineup and replaced by Marcel Goc for the second consecutive game.
Nabokov – Patzold
The Sharks return home on Friday for their first of eight meetings on the season against the intrastate rival Los Angeles Kings. The game is set for the traditional 7:30 PM start time and will be broadcast on FSN+, KFOX 98.5 FM, Sharks Radio Network Affiliates and SJSHARKS.com.
Wrist shot -
1 - 0 DAL
1 - 1 Tie
2 - 1 DAL
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2 - 2 Tie
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3 - 2 SJS
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4 - 2 SJS
Hi stick - double minor