– by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief
DALLAS — After a season-long six-game road trip, the Dallas Stars and forward Devin Shore had the perfect start in their time back on home ice on Thursday night. Shore also provided the perfect finish as well.
Shore’s goal off of a rebound late in the third period, his second of the game, proved to be the game winner in Dallas’s 4-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks, the team’s third consecutive home victory and its first game played at American Airlines Center since Oct. 25.
Shore’s goal came after the Sharks came back from a 3-1 deficit to tie the game, as a shot from the point by defenseman Dillon Heatherington bounced off the chest of Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson and ricocheted right into the path of Shore on the left circle, who fired a forehand past goalkeeper Martin Jones with 5:47 remaining in the game to give the Stars the game’s decisive tally.
“That was just a lucky break,” Shore said. “They blocked the shot and it landed right on my stick. Hockey’s a pretty chaotic game. The bounce went our way for that one.”
Along with Shore’s goals, Dallas was buoyed by goaltender Anton Khudobin, who made 33 saves, some of the spectacular variety, as the Sharks ended up with a decisive advantage on shots on goal, 36-22.
“His will to never stop, his second and third effort I think gives confidence to the players to give that same third effort,” said Stars head coach Jim Montgomery of Khudobin. “The way he competes in the crease is the way our team needs to compete for 60 minutes.”
Shore’s opener came almost halfway through the first period, taking a pass from center Tyler Seguin at almost the same area of the ice in which he scored the game winner, beating Jones with a wrist shot at 8:57. Timo Meier answered for the Sharks with his now league-leading 12th goal of the season at the 14:18 mark of the first after redirecting home a centering pass from Kevin Labanc in front of the Stars’s net.
Dallas scored twice in a span of 45 seconds in the second period to open up a two-goal lead, starting with Seguin’s breakaway goal after he stole a pass from San Jose defenseman Brenden Dillon in the Sharks zone. The goal was Seguin’s first in his last 13 games.
Soon after, Gemel Smith tapped home a pass in front by Jason Dickinson for a 3-1 advantage at 7:42 of the second.
“That was a strange game,” said Sharks head coach Peter De Boer. “I liked our first period. Then I looked up and we’re down 3-1. We made some soft plays with the puck or poor decisions, and they’re a team that can stick them in the back of the net. I liked our push, but if you score three, you should be getting points.”
San Jose scored midway through the second to cut Dallas’s lead in half, as Joe Pavelski redirected a shot-pass from the point by Brent Burns past Khudobin at 11:17 of the second. At 7:46 of the third, Evander Kane tied the game when his shot from the slot, which was partially deflected and slowly made its way on goal, beat a screened Khudobin to tie the game.
Dallas resumes its four-game home stand with a visit from the Nashville Predators on Saturday afternoon.
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Thursday’s game, with all photos taken by Dallas-area photographer Ross James. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 27 pictures in total.