SAN JOSE, Calif. – Andrew Raycroft kept coming up with brilliant saves through overtime, and didn’t change a bit during the shootout.
Raycroft stopped 31 shots, including a series of point-blank saves in regulation and overtime, then stopped two of San Jose’s three shootout attempts as the Dallas Stars beat the Sharks 3-2 on Monday night.
“If you don’t guess right it can make you look ugly,” Raycroft said. “At that point you’re just trying to put pressure on them as shooters.”
Jamie Benn, who also scored first goal of the game, and Brad Richards scored in the shootout for Dallas.
Raycroft then stopped Ryane Clowe in the third round to give the Stars their second shootout victory in three games.
“Andrew showed he’s a professional,” Stars coach Marc Crawford said. “He made a couple of huge saves for us. He keeps showing the ability to rise to the occasion.”
Mike Ribeiro added a goal in regulation for the Stars.
“We were able to contain them after they had the two goals and came right at us and skated circles around us,” Ribeiro said. “Andrew made some big saves at the right time, and our special teams were good enough to get us the win.”
Derek Joslin, with his first NHL goal, and Clowe scored in regulation for the Sharks, who lost for the second time in five games. Clowe has points in five straight games and seven of eight.
“They got a couple of fluky goals, to be honest,” said Raycroft, who was making his fourth straight start. “The first one I got my leg kicked out completely and was unable to get into the play. The second one went off a jersey or something. We didn’t give them much at all and kept plugging away.”
Antti Niemi made 29 saves for the Sharks.
“We didn’t let them get too many scoring opportunities and we kept playing good defence,” Niemi said. “It’s disappointing to just get the one point, but when you go to a shootout you can’t do much about that.”
Dallas captain Brenden Morrow took a puck to the face near the end of the first period but returned to the ice with a special mask to protect his lip and nose, where he was struck.
Ribeiro beat Sharks defenceman Marc-Edouard Vlasic to the puck behind the net and set up a wide-open shot for Benn from the slot as the Stars took the early lead with 13:43 left in the first period.
The Sharks, outworked for 25 minutes, then scored twice within two minutes of the second period to take a 2-1 lead.
Joslin scored from the side after taking a sharp pass from Joe Thornton. Clowe followed with his fifth goal in eight games, with an assist from Benn Ferriero.
“It was a good divisional game,” Thornton said. “There was a lot of passion on the ice. It’s the kind of game you wish you could play forever. We played good with only getting one power play. They are a good defensive team and do a good job of being in the shooting lanes.”
The Stars tied it when Ribeiro scored off a pass from Stephane Robidas. Ribeiro has scored three of his five goals against the Sharks.
NOTES: Clowe was chosen as the NHL’s top star for last week. … Dallas G Kari Lehtonen remained at home to rest his sore back. He could be ready to start against the Sharks on Thursday. … Sharks D Doug Murray was scratched because of a lower body injury. … The Stars have won the season series from the Sharks in six of seven seasons. … Stars D Mark Fistric returned after missing seven games because of a groin injury. … The Stars are 30-16-3 in San Jose.