SAN JOSE, Calif. – Ryane Clowe had plenty to celebrate. He played his first game since a facial fracture two weeks ago and scored a goal. Even better, his father was among the sellout crowd.
“I looked up and saw him pumping his fists,” Clowe said. “He seemed to be having a good time.”
Clowe and four others scored in helping the San Jose Sharks win their third straight, beating the Dallas Stars 5-2 on Thursday night.
Several of the Sharks played in front of their fathers, who were seated in a luxury suite and were shown, beers in hand, on the big screen every time the Sharks scored.
Michal Handzus, Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau also scored for the Sharks, who beat the Stars for the fifth straight time.
“We all enjoy having our fathers here,” Thornton said. “They all turn into kids when they are at the rink.”
Clowe scored with 8:26 remaining. He has eight goals and 23 points against the Stars, his most against any team.
“I felt stronger as the game went on,” he said. “There were a couple of times early when I got the puck in the neutral zone and got caught from behind. I had to remind myself to keep my feet moving. I had to get up to the pace.”
Steve Ott and Jamie Benn scored for the Stars, who have yet to win the second game of back-to-backs this season in nine chances.
“There were a lot of frustrating things tonight,” Ott said. “We didn’t get the result we wanted and collectively there were a lot of little breakdowns. I think our faceoff percentage was about 15 per cent and when that happens you’re going to chase the puck around a lot.”
The Sharks had a 77 per cent faceoff advantage, the best by any team since the lockout.
Thomas Greiss stopped 19 shots to earn his seventh win for the Sharks, who established a franchise record for the longest scoreless streak by their opponents of 190:51. Dallas’ Richard Bachman made 32 saves.
Handzus gave the Sharks an early lead, taking a pass from Brent Burns, who skated the puck out from behind the net, and converting at 4:42 of the first period.
Pavelski scored on a power play with 3:38 left in the period to pad the Sharks’ lead.
“Our power play got us two and I thought our penalty kill was good too,” Sharks’ coach Todd McLellan said. “The power play is starting to look like it should. There is some emotion.”
Ott was credited with an unassisted goal during a power play midway through the second period. Sharks defenceman Dan Boyle tried to take the puck away, but he put it into his own net.
The Sharks answered with two goals in the final five minutes of the period. Marleau redirected a shot from Burns off the skates of Stars defender Trevor Daley.
“The Sharks played a good game from start to finish,” Stars’ coach Glen Gulutzan said. “Good indications were the faceoffs. They were manhandling us in the draws.”
San Jose scored less than two minutes later after Pavelski stole a pass and gave Thornton an empty net to shoot at for an easy goal.
“It’s good to see Joe creating some offensive numbers,” Clowe said. “When he starts to score like that you know he’s creating a lot of opportunities.”
Benn made it 4-2 early in the third period when he took advantage of Griess’ inability to cover the puck.
NOTES: Sharks G Antti Niemi missed the game because of an injury. The Sharks recalled G Tyson Sexsmith from Worchester of the AHL to be Greiss’ backup. … Sharks D Jason Demers was placed on the injured list to make room for Clowe, who was activated before the game. … Stars D Nicklaus Grossman was back in the lineup after missing a game due to flulike symptoms. … San Francisco Giants pitcher Ryan Vogelsong became the second baseball player to visit the Sharks in two days. Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Nyjer Morgan skated with the Sharks on Wednesday. … Ott has four points in two games. … Benn scored for the second straight game since returning from an injury.