DALLAS – San Jose has piled up win after win in numerous ways this season, and they were all on display Friday night.
Dan Boyle scored two goals, Evgeni Nabokov made 25 saves and the NHL-leading San Jose Sharks beat the Dallas Stars 6-2. “It’s about getting team victories,” Boyle said. “Everybody is chipping in. The defencemen are contributing offensively. From top to bottom, everybody is playing well.”
San Jose (19-3-1) added to the best start in franchise history by winning for the sixth time in a row.
The Sharks showed off their high-powered offence – they lead the league with 89 goals – and Nabokov didn’t allow the last-place Stars back into the game after jumping out to an early lead.
San Jose has a league-best 39 points, 10 more than second-place Anaheim in the Pacific Division, and maybe erased some bad memories of its most recent trip to Texas.
The Sharks played for the first time in Dallas since losing to the Stars in a four-overtime game last season in the Western Conference semifinals.
“I remember that feeling sitting in that dressing room after getting knocked out,” said Sharks left winger Ryane Clowe, who had three assists.
Boyle’s power-play goal gave San Jose the lead for good, and he scored again a few minutes later to put the Sharks ahead 3-1 in first period.
Nabokov won his second straight game after missing seven because of a lower-body injury. The goalie has won seven straight starts dating to Oct. 28.
“We were happy with our complete game,” San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. “When we were in these situations earlier in the year, we didn’t compete in the third period. So that’s the most satisfying thing for us.”
Loui Eriksson and James Neal scored for Dallas.
Marty Turco, who helped Dallas get within two games of a conference championship last season, stopped 14 of 19 shots and was pulled after the second period in favour of Tobias Stephan. Turco, 1-4-3 at home, came into the game with the worst goals-against average in the NHL.
Stars coach Dave Tippett said he’s keeping his options open on whether to make a change in goal.
“Our goaltending has to be better,” Tippett said. “Our (penalty kill) has to keep pucks out. We have a lot of things we have to work on. We expect a lot more from certain players and that starts in goal with Marty.”
Boyle broke a 1-1 tie when he drove a slap shot past Turco from the right point 11 seconds into a power play.
With 1:15 left in the first, Boyle took Joe Thornton’s pass and scored from the slot to give San Jose a 3-1 lead.
The Stars trailed by two goals despite taking five more shots on goal (12-7) than the Sharks in the first.
San Jose quickly built its lead. Milan Michalek scored on a power play 3:15 into the second, and Rob Blake added another goal to make it 5-1.
“It’s a credit to our team,” Boyle said. “We played really well in the first period. We didn’t give them any chances to get some momentum going and come back on us.”
Dallas has allowed at least five goals nine times in 22 games, which is one more than it yielded all of last season.
The Sharks are 21 points ahead of the Stars (7-11-4), who have the fewest points in the West and missed out on their chance to win consecutive games for the first time this season.
“We just fell apart,” Dallas defenceman Darryl Sydor said. “The hole will keep getting deeper if we don’t turn this around.”
Joe Pavelski redirected Clowe’s shot past Turco, who hasn’t won at home since Oct. 15, at 11:45 of the first to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead.
Dallas tied it 91 seconds later when Eriksson bounced the puck off Blake and into the net for his 11th goal of the season.
Notes: Stars C Mike Modano is two points away from 1,300 in his career. He would be the 31st NHL player to accomplish that feat. … Stephan stopped 10 of 11 shots, allowing Tomas Plihal’s goal at 9:33 of the third. … Thornton, who had two assists, has four goals and nine assists his past seven games.