San Jose at Dallas

Stars ready for postseason with physical win over Sharks


DALLAS -- Stars defenseman Mattias Norstrom doesn't mind rough-and-tumble games, especially when he scores the winning goal.

Norstrom's rare goal put his team ahead for good late in the second period as the Dallas Stars rallied to beat the San Jose Sharks 4-2 on Sunday in a physical regular-season finale that included 160 penalty minutes, 95 for the Sharks.

The game meant nothing to either team in terms of the final standings, but a physical tone was set early with a series of fights that contributed to a playoff feel.

"Once in a while a game like that is fun," Norstrom said. "We showed we're professionals and have personal pride. We weren't going to take it easy on them and they did the same. We both showed up to battle."

Dallas erased a 2-0 deficit on goals by Antti Miettinen, Stu Barnes and Norstrom in the final 10 minutes of the second period.

With the game tied at 2 and the Stars with an extra attacker on a delayed Sharks penalty, Norstrom fired Toby Petersen's cross-ice pass into an open net with 13 seconds remaining in the second period for Norstrom's second goal of the season and 18th in 14 seasons.

"It was a great pass by Toby to set me up," Norstrom said. "We didn't have a lot going for us early, but coming back from two goals down, it's great to have that character in our team."

Steve Ott's 11th goal of the season, a blast from the right circle with 1:22 left, extended Dallas' lead to 4-2.

Patrick Marleau and Jonathan Cheechoo had power-play goals for the Sharks, who closed out the regular season with consecutive losses following an 18-0-2 run that earned them the Pacific Division title and No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.

San Jose will play seventh-seeded Calgary in the first round of the playoffs.

Brenden Morrow had two assists and Marty Turco stopped 32 shots for the Stars, who ended the regular season in a 4-8-2 tailspin that pushed them out of first place in the Pacific and into the No. 5 playoff seed. Dallas faces No. 4 Anaheim in the first round, and the Stars expect a rough series against the Ducks.

"The physical element is a huge part of what's coming up," Stars defenseman Philippe Boucher said. "We showed we're willing to hit hard and play physical. It was good to see."

There were 105 penalty minutes in the first period, 57 to the Sharks who collected three 10-minute misconducts and three fighting majors. Dallas' Stephane Robidas received a game misconduct and a five-minute major for checking from behind during the opening 20 minutes.

Joe Thornton, Alexei Semenov, and Jody Shelley of San Jose, and Trevor Daley of Dallas all received misconduct penalties in the opening period. Shelley was assessed a game misconduct in the second period.

"It got heated," Shelley said. "Once the playoffs start, all that stuff that happened today will be forgotten. Of course, if we play (Dallas) in the second round, it will all resurface."

The Sharks took exception when Ott traded punches with Thornton, San Jose's top scorer, at 8:42 of the first period. That led to a series of altercations.

"When you get cheap shots, when guys are taking runs at us, we're not trying to prove we're tough but we've got to respond," Sharks defenseman Douglas Murray said.

San Jose had 2:29 worth of a 5-on-3 near the end of the first period, and the Sharks capitalized with Marleau's 19th goal of the season from the right circle at 17:33.

The Sharks had two more power plays in the first five minutes of the second period and they took advantage on the second one when Cheechoo notched his 23rd of the season from the right circle at 5:46 for a 2-0 edge.

Dallas pulled within 2-1 at 11:35 of the second period on Miettinen's 15th of the season, a one-timer from the high slot off a setup by Mike Modano.

Barnes tied it at 2 at 16:13 of the second period, skating down the right side and beating goaltender Brian Boucher to the glove side for Barnes' 12th of the season.


  • For the third straight game, Dallas was without C Brad Richards (soreness) and C Mike Ribeiro (flu). The Stars expect both to be healthy for the playoffs.
  • Dallas called up RW Konstantin Pushkarev from the AHL Iowa Stars prior to the game, but Pushkarev was among the Stars' scratches, along with RW Jere Lehtinen (flu).
  • Out for the Sharks were D Craig Rivet, C Jeremy Roenick and RW Mike Grier.
  • Cheechoo returned to the lineup after missing six games with a head injury.
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The Stars and Sharks engage in a physical game to close out the regular season.  (AP)
The Stars and Sharks engage in a physical game to close out the regular season. (AP)
Related Links
San Jose (49-23-10)1102
Dallas  (45-30-7) «0314
Three Stars
S. Barnes

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
P. Marleau

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
T. Petersen

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 1

Related Video

Scoring Summary
17:33Power Play - Patrick Marleau (19), Wrist Shot. Assist: Brian Campbell, Joe Pavelski
05:46Power Play - Jonathan Cheechoo (23), Wrist Shot. Assist: Patrick Marleau, Milan Michalek
11:35Antti Miettinen (15), Slap Shot. Assist: Mike Modano, Brenden Morrow
16:13Stu Barnes (12), Wrist Shot. Assist: Brenden Morrow, Matt Niskanen
19:47Mattias Norstrom (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Toby Petersen, Niklas Hagman
18:38Steve Ott (11), Slap Shot. Assist: Joel Lundqvist
Penalty Summary
06:00Barch, 5 min, Fighting
06:00McLaren, 5 min, Fighting
06:00Winchester, 2 min, Cross-Checking
06:00Shelley, 2 min, Cross-Checking
06:00Shelley, 2 min, Roughing
08:42Thornton, 10 min, Misconduct
08:42Thornton, 5 min, Fighting
08:42Ott, 5 min, Fighting
08:42Thornton, 2 min, Instigator
08:42Ott, 2 min, Charging
08:42Thornton, 2 min, Cross-Checking
09:01Rissmiller, 2 min, Roughing
09:01Semenov, 10 min, Misconduct
12:40Crombeen, 5 min, Fighting
12:40Michalek, 5 min, Fighting
12:40Michalek, 2 min, Roughing
14:47Shelley, 10 min, Misconduct
14:47Daley, 10 min, Misconduct
14:47Robidas, 10 min, Game Misconduct
14:47Robidas, 5 min, Checking from Behind
17:18Barnes, 4 min, High-Sticking
25.0Lundqvist, 2 min, Charging
04:36Petersen, 2 min, Tripping
08:58Murray, 5 min, Fighting
08:58Crombeen, 5 min, Fighting
08:58Clowe, 2 min, Roughing
14:13Mitchell, 2 min, Charging
16:47Shelley, 2 min, Instigator
16:47Shelley, 5 min, Fighting
16:47Shelley, 10 min, Game Misconduct
16:47Shelley, 10 min, Misconduct
17:49Miettinen, 2 min, Tripping
02:26Miettinen, 2 min, High-Sticking
13:38Eriksson, 2 min, Slashing
14:51Marleau, 2 min, Holding
19:09Norstrom, 2 min, Hooking
Shots On Goal
San Jose1510934
Brian Boucher39:07114
Evgeni Nabokov20:0070
Marty Turco59:48322
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
San Jose2-for-4
Game Information
Attendance - 18532
Referees - Steve Kozari, Mike Leggo
Linesmen - Pierre Racicot, Darren Gibbs
Other Games
Pitt 0 Final
Phi 2
Chi 1 Final
Det 4
Pho 2 Final
Ana 3
Min 3 Final
Colo 4
StL 4 Final
Colu 1
NYR 2 Final
NJ 3