Final

Series (Game 7 of 8)

Dallas leads 5-3

Game 1: Tuesday, October 17th
Stars0Final
Sharks2
Game 2: Monday, December 4th
Sharks0Final
Stars1
Game 3: Thursday, December 21st
Stars3Final
Sharks0
Game 4: Sunday, December 31st
Sharks4Final
Stars2
Game 5: Tuesday, January 30th
Stars3Final
SO
Sharks2
Game 6: Thursday, February 1st
Stars4Final
Sharks2
Game 7: Sunday, February 18th
Sharks2Final
Stars5
Game 8: Sunday, March 4th
Sharks4Final
Stars0

Sharks 2

(36-22-1, 73 pts)

Stars 5

(35-21-2, 72 pts)

Coverage: NBC

3:30 PM ET, February 18, 2007

American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas

1 2 3 T
SJ 0 0 22
DAL 1 2 25

S. Zubov (Stars - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

J. Halpern (Stars - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

M. Ribeiro (Stars - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

Ribeiro, Lehtinen score two each, close gap on Sharks

Associated Press

DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars keep gaining ground in the Pacific Division.

Mike Ribeiro and Jere Lehtinen each scored two goals, Darryl Sydor added three assists and Marty Turco made 17 saves as the Stars beat the San Jose Sharks 5-2 on Sunday.

The Stars have 72 points, one behind the second-place Sharks and six behind first-place Anaheim in the Pacific before the Ducks' game against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday night.

On Jan. 15, the defending Pacific champion Stars trailed the Ducks by 15 points and the Sharks by seven.

"We're confident we can keep moving up," Ribeiro said. "We know where we stand. This was a four-point game for us."

Stu Barnes added a goal and Sergei Zubov had two assists for the Stars.

Lehtinen capped the scoring with 1:35 left on an empty-netter to help Dallas improve to 9-3-1 in its past 13 games, including a 6-1-1 run at home.

"[The Sharks] are a good team so we knew we had to come out and play hard," Sydor said. "We know what the standings look like. For us, this game meant a one-point deficit or a five-point deficit [behind San Jose]."

After consecutive shutouts, the Sharks ended their team-record scoreless streak at 190 minutes, 22 seconds on Mark Bell's power-play deflection at 1:52 of the third period. San Jose's previous record was 165 minutes, 38 seconds from Jan. 21-Feb. 1, 1999.

Mike Grier also scored and Evgeni Nabokov stopped 16 shots for the Sharks, who have lost their past three and were beginning the second half of a season-long eight-game road trip.

"It's a little late in the season for moral victories," Grier said. "We're not getting it done, not playing well enough to win games."

Turco was returning as Dallas' starter after backup Mike Smith played in the previous four games. Smith had started two of the previous four games and came on in relief of Turco in the other two, but coach Dave Tippett says there is no goalie controversy, that he was merely giving Turco a rest.

"He's looked good the last couple of days in practice," Tippett said. "You can tell he was fresh and rejuvenated out there."

Entering Sunday's game, Turco had allowed five goals in the previous 22 shots he had faced, but he was sharp in the first two periods against the Sharks despite flu-like symptoms.

"Marty's preparation was good and it was a good game to bounce back in," Dallas' Mike Modano said. "It was a big game for him and for all of us."

Dallas took a 1-0 lead at 6:41 of the first period when Barnes notched his 11th goal of the season, deflecting Zubov's pass from the right point past Nabokov.

At 15:05 of the second period, Ribeiro scored on a rebound for his ninth goal of the season and stretched Dallas' advantage to 2-0.

Lehtinen's team-high 18th goal of the season at 19:44 of the second period made it 3-0.

After Bell scored for the Sharks, Ribeiro's power-play deflection at 2:59 of the third period pushed the Stars' lead to 4-1.

Grier's 13th goal of the season at 13:15 pulled the Sharks within 4-2.

One of the few positives for the Sharks was ending their nagging scoreless streak.

"We've been in a slump but we're capable of scoring," San Jose's Joe Thornton said. "We hope this kick-starts something."

Game notes


The Stars have won five of seven meetings with the Sharks this season. ... Referee Rob Shick had to leave the ice less than 6 minutes into the game because of an undisclosed injury after being accidentally run into by Grier. The game went on with only one referee -- Marc Joannette -- before Shick returned for the start of the second period. ... Dallas forward Antti Miettinen was back in the lineup after missing three games because of a lower-body injury. ... Ribeiro has eight points in his past eight games. ... Lehtinen has seven goals in his past 12 games.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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