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Ribeiro Leads Stars Past Sharks In OT

(Sports Network) – Mike Ribeiro’s second goal of the game and season 2:52 into overtime lifted Dallas to a dramatic 5-4 come-from-behind win over San Jose at American Airlines Center.

Brad Richards added a goal and two assists and James Neal netted a pair of goals, while Kari Lehtonen turned away 35 shots to earn the victory for the Stars, who have won two straight after a three-game skid.

Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski each netted a goal for the Sharks, who also blew a two-goal third period lead and lost in overtime Wednesday night to the Colorado Avalanche.

“Not much you can say,” said Sharks forward Ryane Clowe. “Tonight it was even worse, I think. Five minutes left we were totally in control, playing pretty solid. Two shifts in a row, you know, it’s just…four out of five goals for them tonight, or actually five, came right on top of our crease.”

Antti Niemi stopped 36 shots in defeat for the visitors, who had won four out of five at home before hitting the road.

The Sharks grabbed a 4-2 lead 6 1/2 minutes into the third period when Marleau circled behind the net and emerged on the right doorstep to deposit the rebound of his own shot that originated from the left circle.

San Jose had a goal disallowed less than 1 1/2 minutes later when it was ruled after replay review that Marleau had touched the puck with a high stick.

Dallas tied the score with two goals in a span of 29 seconds late in the game.

Richards fed in front and the puck bounced off the left leg of Neal with 2:35 left in the contest before Ribeiro picked up a loose puck in the crease and flipped it past Niemi with 2:06 to go.

Ribeiro then had a potential game-winner waved off with 36 seconds remaining after the whistle had blown during a scrum in front of the San Jose net.

In the extra session, Brenden Morrow took the puck away from Dan Boyle behind the Sharks net and fed it out in front to Ribeiro, who moved to his right and backhanded a shot over a prone Niemi to win the game.

“It felt great,” Ribeiro said to break a long scoring drought with the tying and winning goals. “I’ve had slumps in my career in the middle of a season. So, you don’t really see it or really feel it if it’s the 40th game of the year until the 50th. When you go 16 at the beginning of the year, it’s a little bit harder. It gets to you. I was a little bit frustrated the last few games, too. The boys kept joking with me, kept me smiling and stayed positive with me.”

Richards was involved in both goals that gave the Stars a 2-0 lead 7 1/2 minutes into the contest.

His stuffer at 5:15 started the scoring before his slap shot from the midpoint was tipped home by Neal at 7:30.

The Sharks halved the lead with 1:19 remaining in the period when Scott Nichol split two defenders and beat Lehtonen high to the glove side.

San Jose tied the game just past the midway mark of the middle session when Pavelski picked up a rebound and tucked home a wraparound at 10:21.

The visitors took the lead only 2:16 later when Logan Couture’s wrist shot from the left side of the net deflected off a Dallas defenseman past Lehtonen.

Game Notes

Ribeiro’s last regular-season goal came on April 2 against Edmonton…He had gone 20 straight games without a goal…Neal broke a seven-game goal drought. Lehtonen earned his second career win over the Sharks…Dallas has won five straight at home. The Stars have won three straight on home ice over the Sharks, who had won eight of the prior 11 as the visitor…Clowe had two assists for the Sharks, who were 0-for-5 on the power play.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.