NHL Game Summary - San Jose at Dallas
Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Steve Ott's first career hat trick helped Dallas cruise to a 5-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks at American Airlines Center.
Ott netted goals 17, 18 and 19 on the season for the Stars, who have alternated wins and losses over their last 10 games. Loui Eriksson and Brian Sutherby also scored for Dallas in the victory, while Marty Turco made 29 saves in the rout.
"I don't care if I score the rest of the year and we win every game -- that's the more important side of it," Ott said. "I just try and work hard, and there were a couple phenomenal plays that I was just the beneficiary of."
Logan Couture tallied for the Sharks, who had won their previous four games. While San Jose's playoff status is not in doubt, the club is only three points ahead of Chicago for the top spot in the Western Conference and four ahead of Phoenix in the Pacific Division. The Hawks defeated Minnesota Wednesday, while the Coyotes are currently battling the Flames.
Evgeni Nabokov allowed five goals on 21 shots in the first two periods; Thomas Greiss made eight saves in the third.
"It felt like we were chasing the puck a lot back in our end," said San Jose forward Joe Pavelski. "All over the ice, it seemed like it was one of those things where we weren't sharp, and that's one of the things we've been good at the last four games."
Ott got the scoring started while the team was shorthanded. San Jose was deep in its own zone corralling the puck, but it got away from a Sharks player and into the slot, where Ott was waiting to fire the puck into the net from close range at 1:45 of the first period.
Couture pulled San Jose even a minute later on the same power play, deflecting a Dan Boyle slapshot while providing a screen in front of the net.
Eriksson put Dallas ahead for good with 9:40 to go in the opening frame after redirecting a perfect pass from Brad Richards in front of the net. Sutherby increased the lead to two with his fifth goal of the year 12:16 into the second period.
Ott then scored twice in the final two minutes of the second stanza to complete the hat trick.
First, at 18:19, Sutherby tipped a loose puck away from a defenseman on the right boards and held the disc in the San Jose zone. He found Ott in front of the net, and Ott beat Nabokov from in close.
The Stars went on a power play a short time later, and Ott tipped in a James Neal pass with 32.9 seconds showing for a commanding 5-1 Stars cushion heading to the third period.
Neither team scored in the third period, and Dallas skated away with the dominant victory.