SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP)—Nils Ekman’s penalty-shot strategy worked to perfection.
Ekman earned the shot with 8:01 left in the second period when he was hooked by Stars defenseman Jon Klemm on a breakaway. Ekman found an opening under Tugnutt’s right shoulder to make it 2-0.
“I decided beforehand I’d walk over from the right side and deke a shot between the legs and wait and see what he gave me,” Ekman said.
Pierre Turgeon scored for the Stars, who lost their third straight and fell to 1-7 in their last eight games.
Vesa Toskala stopped 15 of 16 shots, just missing his second career shutout.
“They didn’t get many opportunities,” San Jose coach Ron Wilson said. “Our guys are playing so hard it’s fun to be around them. We went at it hard and kept at it. Too many times we’ve hooked the fish but let them off the hook. Tonight we landed the fish.”
Not even an admonishment from coach Dave Tippett following Thursday’s loss to the Los Anegeles Kings seemed to wake up the lethargic Stars. The game was more than 11 minutes old before they attempted their first shot, which came at the end of a power-play opportunity.
“There’s not a lot of flow in our game right now,” Tippett said. “It seems the harder we push right now, the less we get done. The only way out of it is to keep working.”
Patrick Marleau scored a power-play goal about seven minutes into the game to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead. Vincent Damphousse got the puck along the boards behind the net and flipped it out to Niko Dimitrakos along the right side. Dimitrakos delivered a perfect cross-ice pass to Marleau, who one-timed it past Tugnutt, making just his second start of the season.
“It was a great play,” Marleau said. “I just slipped out there from behind the net and got a great pass.”
The Stars had killed off 19 consecutive power plays in their previous six games before allowing the goal.
“I thought they came hard at us early,” Tugnutt said. “Marleau came from behind the net and I didn’t know. I would have liked to get a better read on that one.”
Toskala’s best save came midway through the second period when Jere Lehtinen had an open shot from between the circles. Toskala made a glove save after Lehtinen tried to wrist it by him.
Turgeon, who missed the previous two games with a hip injury, scored with 4:03 remaining after skating in from the blue line and wristing it just insidethe left post.
Sharks D Rob Davison missed the game with a knee injury. … San Jose LW Marco Sturm missed Friday’s practice with an illness but was in the lineup. … Sharks G Evgeni Nabokov hopes to return from a groin injury in time for Wednesday’s game in Anaheim. … Stars C Jason Arnott missed his second game with a sore groin. … The Sharks lost all five games to the Stars last year. … The Sharks have allowed just one power-play goal over their last nine gamesin 35 chances.