DALLAS (AP)—The slumping San Jose Sharks figured changes were coming—and they were right.
Thornton can’t arrive soon enough for the Sharks, who went out and lost their 10th game in a row, 4-1 to the Stars.
“He’s one of the top centermen-forwards in the league,” Sharks defenseman Kyle McLaren said of Thornton. “This gives us more offense to carry the load. We’re very excited to have him but at the same time we should be mad at ourselves.”
Thornton becomes a teammate of his cousin, San Jose left wing Scott Thornton. While Scott Thornton will welcome his cousin, he’s also angry at himself and his team for the bad streak that caused management to pull off a trade that’s been in the works for weeks.
“There’s not one guy to blame,” Scott Thornton said. “We should all feel guilty about this.”
The Stars suspected before the game that a San Jose deal might be coming, and Dallas coach Dave Tippett didn’t know how the Sharks would react.
“We were really concerned about that game because of the situation that San Jose was in,” Tippett said. “You never know how it’s going to go. You never know how it’s going to affect their team. It could give them a big boost or it could get them all thinking. A good start was key for us.”
Evgeni Nabokov, winless in his last 11 starts, stopped 23 shots for the Sharks.
The last time the Sharks were in Dallas was Oct. 26, and they came away with a 5-4 overtime victory that triggered a season-best five-game winning streak.
Since that run, San Jose is 0-7-3, and Sharks management decided to shake up the roster with the blockbuster deal for Thornton, the Bruins’ captain and the first overall pick of the 1997 draft.
Miettinen gave Dallas a 1-0 lead at 5:10 of the opening period when he beat Nabokov thorough the pads with a forehand move he’s been working on in practice.
Miettinen was awarded the penalty shot after he skated into the San Jose zone a stride ahead of Nils Ekman, who pulled Miettinen down.
“That’s pretty much what I tried to do,” Miettinen said. “I tried that same move in preseason four times and it didn’t work. … That’s what I’ve been doing in practice on penalty-shot drills, just try to fake glove (side) and shoot five-hole.”
Dallas made it 2-0 at 17:43 of the opening period on Svoboda’s first goal of the season.
San Jose took advantage of a mistake by Turco at 18:02 of the first period to cut the deficit to 2-1. Turco was trying to handle the puck behind his net, but the puck took a crazy hop off the end boards and onto the stick of Alyn McCauley, who shot into an open net.
Zubov’s power-play tally at 3:55 of the third period and Morrow’s goal at 10:58 extended Dallas’ lead to 4-1.
“Our power play got us a huge goal,” Tippett said. “It was a good team game.”
The Stars have at least one power-play goal in their last 15 games, two short of matching the franchise record of 17 set from Oct. 11 to Nov. 18, 1986, when the team was based in Minnesota. … Zubov got his 400th point with the Stars. … San Jose is 1-10-1-2 against Dallas in the last three seasons. … The Stars had their first penalty shot of the season.