Dallas, TX – Richard Bachman posted 31 saves on Saturday to lead the Dallas Stars in a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks.
Dallas now has 45 points and sits in the eighth spot in the Western Conference. Detroit and Columbus also have 45 points, but Dallas holds the tiebreaker. Dallas and Detroit have seven games left while Columbus, which defeated Minnesota in a shootout on Saturday, has six games to play.
Alex Chiasson and Eric Nystrom scored for the Stars, who have won a season-high five straight during their push to get into the playoffs.
Brent Burns had the lone goal for the Sharks, who have dropped three of their last four. Antti Niemi gave up both goals on 19 shots in the loss.
San Jose remains in the fifth spot in the Western Conference, one point head of idle St. Louis.
Trailing by 2-0, the Sharks made it a one-goal game 5:56 into the third period while on the power play as T.J. Galiardi's shot from the right side was stopped, but the rebound came out front and Burns backhanded it in for his seventh of the season.
Bachman, though, held firm the rest of the way, making 12 saves in the third, including several at the end when San Jose had Niemi pulled for an extra skater.
"I thought we were spotty," said San Jose head coach Todd McLellan. "We got our game going, it took us a little while to get into it, and obviously that probably cost us the night. I thought we wasted some minutes and weren't hard enough on pucks. We didn't keep our noses over it, we reached a little bit. But then later on we got going a little bit, but it was too little too late."
Dallas got on the board just 1:57 into the game as Nystrom took a pass at the blueline and from the left circle he buried a wrister for his seventh of the season.
Skating on the power play, the Stars took a 2-0 lead as Ray Whitney's shot from the high slot was tipped in by Chiasson down low for his sixth goal of the season at the seven-minute mark.
"He played well," said Dallas head coach Glen Gulutzan about Chiasson. "It was a smart play by Whitney and our power play got us an important one, especially early if you get one on the power play there when you're back to back that helps. I thought he did a good job tonight."
Bachman kept San Jose off the board in the second with seven stops, while Niemi prevented Dallas from doing any more damage thanks to six saves in the frame.
Chiasson has scored six goals in six games since being called up on April 5 ... Dallas plays in Chicago on Monday ... San Jose finishes its four-game road trip in Phoenix on Monday ... Dallas has won all three games against San Jose this season and the teams have one game left, April 23 in San Jose ... San Jose was 1-for-2 on the power play, while Dallas went 1-for-5.