Published April 28, 2016
Tomas Hertl scored 1:12 into overtime against former teammate Antti Niemi to lead the San Jose Sharks to their fifth straight win, 4-3 over the Dallas Stars on Saturday night.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic scored twice and Chris Tierney also scored to give San Jose three straight home wins for the first time since last January. Martin Jones made 32 saves and earned his career-high 20th win.
Ales Hemsky, Tyler Seguin and Jason Spezza scored for the slumping Stars, who have lost six of seven overall and seven straight on the road.
Niemi made 35 saves in his return to San Jose. Niemi was the starting goalie for the Sharks for five seasons before being dealt to Dallas last June. He got a nice ovation and a video tribute in his first game as a visitor in the Shark Tank since the 2010 Western Conference finals with Chicago.
But he couldn't stop Hertl's wrist shot in overtime from the faceoff circle that gave San Jose the win.
Despite playing the back end of a back-to-back, the Stars had all the energy to start the third period. They tied the game just 33 seconds into the period when Seguin took advantage of a failed clearing attempt by Joe Pavelski to beat Jones with a wrister from the high slot for his 25th goal.
Dallas took 11 shots on goal in the period before a trip in the offensive zone by Jamie Benn gave San Jose a power play midway through the third. Vlasic then got the puck at the top of the circle and beat Niemi for his first career multigoal game.
The lead lasted just 12 seconds before Spezza tied it for Dallas with a spinning shot from the top of the faceoff circle.
Despite hitting two posts and generating several scoring chances in the first period, the Sharks trailed 1-0 when a puck bounced off the boards to Hemsky in front and he slipped a puck under Jones' pad to give Dallas the lead.
That was a bad omen for San Jose as the team that has scored first had won every game this season at the Shark Tank. In fact, the Sharks hadn't won a home game when they allowed the first goal since last Jan. 29 against Anaheim.
But they broke that drought by scoring twice in the second period. The Sharks tied the game off a good rush when Hertl carried the puck into the offensive zone and left it for Joe Thornton. Thornton then fed Vlasic, who beat Niemi with a one-timer for his sixth goal of the season.
San Jose then took the lead following an interference penalty on Alex Goligoski. Late in the man advantage, Niemi made a great save to rob Tommy Wingels. Tierney pounced on the rebound in the slot and knocked it into the empty net to make it 2-1 midway through the second.
NOTES: Stars D Jordie Benn did not play after the first period because of a lower-body injury. ... Sharks D Dylan DeMelo got his first career point with an assist on Vlasic's second goal. ... Thornton has 18 points in his past 14 games and tied Stan Mikita for 17th place all-time with his 926th career assist.