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NHL Game Summary - San Jose at Dallas

(Tuesday, March 16th)

Final Score: Dallas 3, San Jose 3

Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Jonathan Cheechoo's goal with 34 seconds remaining in regulation, his second in just over a minute, capped a late third-period rally and lifted the San Jose Sharks to a 3-3 tie with the Dallas Stars in a key game between the top two teams in the Pacific Division at American Airlines Center.

Nils Ekman also scored for the Sharks, who remained three points ahead of the Stars for the top spot in the Pacific with 88. Evgeni Nabokov turned aside 18 shots for San Jose, which is unbeaten in three straight (2-0-1) after a three- game skid.

Jason Arnott scored twice for the Stars, who are winless in four of their last five (1-2-2). Marty Turco, who held the visitors scoreless for nearly 54 minutes, allowed three goals on 27 shots for Dallas, while Sergei Zubov added a goal and Bill Guerin recorded a pair of assists. The Stars now sit alone in fifth place in the Western Conference with 85 points, one ahead of the Calgary Flames.

"It's going to come down to the wire," said Guerin about the close playoff race.

Nearly one minute after he tallied to bring the Sharks within one, Cheechoo struck again. Before the Sharks were able to pull Nabokov for the extra skater, Scott Thornton pushed a centering pass from the right corner boards and Cheechoo redirected it under Turco with 34 seconds remaining in regulation.

Dallas controlled the majority of the extra session. Guerin came in alone on a breakaway midway through, but Nabokov was quicker and the contest ended in the 3-3 deadlock.

"It's just brutal," Arnott said of the late letdown. "We threw away two points tonight - that's the bottom line."

San Jose remained winless in its last six trips to Dallas (0-5-1).

Trailing by three goals and seemingly ready to call it a night, the Sharks came alive and scored three times in the final six-plus minutes.

"It feels like a loss," Guerin said. "What a way to give away a point."

Ekman put the Sharks on the scoreboard with a short-handed goal at the 13:57 mark when he picked up a loose puck in the high slot and fired home a wrister.

Cheechoo then took over, as his pair of markers in a 63-second span brought San Jose back into the game. On the first, he hustled down the right-wing side and faked a slap shot near the face-off dot. With Turco out of position, Cheechoo lifted a wrister up high and into the cage at 18:23.

Midway through the opening period, Dallas went ahead 1-0 on an alert play by Arnott. Following a dump in by Dallas defenseman Richard Matvichuk, the puck seemed to be on course to go all the way around the net. But a strange bounce stopped the disc behind the net and Arnott stayed in front instead of racing toward to the far boards. Guerin gained control along the back wall and centered it before Arnott's one-timer at 9:54 put the Stars in front.

Later in the first, with just over five minutes to play, Zubov's power-play goal allowed the Stars to open up a two-goal edge. With Kyle McLaren off for interference, Mike Modano dropped a pass back to the left point before Zubov wound up and ripped a slap shot through traffic past Nabokov with 5:01 remaining.

The only goal of the second frame and the second power-play marker of the game staked Dallas to a 3-0 advantage. Once again, it was a penalty on McLaren that paved the way. After he was whistled for tripping at 13:42, the Stars needed just seven seconds with the extra skater to light the lamp when Arnott pounced on a rebound at the top of the crease.

Game Notes

Dallas forward Stu Barnes was struck in the face with a stick and left the game in the third period. He did not return...With an assist, Modano notched his 1,100th career point and became just the third American-born player to reach that plateau...Ekman has 19 points (6g, 13a) in his last 19 games...Dallas ended 2-for-4 on the power play, while the Sharks were scoreless in five opportunities with the man advantage.

03/17 01:46:38 ET

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