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Sharks

Stars Snap Sharks’ 8-Game Streak With 3-2 Win

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Mike Ribeiro #63 of the Dallas Stars keeps the puck away from Justin Braun #61 of the San Jose Sharks in the first period during an NHL hockey game at the HP Pavilion on March 5, 2011 in San Jose. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Mike Ribeiro #63 of the Dallas Stars keeps the puck away from Justin Braun #61 of the San Jose Sharks in the first period during an NHL hockey game at the HP Pavilion on March 5, 2011 in San Jose. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

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SAN JOSE (CBS / AP) ― Jason Williams scored his first goal of the season on a fluky deflection to break a third-period tie and help the Dallas Stars snap the San Jose Sharks’ eight-game winning streak with a 3-2 victory Saturday night.

Williams signed as a free agent with Dallas last month after sitting out the first four months of the season. His goal with 7:12 remaining was by far his biggest contribution in 10 games with the Stars.

He got possession of the puck behind the San Jose net and his centering attempt hit off the stick of Sharks forward Dany Heatley and past Antti Niemi for the goal that ended San Jose’s longest winning streak of the season.

The loss was San Jose’s first at home since Jan. 13 and only fourth overall in the past 21 games. The Sharks had surged from last place in the Pacific Division in January to third in the Western Conference standings over the past seven weeks but still are only seven points ahead of ninth-place Anaheim.

Janie Benn and Loui Eriksson also scored for Dallas and Kari Lehtonen made 29 saves as the Stars improved to 4-0-1 following a five-game losing streak that had put their playoff hopes in peril.

Kyle Wellwood and Patrick Marleau scored for San Jose. Niemi made 25 saves.

The win was the fourth in Dallas’ last five trips to San Jose and the Stars trailed in each of those wins. Dallas tied the game midway through the third when Mark Fistric’s shot from the point deflected off a cluster of players in front of the net and Eriksson knocked in the loose puck for his 23rd goal of the season to make it 2-2.

After Williams gave Dallas the lead, the Stars managed to kill off a late power play and hold on for the victory.

The Sharks took a 2-1 lead into the third period after Marleau broke a tie early in the second. Marleau started and finished a give-and-go with Heatley, beating Lehtonen on a two-on-one just 1:22 into the second period to give San Jose the lead.

The Sharks maintained the edge throughout the second, killing off a delay-of-game penalty on Niemi early in the period. Niemi helped the penalty kill out with a sharp glove save on Alex Goligoski to atone for his penalty.

For the second straight game the Sharks were the beneficiary of a favorable schedule as their opponent was coming off an overtime game in Anaheim the previous night. San Jose took advantage of that by beating Detroit 3-1 on Thursday, but didn’t start as fast against the Stars.

The Sharks went on the power play just a minute into the game when Karlis Skrastins shot the puck over the boards for a delay-of-game call. But just 19 seconds into the man advantage, Stephane Robidas sprung Benn with a long pass from behind his own goal line and Benn skated in alone on Niemi and beat him with a backhand.

Wellwood tied the game for San Jose midway through the period when he tipped a centering pass from Torry Mitchell past Lehtonen for his fourth goal since joining the Sharks in January.

Notes: San Jose rookie D Justin Braun was robbed by the post in each of the first two periods. … Sharks G Antero Niittymaki (groin), who has not played since Jan. 13, was activated from IR before the game and Carter Hutton was sent back to the minors. … C Brad Richards (concussion-like symptoms) and D Nicklas Grossman (hip) missed their ninth straight games for Dallas. … Sharks D Dan Boyle (upper body) missed his fourth straight game.

(© 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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