By Stephen Hunt, The Sports Xchange
DALLAS — All season long, the Dallas Stars have been almost unbeatable at home. On Sunday night against the San Jose Sharks, however, they kicked that success up a notch with a 6-0 win at American Airlines Center.
Tyler Pitlick scored two goals, and Ben Bishop stopped all 26 shots he faced for his 23rd career shutout and fourth of the season.
“We played the way that you have to play to beat San Jose — you have to be able to skate, and you can’t give up things easy,” Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said. “I thought inside the dots, we played really well. We didn’t give them a chance to breathe and built a lead.”
Dallas, which led 2-0 after one period and 4-0 after two, is now 14-4-1 at home. The Stars have won the first two games of a six-game homestand.
John Klingberg, Stephen Johns, Tyler Seguin and Devin Shore also scored for Dallas (22-15-3). The Stars got three assists from Radek Faksa, who tied a career high, and two apiece from Mattias Janmark and Jamie Benn.
San Jose (20-12-4) was shut out for the second time this season.
“I don’t know (what happened),” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. “Not the way we want to start the road trip. I think right from the drop of the puck, I thought they were the hungrier team.”
Klingberg opened the Stars’ barrage with his fifth goal of the season 6:19 into the game. He beat Martin Jones far post on a one-timer from the right circle.
Pitlick then gave Dallas a two-goal lead when he scored with 4:53 remaining in the opening frame. Pitlick beat Jones top shelf and to his short side from the slot.
Johns made it 3-0 with his fourth goal of the season 4:25 into the second period when he scored from the high slot during a four-on-four situation.
Seguin added a power-play goal when he redirected a Klingberg wrist shot for his 19th goal of the season at 9:33 of the second. Seguin knocked Klingberg’s wrister into the top of the San Jose net.
“I think we’re playing some really good hockey,” Klingberg said. “When we needed (Bishop) to step up, he did. We feel good about ourselves now. We’ve got a lot of confidence.”
Dallas now has a power-play goal in its last six games.
Sharks center Logan Couture, who leads the team with 15 goals, returned after missing the previous four games with a concussion.
“Yeah, I didn’t feel great in the first (period). My legs weren’t there, timing and everything was off,” Couture said. “Like I said, I didn’t play very well. But I’m back. I made it through the game, and I’m ready for the next one.”
The Stars lost two players to injury in the second period. At 7:04 into the middle frame, Alexander Radulov went hard into the boards while battling Justin Braun. Radulov left the ice on his own, but after sitting on the Dallas bench for several minutes, retired to the dressing room.
Radulov had an upper-body injury and did not return.
“He’s going to be fine,” Hitchcock said of Radulov. “We held him out precautionary-wise with the neck just to make sure, but he will be fine. He will play the next game.”
With 2:08 remaining in the second, Dallas’ Dan Hamhuis caught a stick to the face and left the ice, but he returned early in the third.
“It was a scary thing,” Hitchcock said. “We were concerned there, but vision came back right away, so he was able to play.”
Aaron Dell replaced Jones, who stopped 18 of 22 shots, in net for the Sharks to start the third period. Dell stopped eight of 10 shots in relief.
“Listen, you can make all kind of excuses, bottom line is they worked and earned a win tonight and we didn’t,” DeBoer said. “It’s a good lesson. If you don’t show up to work in this league in any building, you’re not going to have results.”
Shore and Pitlick scored 50 seconds apart in the third. With 8:05 remaining, Pitlick knocked in a backhand off a rebound, clinching his third two-goal game this season. He has seven goals on the season.