SAN JOSE (AP) — Joe Pavelski scored twice, backup goalie Aaron Dell made 29 saves to win his fourth straight start, and the San Jose Sharks beat the Dallas Stars 5-1 on Sunday night.
Patrick Marleau, Joel Ward and Chris Tierney also scored to give the first-place Sharks their sixth win in eight games. San Jose remained seven points ahead of Anaheim in the Pacific Division with a game in hand.
Dell has been outstanding of late as he has given coach Peter DeBoer the confidence to rest starter Martin Jones. Dell has stopped 113 of 118 shots during his streak and improved to 6-0 at home this season.
Remi Elie scored his first career goal for the Stars, who got off to a rough start to a four-game road trip.
Kari Lehtonen allowed three goals on eight shots before being pulled for the second straight game in favor of Antti Niemi, who stopped 16 of 18 shots.
The Sharks broke the game open in the second period. Logan Couture got his second assist of the game early in the period when he set up Ward in the slot for his eighth goal.
Coach Lindy Ruff then wanted to pull Lehtonen, but Niemi wasn’t ready to come into the game and had to wait until the next stoppage 25 seconds later to relieve Lehtonen.
It didn’t help at all as the Sharks added to the lead midway through the period when Esa Lindell lost control of the puck at the point with Dallas on the power play. Pavelski took possession and skated in on a breakaway for his 26th goal of the year.
Tierney scored on a rebound of Dylan DeMelo’s shot early in the third to seal the win.
The Stars had controlled the play in the first period, outshooting the Sharks 15-6, but found themselves on the short end of the score as San Jose scored on two of its first four shots.
Couture set up Marleau with a pass from the corner for the first goal early in the period. Then, Pavelski restored the lead late in the first when he chose to shoot on a 2-on-1 with Jannik Hansen and beat Lehtonen for his 25th goal.
Elie got his first goal in between those when he followed up his own rebound after a turnover by Joonas Donskoi.
NOTES: The Stars have used two goalies in an NHL-high 12 games this season. ... D Marc-Edouard Vlasic played his 800th career game, joining Marleau and Joe Thornton as the only Sharks to do that. ... San Jose F Melker Karlsson with a lower-body injury, giving Marcus Sorensen a spot in the lineup.
Stars: Visit Edmonton on Tuesday.
Sharks: Host Buffalo on Tuesday.