Joel Lundqvist and Stu Barnes scored early goals as the Stars played sterling defence in a 4-2 victory over San Jose on Thursday night - their second road win over the Sharks in three days.
With four full days in one place during a trip, the Stars had time for good workouts, plenty of rest and a little San Francisco sightseeing. They also notched two gritty wins over the club just above them in the Pacific Division standings - and they might have sent the Sharks into a bit of a tailspin.
"It was a good week for us," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "We got some team-building in, but we had to come in here with the intention of playing well.
"If we're going to get ourselves to the level in the standings that San Jose is, then these were very important games, and we gained three points on them."
Krys Barch scored his first NHL goal in the third period after sitting out most of the second for fighting, and Jere Lehtinen also scored as the Stars pulled to within three points of the Sharks.
Marty Turco made 18 saves, and his teammates throttled San Jose's NHL-leading power play for the second straight game. The Stars needed a last-minute tying goal in Tuesday night's shootout victory, but they had less trouble in the rematch after holding the Sharks scoreless in six power plays for an 0-for-13 trip.
"Let's keep that quiet," Barnes said. "That's a dangerous group out there who can really put the puck in the net.
"Our PK guys did a great job. Marty played well, and the defence played well in front of him."
The Stars played without defenceman Philippe Boucher, their leading scorer with 14 goals and 22 assists. He scored the tying goal with 2.2 seconds left in Dallas's win Tuesday night, but was scratched with a lower-body injury. But Mike Modano had an assist in his second game back from a lengthy injury absence.
"Just having him in the lineup is a lift for our team," said Jeff Halpern, who had two assists.
While nearly everything went well for the Stars, San Jose could be in for a shakeup - particularly on the back end, where coach Ron Wilson's young defencemen are showing their age with a series of blunders.
"We get down in a hurry, and we've got some people who look like they're trying to do the right things, and it's just awful," Wilson said. "Why, all of a sudden, we go from great to awful in 48 hours.
Mark Bell and captain Patrick Marleau scored for the Sharks, who are off to an embarrassing start on a four-game homestand before an eight-game road trip. San Jose has lost four of five for the second time this season, and even the normally placid Marleau is mad.
"You need everybody on the ice working together, and we haven't had that the last couple of games," Marleau said. "When you have three guys working together and two guys doing something else out there on the ice, it doesn't work."
After Evgeni Nabokov allowed two soft goals and tweaked his groin in the first period, Wilson replaced him with Vesa Toskala. Dallas managed only eight shots in the final two periods, but beat Toskala on a 5-on-3 power play and a 2-on-0 breakaway.
Lundqvist and Bell traded goals in the first 1:17, with Bell scoring just his second goal since Dec. 2. Barnes put Dallas ahead late in the period, and Lehtinen scored during a two-man advantage midway through the third.
Marleau then scored a remarkable goal on a great pass by Joe Thornton during 4-on-4 play, but San Jose had trouble even generating shots against Dallas' sturdy defence - particularly the penalty killers. The Stars have the NHL's second-best road penalty-killing mark - and the third worst at home.
San Jose's power play is in a 1-for-32 slump over the last six games.
Notes: Sharks C Mark Smith hobbled to the locker room early in the third after injuring his groin in a collision on the boards . . . D Jon Klemm returned to the Stars lineup in Boucher's place after sitting out three games before the all-star break . . . Eric Lindros' knee-to-knee hit on Sharks D Doug Murray started a curious sequence of events. Murray's stick grazed Lindros' head as he fell, and Lindros then cross-checked Murray, who dropped his gloves - but Lindros, the once-feared MVP reduced to a journeyman by concussions, allowed Barch to fight for him. Barch took a beating and an instigator penalty.