Philippe Boucher scored the tying goal with 2.2 seconds left, and Mike Ribeiro added the winning shootout goal to the one he scored in regulation time as the Stars defeated the San Jose Sharks 3-2 on Tuesday night.
Most visiting teams bolt from the San Jose locker room after games to get their chartered flights off the ground before a local curfew goes into effect. But the Stars face the Sharks again Thursday night, meaning a few players could indulge in soccer, complete with a small ball and goal, in a tunnel beneath the arena.
They had plenty to celebrate, from Boucher's impressive final goal and Ribeiro's comeback game to a remarkable shutdown performance against the Sharks' vaunted power play.
"Early in the game, we weren't playing our emotional game that we can play, but then it came alive," said Marty Turco, who made 15 saves as Dallas rallied from a two-goal deficit in the third period. "Our penalty-killing tonight was great. We really did a job out there."
Boucher's goal forced the Sharks' first overtime game since the season opener Oct. 5 - an NHL-record 49 games, the longest streak since the five-minute overtime rule was introduced in 1983. San Jose hadn't participated in a shootout all season, and goalie Vesa Toskala's rust might have showed in three straight scores by the Stars, 18-3 in shootouts.
Ryane Clowe and rookie Joe Pavelski scored in the shootout for San Jose, but Sergei Zubov and Jussi Jokinen easily replied for Dallas. After Patrick Marleau missed on the Sharks' third try, Ribeiro buried his fourth shootout goal in six tries this season.
"I really have no idea how I scored," said Ribeiro, who snapped a 22-game goal drought. "You just go at it.
"The third guy just goes in and skates it . . . I usually am not nervous at all, but I was nervous. It was the first time I'd experienced that."
Mike Modano didn't score in his return to the Stars lineup after missing 23 games since early December with injuries to his hip and groin for the Stars, who got their first win in three contests since hosting the all-star game.
Marleau and Pavelski scored early goals for the Sharks, who faltered late in the opener of this mini-series between Pacific Division rivals. Toskala made 26 saves, but the Stars dominated play in the third period and overtime.
With an 0-for-7 performance by its power play, San Jose wasted a chance to move two points behind idle Anaheim in the division race. The Sharks now trail the Ducks by three points.
"The people who are on the power play are way too casual, and just think it's automatically going to click," said Sharks coach Ron Wilson, who was furious at his regular power-play stalwarts, including Joe Thornton. "We got outworked. "It's simple. Our better players have to play a lot better than we did to give us a chance to win."
Ribeiro ended Toskala's shutout bid early in the third period with a winding drive and an awkward shot past the goalie's glove hand. Ribeiro also assisted on Boucher's goal.
But before Boucher's heroics, Dallas held San Jose to four shots in the third period. With Turco pulled for an extra attacker, the Stars kept the puck in San Jose's end for 45 straight seconds until their all-star defenceman volleyed an airborne puck past Toskala.
San Jose hadn't played an overtime game since beating St. Louis in the opener, snapping the previous NHL record of 41 games set by Toronto in the 1996-'97 season. The shootout was San Jose's first since March 18, 2006 - also against Dallas.
San Jose and Dallas are two of the NHL's top four defensive teams, and the Stars killed an 85-second two-man disadvantage in the second period. That's when both teams said the momentum shifted to Dallas.
"Any time it happens, you hate to give up a point," Pavelski said. "As close as we are to getting over the hump in the division, we can't let these get away."
Notes: Dallas scratched C Steve Ott with an ankle injury. He's doubtful for Thursday's game . . . Marleau earned his fifth 25-goal season. He's well within range of passing his career high of 34 goals, set last season . . . Modano had just 20 points in 27 games before the injury, but hopes to pass Joe Mullen for the NHL's career goals record by an American-born player this season. He has 495 career goals and is seven behind Mullen.