Mike Ribeiro had been frustrated by his inability to put a puck in the net through the first 16 games of the season. The frustration ended Thursday night. Ribeiro scored the Dallas Stars’ final two goals as they rallied from a 4-2 deficit to beat the San Jose Sharks 5-4 in overtime at American Airlines Center.
Ribeiro scored the game-tying goal with 2:06 remaining in regulation and then notched the game-winner at 2:52 of overtime.
“I would have taken them before but I guess this was a good time,” said Ribeiro. “It feels great. I’ve had some slumps in my career in the middle of the season - like it was in the 40th game of the year, or the 50th, and you don't score - and you don’t really feel it, but this one was from the beginning of the season. It gets to you and I was a little bit frustrated. The boys kept joking with me and kept me smiling.”
The jokes continued after the game. As Ribeiro was talking to the media, Adam Burish darted from around a corner and nailed Ribeiro with a shaving cream pie. Ribeiro never missed a beat though and continued to answer the question he had been asked as he wiped away the shaving cream.
Even Stars coach Marc Crawford had a good quip when it came to Ribeiro breaking out of the goal scoring slump.
“Once he scored he took off and no one could catch him. You just saw his speed come back,” Crawford said. “When you start pressing too much everything gets heavy, you start carrying the weight of the world. Mike’s not a big guy so it was pretty heavy. “
Both Ribeiro’s goals came from close range. He scored during a scramble in front of the net, roofing a shot over Sharks goalie Antti Niemi to tie the game at 4-4 with 2:06 remaining. His game-winner came after Brenden Morrow beat Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle for a puck behind the net and got it to Ribeiro, who skated towards the front of the net before firing the puck by Niemi.
“On my first one I was so nervous I just threw the puck up and it went in,” said Ribeiro. “The other one I was a little bit more patient.”
But the big thing for Ribeiro and the rest of the Stars were the two points in the game, which ran the team’s home winning streak to five games and gave them five wins in their last eight games overall.
“It’s about the team. It’s the two points,” said Ribeiro. “To come back and win like that is a big boost for the team.”