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Stars take Game 1
OT Breakdown costs Sharks
4/25/08 - by Mike Lee

So much for learning to put an opponent away early. After surviving a 7 game nail biter of a series against the Calgary Flames, the Sharks have managed to dig themselves into another hole. San Jose tied the opening game of its Western Conference Semi-Final series with the Dallas Stars late in regulation, then surrendered Brendan Morrow goal in overtime.

Morrow scored 4:39 into the extra session after the Sharks self destructed in their own zone with a series of gaffs that ended what was otherwise an entertaining contest. Stars forward Mike Ribeiro setup the game winner by starting a conga line of Shark defenders around the Sharks net that freed Morrow to put the game winner past Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov.

San Jose's defense gave Ribeiro too much space to operate with and he made them pay, feeding Stephane Robidas with a pass that seemed to unravel the Sharks backliners. Robidas circled around the back of the Sharks net before pushing the puck to Mathias Norstrom along the left wing boards. As Sharks defensemen Christian Ehrhoff and Matt Carle chased the puck , Norstrom whipped the puck across the zone to Morrow at the right dot, and the Stars captain buried the puck to take Game 1.

The outcome was unjust for the effort the Sharks put into the series kickoff. After trailing since the midway point of the game, Jonathan Cheechoo scored with 3 minutes in regulation to send the game to overtime. Cheechoo punched home a deflection after Stars goaltender Marty Turco denied a Torrey Mitchell scoring chance from in tight. Cheechoo collapsed on the goal as a wild scrum of bodies crumpled in to the crease.

Milan Michalek finally made an appearance in the post season by scoring his first goal of the NHL's second season at 4:50 of the 2nd period. Michalek put a shot on Turco from the inside of the right circle, squeezing the puck through the Stars goaltender's pads. The puck trickled across the goal line for the only lead San Jose would hold in the game.

Michalek's tally would have given the Sharks a two-goal lead had Joe Pavelski's shot in the opening minute of the game rang off the crossbar. Patrick Marleau would also bounce a shot off a post later in the game.

Ryane Clowe put a shot on Turco from 15 feet out in the final minute of the opening period after the Sharks turned up the heat, but the Stars netminder stood tall.

A Devin Setoguchi hooking penalty a minute after Michalek's goal setup a Stars power play that would make the Sharks lead short lived. Mike Modano bagged his 3rd goal of the playoffs just 13 seconds into the Setoguchi penalty with a shot from the point that tucked inside the right post.

The Modano goal would be the only special teams goal the Sharks would surrender on 5 extra man chances. The Sharks power play came up blank on 4 chances.

Morrow gave the Stars a 2-1 lead on a tap in at 9:09 of the 2nd after Ribeiro tried tucking a wrap around chance inside the left post. The puck shot across the crease to Morrow, who was cutting in on net from the opposite side. Ehrhoff left Morrow unattended down low, and could only wave his stick as the puck was being deposited into the Sharks goal.



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Scoring
1 2 3 OT T
DAL 0 2 0 1 3
SJ 0 1 1 0 2
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, SJ, Michalek 1 (Thornton, Campbell), 4:50. 2, DAL, Modano 3 (Ribeiro), 6:06, (pp). 3, DAL, Morrow 4 (Ribeiro, Niskanen), 9:09.
3rd period - 4, SJ, Cheechoo, 4 (Mitchell, Carle), 16:58.
Overtime - 5, DAL, Morrow 5 (Norstrom, Robidas), 4:39
Penalties
1st period - Barnes, DAL (hooking), 8:16; Rivet, SJ (goaltender interference), 8:32; Rivet, SJ (hooking), 14:30; Norstrom, DAL (hooking), 17:52.
2nd period - Setoguchi, SJ (hooking), 5:53; Grier, SJ (elbowing), 13:11; Robidas, DAL (hooking), 19:04.
3rd period - Modano, DAL (tripping), 3:47; Campbell, SJ (interference), 17:39.
Overtime - None.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
DAL - Turco 27 25
SJ - Nabokov 18 15
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
DAL 2 8 5 3 18
SJ 10 9 8 0 27
Power Play Conversion
DAL 1 of 5
SJ 0 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Brendan Morrow
Mike Ribeiro
Jonathan Cheechoo
Attendence
17,496
Officials
Referees: O'Halloran, Peel. Linesmen: Nowak, Racicot.

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