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Bad breaks spell doom
Nothing bounces SJ's way in Game 2
4/27/08 - by Mike Lee

To get through the Stanley Cup Playoffs, you need to be good and a little lucky. The Sharks were neither on Sunday night, and as a result they trail the Dallas Stars in their Western Conference Semi-Finals match up 2 games to none. Missed opportunities and skating gaffs were all the Sharks needed to seal their fate in a 5-2 loss to the Stars at HP Pavilion. The Sharks blew a 2-1 lead in the 3rd period, suffering their worst loss in the playoffs this spring.

The meltdown started with a simple mistake that snowballed on San Jose. Joe Pavelski caught an edge, lost the puck and the 2-1 game is tied just like that. Dallas would open up for three more goals in the period to storm to commanding lead in the series.

"We got a break early in the 3rd," said Stars head coach Dave Tippett. The game was pretty tight. I thought we started the game pretty well, and then ended up taking those penalties that really put is on our heels. We clawed ourselves back in and in the 3rd period, we really wanted to push the envelope."

If San Jose buries their chances, this is a much different game, but they didn't. From the opening moments of the game to the final horn, everything seemed to go wrong for the Sharks. First case in point, Jeremy Roenick who missed on a power play chance early in the 1st period, after Stars goaltender Marty Turco took an interference penalty to give the Sharks one of 5 power plays on the night. Roenick deflected a Joe Thornton pass on net, but the Stars goaltender got his paddle back to deny the Sharks.

Sergei Zubov was forced to take a hooking penalty, which prevented a Sharks 2-on-1 break from materializing. San Jose would get on the board on the ensuing power play, when Pavelski deflected a Craig Rivet shot from just outside the left post. Rivet blast from the point caught Pavelski's stick and redirected past Stars goalender Marty Turco for the 1-0 lead.

Just like in Game 1, the Sharks still found themselves tied at the first intermission after Stars once again found a way to manufacture an early goal.

Mike Ribiero tied things up with a circus shot that banked off the back of Evgeni Nabokov's left pad. Ribiero collected a Brendan Morrow shot off the end boards and fired the puck at Nabokov, who's pads were butterflied after defending against Morrow's shot.

Ribiero would get another chance in tight right before the first break on a chip shot from 8 feet out, but the Sharks defense collapsed and smothered the Stars forward.

Torrey Mitchell and Jeremy Roenick would miss on a golden opportunity 6 minutes into the middle period. Breaking in on a 2-on-1 rush, Mitchell slid a pass over to his linemate on the left wing, but Turco got enough of Roenick's shot that the puck slowed to a crawl as it slid toward the Stars goal. Parked on the doorstep, Mitchell's off balance attempt to stuff it home was denied by a Star's defender.

Michalek made it 2-1 at 14:54 with his 2nd goal in as many games. Defenseman Brian Campbell sprung the Sharks forward with a feed at the Stars blueline, and then it was a race to the net. Turco threw his body across the slot to try and block the lane, but Michalek cut to his left and skated around the stars goaltender, before easily depositing the puck into the goal.

Modano rang a shot off the right post with just under 2 minutes to play in the period, but the Sharks held the lead heading into the 2nd intermission. That would be short lived.

Brad Richards knotted the game at 2-2 just 32 seconds into the 3rd period on the biggest gaff of the playoffs by the Sharks. Pavelski took a pass inside his own blueline, then tripped, coughing up the puck to Richards, who snapped a 50 foot shot past Nabokov.

"I tried to come out and challenge him, but it was a good shot," said Nabokov. "We just have to play a better 3rd period at home."

The Sharks would surrender the lead after the Stars went on a brief power play, when Christian Ehrhoff was whistled for a phantom holding penalty at 2:22. Mike Modano would take a Sergei Zubov feed through the slot and snap home his 4th of the playoffs to stun the Sharks.

"It was a bad call on Christian," said Sharks head coach Ron Wilson. "I'd like to see the hold, but nonetheless, they took advantage of that situation."

Things started to really unravel for San Jose when Craig Rivet took an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for chirping at referee Kelly Sutherland. Rivet took offense to an elbow he received at center ice. Nothing came of the Stars power play, but it was indicative of the Sharks night.

Niklas Hagman padded the Stars lead with his 1st goal of the series at 13:55 of the 3rd. Richards carried the puck behind the Sharks net, before dumping a pass back out into the slot. Hagman split between Campbell and Michalek before stuffing the puck between Nabokov's pads.

Wilson pulled Nabokov with 2:45 remaining in regulation, replacing him with backup Brian Boucher. Wilson would say after the game that the move was intended to create another time out, in order to rest his players. Boucher would jump off with a minute to play for an extra attacker, but a turnover in the Stars zone would lead to an empty net goal by Hagman.

"I think you'll see a team that'll play desperate hockey on the road," said Devin Setoguchi.

Game Notes:

Setoguchi limped off the ice with 6 minutes remaining in the 1st period after getting hit along the boards. The rookie appeared to be favoring his right arm, but he would return after the break.


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1 2 3 T
DAL 1 0 4 5
SJ 1 1 0 2
1st period - 1, SJ, Pavelski 4 (Rivet, Cheechoo), 10:13. 2, DAL, Ribiero 3 (Morrow, Norstrom), 15:37.
2nd period - 3, SJ, Michalek 2 (Campbell, Rivet), 14:54.
3rd period - 4, DAL, Richards 2 (unassisted), 0:32. 5, DAL, Modano 4 (Zubov, Richards), 3:39, (pp). 6, DAL, Hagman 1 (Richards, Eriksson), 13:55. 7, DAL, Hagman 2 (Richards), 18:45, (en).
1st period - Grossman, DAL (holding the stick), 3:16; Turco, DAL (interference), 5:29; Lunqvist, DAL (roughing), 7:42; Goc, SJ (roughing), 7:42; Zubov, DAL (hooking), 8:26.
2nd period - Lundqvist, DAL (interference), 12:32.
3rd period - Modano, DAL (tripping), 1:22; Ehrhoff, SJ (holding), 2:22; Rivet, SJ (unsporstmanlke conduct), 7:20; Murray, SJ (roughing),19:11.
Shots Saves
DAL - Turco 31 29
SJ - Nabokov 25 21
SJ - Boucher 0 0
SJ - empty net 1 0
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
DAL 10 7 9 26
SJ 14 10 7 31
Power Play Conversion
DAL 1 of 3
SJ 1 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Brad Richards
Marty Turco
Niklas Hagman
Referees: Koharski, Sutherland. Linesmen: Nowak, Racicot.

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