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Sharks live another day
2-1 win Dallas brings series back west
4/30/08 - by Mike Lee

With their backs to the wall, the Sharks staved off elimination from their Western Conference Semi-Final Series with the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night with a gritty 2-1 win at the American Airlines Center. It was the Sharks who came back from an early deficit, scoring the game winner in the 3rd period, to send the series back to San Jose. Sharks captain Patrick Marleau scored his 2nd consecutive short-handed goal and Milan Michalek scored for the 3rd consecutive game to pace the Sharks.

The sellout crowd came to see a series sweep over the higher seeded Sharks, but San Jose outplayed the Stars in the 3rd period. San Jose out-shot the Stars 9-5 in the final frame, dictating play for the first time in the series.

Both teams came out tentatively in the 1st period, feeling each other out to see who would make the first mistake. San Jose did little to generate any offense early, and escaped a scare 10 minutes into the game.

Mike Modano used Christian Ehrhoff on a Sharks power play at the midway point of the period. Modano picked Ehrhoff's pocket as they skated for a loose puck in the Sharks zone, the stick-handled in on net to get a shot on goal.

The Sharks would enjoy three power plays in the opening period, but failed to register a single shot on goal during that 6 minutes of man-advantage play. Dallas would outshoot the Sharks 7-4 in the period.

One of those shots was a redirect by Mike Grier on a centering pass from Curtis Brown. Brown made his way back in the lineup after being scratched the last 4 games. Brown was reinserted to help out the penalty kill, which has been atrocious in both playoff rounds.

Devin Setoguchi assisted on the first goal of the game, problem was it was scored by the Stars. Trying to skate the puck out from behind his own net, but pressure by Mike Ribiero forced the Sharks rookie to try clearing the puck up the slot. Jiri Lehtinen easily stepped in from of the meek backhanded clearing attempt and snapped it past Evgeni Nabokov for the 1-0 Stars lead.

Patrick Marleau answered 4 minutes later with his 2nd short handed goal in as many games. Sergei Zubov tried sending a pass along the Sharks blueline, but Marleau deflected it up ice with his stick. The Sharks captain was off to the races and scored with a wrister that beat Marty Turco to the stick side.

The Sharks were shorthanded after Ryane Clowe took an interference penalty on a Stars rush. Brad Richards just missed during that sequence by lifting a puck past Nabokov and bouncing it off the crossbar.

Clowe would take an elbowing penalty at 13:33 of the period to put the Stars back on the power play, but a long shot by Zubov was the only puck Dallas would get on net.

San Jose dodged a bullet with 4 minutes remaining in the period, when Ribiero sent a blind back-hand pass through the slot to Morrow on the far side. The Stars captain got the puck on go goal, but Sharks defenseman Brian Campbell collapsed in the crease, covering it with his legs. Nabokov smothered it with his glove hand to draw the whistle. The Stars argued that Campbell covered the puck with his glove, but replays showed that it was Nabokov who made the save.

The Sharks came out flying to open the 3rd period. Jonathan Cheechoo had two chances from point blank range, but Turco denied the sniper.

Modano would take a delay of game penalty for lifting the puck over the glass in his own zone, putting the Sharks on the power play for the 5th time in the contest. That was the crack in the Stars armor that the Sharks needed.

Milan Michalek would convert on the ensuing power play on a redirect from the top of the crease, to give the Sharks the 2-1 lead. Brian Campbell started the sequence by sending a rink-wide pass through the slot from along the left wing boards. Joe Thornton collected Campbell's pass, then slid the puck to Michalek after Stars centerman Toby Petersen slid over to take a passing lane away from Thornton.

A Loui Eriksson slashing penalty at 13:01 of the period would put the Sharks back on the power play. Michalek just missed putting the Sharks up by 2 goals when he redirected a Craig Rivet pass just wide of the left post.

The Stars would only put 5 shots on goal in the final period, but two came in the last minute of play on heart stopping plays in tight. After Turco was pulled for an extra attacker, Niklas Hagman carried the puck up the left wing, then sent a spinning backhand pass to Lehtinen on the off wing. Lehtinen's shot sailed wide of the right post, where Hagman scooped it up and circled to the left side of the zone for a wrap around attempt that defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic got back to deny Hagman's scoring chance.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 0 1 1 2
DAL 0 1 0 1
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, DAL, Lehtinen 3 (unassisted), 5:25. 2, SJ, Marleau 4 (unassisted), 9:19, (sh).
3rd period - 3, SJ, Michalek 3 (Thornton, Campbell), 3:26, (pp).
1st period - Modano, DAL (tripping), 5:49; Hagman, DAL (hooking), 8:09; Roenick, SJ (hooking), 12:09; Niskanen, DAL (slashing), 16:39.
2nd period - Clowe, SJ (interference), 8:32; Clowe, SJ (elbowing), 13:22; Lundqvist, DAL (tripping), 17:32.
3rd period - Modano, DAL (delay of game - puck over glass), 2:41; Eriksson, DAL (slashing), 13:01.
Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov
DAL - Turco
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 4 11 9 24
DAL 7 6 5 18
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 6
DAL 0 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Patrick Marleau
Joe Thornton
Evgeni Nabokov
Referees: Joanette, Watson. Linesmen: Amell, Sharrers.

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