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Season ends with 4OT Loss
Special teams failures theme of the series
5/4/08 - by Mike Lee

With the season on the line, the Sharks decided to play a couple of games before bowing out to the Dallas Stars in their Western Conference Semi Final Series. Brendan Morrow scored an overtime goal in the game 129th minute, the 8th longest game in NHL history, to give the Stars a 2-1 win, and the series victory. The epic goaltending battle finished with a combined 114 saves between San Jose's Evgeni Nabokov and the Star's Marty Turco, but it's Turco that moves on to face Detroit in the Conference Finals.

Referees Dan O'Halloran and Tim Peel had their whistles tucked tightly in their pockets for most of the game, but each team was given a chance to end things on the man advantage after regulation had long ended.

San Jose had the first chance to win it with an extra attacker, but as was the case for most of the series, special teams-was a disaster. Conversely, the Stars took full advantage of their special teams chances in the series and capped it with Morrow's 7th goal of the series.

Morrow parked himself in the slot, and a cross-ice pass from Mike Ribiero to Stephan Robidas setup the goal by opening up the Sharks defense. Robidas sent a diagonal pass from the right dot to Morrow, who deflected the pass into the Sharks goal.

Five hours earlier, the Sharks were playing for their playoff lives but it was Dallas that came out of the gate looking to dispatch the Sharks.

Ribiero missed on a tap in chance 4:48 into the game after defenseman Craig Rivet disrupted the play by tapping the stars forward in the head with his stick. Rivet drew a high sticking penalty on the play, but it prevented the easy tally for Dallas. The Sharks gladly exchanged the goal for the power play, which passed without issue.

A Jonathan Cheechoo interference penalty at the halfway point of the period was also killed off by San Jose, who then went on its own man-advantage after Robidas tripped up Patrick Marleau.

A Trevor Daley tripping penalty at 18:59 setup another Sharks power play. Brian Campbell ended the period with a blast from the inside of the right circle that Stars goaltender Marty Turco gloved and held up for a bit of showmanship.

The Stars broke the ice on the scoring with a goal at 4:49 of the 2nd period. Anti Miettinen punched home a rebound after Sergei Zubov bounced a long shot off Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov. Nabokov lunged to his right in an attempt to glove the Miettinen shot, but he failed to catch up with the bang-bang shot.

Joe Thornton was injured on the following shift, after getting checked along the end boards. He appeared to twist an ankle and was in visible pain on the bench, but would return on his next shift.

San Jose out-chanced the Stars in the middle period, but couldn't get enough sustained pressure on Turco to force the play.

Ryane Clowe knotted the game at 1-1 just 1:39 into the 3rd period on a shot that threaded itself between Turco and a small gap in the upper right corner of the net. Clowe knocked a deflection down with his glove near the right dot, then whipped a shot on net. Turco complained that the whistle should have been blown for a hand pass, but no other Shark touched the puck.

Dallas just missed on a golden opportunity at the midway point of the period. Niklas Grossman put had Nabokov dead to rights, but his point blank shot sailed over the crossbar. Brendan Morrow had another chance on the rebound, but his backhand attempt skittered meekly to the outside of the right post.

Campbell had his own chance from point blank range with just under 2 minutes to play, but his shot was turned aside by Turco.

Morrow would unload on Michalek as regulation expired, dropping the Sharks forward with a bone-jarring hit along the left wing boards. Michalek tried flipping the puck back to his point as he skated away from the end boards and reacted too late to the oncoming Stars captain. Michalek had to be helped off the ice by the Sharks training staff.

In the overtime period Brad Richards had a wide open net, but Nabokov made the save of the series, by getting his glove out to snare the would-be series-ending goal.

Joe Thornton setup Tomas Plihal with a backhand pass into the slot, but the Sharks rookie couldn't handle the puck. After clipping Plihal's stick, the puck dribbled wide of the left post to extend the overtime.

The goaltenders put on a show, with Turco stoning Marleau with a wild kick save at the 14 minute mark. Nabokov would match him with a solid stop on an attempt by Grossman a minute later.

Brian Campbell turned the puck over with a minute to play and Mike Ribiero picked up the loose puck right on the Sharks doorstep. Ribiero headed straight for the net, but he lost the handle at the top of the crease.

Ribiero had yet another chance to end it 30 seconds later when the puck once again found its way to his stick. This time the Stars forward snapped a shot that clanked off the crossbar.

Robidas lost an edge on the opening faceoff of the 2nd overtime, but Thornton's shot from the slot was turned aside by Turco. The play was reminiscent of the gaff by Pavelski in Game 2.

Campbell made things interesting by losing his stick midway through the 5th period, but San Jose was able to ice the puck.

San Jose would outshoot Dallas 11-2 in the 2nd overtime.

Marleau drew a Niklas Grossman hooking penalty 3 minutes into the 3rd overtime period, but the Sharks squandered the opportunity, generating a single shot on goal on the man advantage.

Torrey Mitchell appeared to setup Clowe with the game winner, but Turco covered the puck as it slid toward the goal line. Video replay was inconclusive, upholding the call made by the on-ice offisials. Jeremy Roenick had another point blank chance, but once again Turco denied the Sharks.

Game Notes:

Turco's 61 saves set a new Stars franchise record. The game surpassed the Sharks triple overtime game with the Edmonton Oilers in 2006 as the longest in team history.



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Scoring
1 2 3 1O 2O 3O 4O T
SJ 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
DAL 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 2
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, DAL, Miettinen 1 (Zubov, Modano), 4:49.
3rd period - 2, SJ, Clowe 5 (unassisted), 1:39.
1st Overtime - None.
2nd Overtime - None.
3rd Overtime - None.
4th Overtime - 2, DAL, Morrow 7 (Robidas, Ribiero), 9:03, (pp).
 
Penalties
1st period - Rivet, SJ (high sticking), 4:48; Cheechoo, SJ (interference), 10:09; Robidas, DAL (tripping), 11:57; Daley, DAL (tripping), 18:59.
2nd period - Norstrom, DAL (tripping), 8:22; Mitchell, SJ (holding), 12:08.
3rd period - None.
1st Overtime - None.
2nd Overtime - None.
3rd Overtime - Grossman, DAL (hooking), 3:00.
4th Overtime - Campbell, SJ (tripping), 8:14.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 55 53
DAL - Turco 62 61
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 1O 2O 3O 4O T
SJ 8 10 12 11 11 8 1 62
DAL 8 8 7 17 2 6 6 55
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 4
DAL 1 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Brendan Morrow
Evgeni Nabokov
Marty Turco
Attendence
18,532
Officials
Referees: O'Halloran, Peel. Linesmen: Cvik, Miller.

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