Once again the STARS felt right at home at the HP Pavilion in San Jose. Though they did not play their best game of the playoffs, and they stood around way too much with a 1-goal lead ... they eventually ended up with one more goal than the Sharks. Ribeiro and Morrow were all over the place ... the Sharks simply had no answer for them. Ribeiro
finished with 2 assists but the OT goal was setup by his amazing play-making ability. It was also fitting that Robidas
was involved on that last play. After being the STARS' MVP of the 1st-round, he really went under the radar tonight until that final play. First, he took off down the boards from the defensive end, seeing that the Sharks were not watching the backside. Then he made an excellent catch off an extremely crisp pass from Ribeiro. This forced Nabokov to commit to that far post, which ultimately took him out of position. Nice work by #3! Morrow
finished with 2 goals, including the game-winner, and had another Captain-like effort ... just another day at the office. Modano
scored again ... in San Jose ... and against Nabokov. The Sharks are in the process of having a sculpture built outside the arena, in honor of #9!
Dallas scored another power play goal, giving them 11 in 7 games. The 4th line of Hagman-Miettinen-Peterson is playing exceptionally well for the short amount of time they are out there. Not only are they not allowing San Jose chances but they are creating chances themselves.
The Stars also bucked a couple of trends tonight ... (1) they won after San Jose scored the opening goal, (2) they won even though San Jose out shot them 27-18, and (3) THEY WON IN OT!
Another monkey that seems to have fallen off ... THANKFULLY ... as I've been up way too many late nights with them going the opposite way.
This series is shaping up just like the first one against the Ducks ... which goes really well with my prediction of STARS in 6! Dallas most certainly has to pick up the pace and play a full sixty minutes each game. They cannot afford to sit on a 1-goal lead (like they did too many times during the season) against this Sharks' team and expect to win. San Jose came hard tonight and threw much at Dallas ... but in the end, the STARS did just enough to win the game. Though you could say Dallas got a bit lucky that things worked out, I would say the first Sharks' goal was most certainly lucky and the other one was hard work inches from the goal line. Neither one of those goals would Marty (or the team) give up again in 50 chances. The odds of Nabokov giving up the STARS' goals again are much higher, which leads me to this -- Dallas has not had to rely on lucky goals or fortuitous bounces this year! They are scoring with play-making and hard work ... and they are scoring often.
Write this off as a game they won but did not give 100% ... expect them to be better in game 2, which is not good news for the Sharks! On top of that, Zubie may be ready to go ... "so they got that going for them, which is nice!"
One final note, following up on what I said in my last blog -- the STARS did not even play their best hockey tonight and they still won the game. Therefore, without question, when they do play their best hockey
... they can beat
San Jose, Detroit, Colorado, Pittsburg, Montreal, or any
the NHL wants to throw at them including the Russian and American Olympic teams of years' past
*Just kidding about the Olympic teams ... they could only beat the Russians!