While it didn't take over 6 hours to find a victor on Friday night, the game was much the same as the 7 period marathon witnessed on Wednesday- a Stars team out-skating, out-muscling, and out-playing the Canucks. Only this time, Loungo and some freak bounces weren't there to save Vancouver. Loungo still made some excellent saves. He just made 2 less than his team needed.
But the real story of the game was Turco starting to get the monkey off his back. Letting in 1 goal on the last 70-something shots faced is a beginning. Of course this is also the Canucks team that comes into the playoffs scoring less than the offensively deficient Stars. The important part comes in the mental aspect. Turco can stop shots and can outplay the goalie at the other end.
I picked this series to go 5 games, Dallas coming out on top. But I have to say I was going for the sweep. In reality Dallas faces a team that has only 1 line that can score, a defense that looks lost at the NHL level, and an inexperienced playoff goaltender.
So why did they lose the first game? Turco lets in a soft one or two, a couple of strange bounces off skates and boards, and the lone scoring line Vancouver has puts one in when it matters. But there were problems on the scoring end, too. The only shots Dallas could get on goal were bad angle, no chance shots, even though they set themselves up for easy goals in front, only to send the shot wide, or over the top of the net. It seemed as though every shot by a Stars player in OT was followed by the thud/clank of the puck hitting the boards/glass.
Why did the outcome change for game 2? The Stars scored early, no lucky goals for the Canucks, and the solitary scoring unit for Vancouver was held in check. And don't expect anything different as the series comes to Dallas. The boards and ice are both slower in big D than up north, making hard work even more of a factor. And hard work has been the Stars M.O. all season long.
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