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Stars Steal Game 1 in OT, 3-2

by San Jose Sharks Staff / San Jose Sharks

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Brenden Morrow scored his second goal of the night at 4:39 of overtime to seal Dallas' 3-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals at HP Pavilion on Friday night.

Milan Michalek scored his first goal of the postseason at 4:50 of the first period to give the Sharks the early lead and Jonathan Cheechoo notched the game-tying goal with three minutes remaining to force the game to overtime. However, as they had done in seven of the last eight games in San Jose, the Stars deafeated the Sharks at HP Pavilion.

Sharks Head Coach Ron Wilson used the same lineup that clinched Game 7 in Round 1. Opposite Evgeni Nabokov was Marty Turco as would be expected for the entire series.

San Jose was buzzing the net from the opening faceoff. Douglas Murray began the physical play early with a ferocious hit on Jere Lehtinen. Then his defensive partner Brian Campbell broke up a two-on-one rush by diving to intercept a pass.

Strong skating by  Michalek and Joe Thornton resulted in the game’s first penalty 9:16 into the first. Michalek began the play by skated into the zone with speed and when he lost the puck near the goal line, Thornton came out with possession on the other side, but was held before he could get a shot off. The power play was quickly wiped out when Craig Rivet was called for goaltender interference seconds into the advantage as he crashed the net looking to poke home a rebound.

Murray continued his presence known with two more big hits. He was not alone in the category and Rivet had thrown his body around several times as well.

With the Stars on their first power play, they were still without a shot with less than five minutes to go in the first. Dallas did finally manage to crack the shot clock with 3:35 left in the first, but the power play was turned away.

With 2:08 left in the first, the Sharks were circling Turco and, in the scrum for the loose puck, Mattias Norstrom was sent to the sin bin for hooking Jeremy Roenick. Dallas killed off the remaining penalty to keep the game scoreless in the first.

Despite outshooting the Stars 10-2, San Jose could not find the first period lead.

San Jose would crack the goose egg on the scoreboard early in the second and it couldn’t have come for a better person. A pass through the slot by Brian Campbell found Michalek to the left of Turco. Michalek held his shot for a moment and then put it on net. The save was made, but as Cheechoo as hunting for the rebound, the puck trickled across the line.

Dallas would quickly respond with just 1:16 running off the clock. While on the power play, Mike Modano uncorked a bomb from the blueline that found the back of the net.

San Jose Sharks right wing Jonathan Cheechoo (14) is congratulated by center Torrey Mitchell (17) after scoring a goal on the Dallas Stars in the third period of Game 1 of an NHL hockey Western Conference semifinal series, Friday, April 25, 2008, in San Jose, Calif. The score tied the game to put into overtime. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
At the 10:51 mark of the second, Dallas would take their first lead of the series. Working the puck on an extended shift deep in the Sharks zone, a wraparound attempt by Mike Ribeiro sailed through the crease and Stars Captain Brenden Morrow was there to slam the puck into the empty half of the net.

Team Teal attempted to respond right away, but despite several strong shifts and a Marleau shot that hit the post, San Jose would still trail by one.

With one minute to go in the second, San Jose was searching for the tying tally and the Sharks would earn a power play when Stephane Robidas hooked Thornton.

San Jose would carry 1:05 of power play time into the second in order to try and eliminate the 2-1 deficit.

The remainder of that power play would not bear fruit, but impressive work behind the net by Thornton forced Modano into a penalty, however, the Sharks could not connect that time either.

As the clock moved under five minutes, the Stars were content to keep dumping the puck in and had only posted three shots in 17 minutes of action. San Jose would not stop pressing though and found the equalizer with just 3:02 left in regulation.

A Joe Pavelski shot was sitting in the crease and Cheechoo forced his way to the area and pushed it across the line, tying the game at three.

San Jose would have to face a difficult penalty kill with 2:21 left when Campbell was given a two minute minor for interference. Luckily, the Sharks were able to escape without allowing a goal and the game was sent to overtime.

Four minutes into overtime, the Stars capitalized with the game-winning goal. Morrow scored on an uncontested shot at 4:39 to give Dallas a 1-0 lead in the Western Conference Semifinal series.




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