The Dallas Stars played over two games of ice time on Wednesday night (and Thursday morning) and all they ended up with for their effort was a 0-1 deficit in their playoff series with Vancouver. Its a shame because it really looked like they were going to pull this one out.
Dallas was clearly the better team throughout the second half of regulation and the first overtime. But once you start playing into the night, fatigue sets in and a fluky bounce or weird hop can end the game. Vancouvers Henrik Sedin ended it with just 1:54 left in the fourth overtime period.
The Stars deserved this one, they really did. Now they have no choice but to suck it up and somehow find the energy to bounce back for Game Two on Friday night. It wont be easy after a game like this, but they simply have to.
Dallas played well enough to come back and win this one in regulation, and thats probably why they lost they could not capitalize on their momentum to close the deal. Marty Turco looked good and very confident. He was solid throughout much of the overtime periods.
Time and time again this season the Stars have battled back in games. No deficit is large enough to stop their drive. Quit is not in their vocabulary. They would prove it again in Game One. Trailing on three different occasions in regulation, the Stars found a way to tie it each time, including down by two midway through the third period, forcing overtime.
The Stars out-shot Vancouver, 16-3, in the third, and had several chances to win it in regulation once Ladislav Nagy tied it with 6:14 left. The Stars fore-check was great all night, they were winning all of the little details of the game and every battle.
The game had a feel that there was no way that the Stars would lose this one. They were going to will home the victory. Their effort was there and they created some chances, but they simply could not get that elusive game-winner.
Stu Barnes probably had the best chance when his shot hit the crossbar with 26 seconds left in the second overtime.
The longer the overtime periods went, the more I felt that Vancouver had a chance to win. And you could see the Canucks building a little momentum in the fourth overtime until they finally broke through.
So its 1-0, Vancouver. The fact is that it is only one game, even though it might feel like more. The Stars have no choice but to get as much rest as they can and channel their energy for Friday. Someone has to take the lead in a series after the first game, and the home team usually has the upper hand. It just places the Stars focus on Game Two and making the adjustments necessary to win it.
Dallas has won many games this season when trailing going into the third period. They have the confidence to come back in any situation, including this series. This team is resilient and can prove it with their effort as this series moves along.
Some of you woke up to find out that the Stars played in their second-longest game ever, a game that ended at 2:30 am in Dallas. Heck, some of you probably woke up for your day and watched the winning goal live (milk men, paper route kids, and the like).
Im going to bed now. Ill wake up in time for Game Two (maybe).
- Marty Turco and Roberto Luongo combined to make 123 saves on 132 shots.
- This became the longest game in Vancouver Canucks history once it got a few minutes into the third overtime.
- This marked Dallas' second-longest game. The longest went into the fifth overtime back in 2003 when the Ducks and Stars skated 80:48 of overtime in Game One of the second round in Dallas.
- The game was the sixth-longest in NHL history at 78:06 of overtime.
- Sergei Zubov led all players in ice time, playing 55:08.
- Jere Lehtinen led all forwards in the game with 46:49 of ice time.
- Daniel Sedin led all players with 10 shots.
- Mike Modano won 25 face-offs while losing 20 (55%).
Anybody else tired of the Robocop 2 and Robocop 3 promos we saw 263 times during the game? Yeah, Ill be watching that on Thursday and Friday instead of the NHL playoffs, including Game Two on FSN Friday (theres more drama in these games).
The thoughts, opinions and statements made in this column are by the writer and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts of the Dallas Stars or DallasStars.com.