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What Goes Around...

by Seamus O'Callahan / Dallas Stars

Seamus O'Callahan

I was thinking this morning about the frustration that we all felt in both 2003 and 2006, when the Stars had home ice and dropped the first two games at home in respective series against the (then Mighty) Ducks and the Avalanche – two series that Dallas would end up losing. Then I started thinking about the tremendous opportunity the team had in front of them for Saturday’s Game 2 at Anaheim.

It would be so nice to be on the other side of that scenario.

What goes around does indeed come around, and your Dallas Stars are on the good side of a 2-0 series lead for once.

The Stars saw the same opportunity and did not rest on their laurels from a Game 1 win. They went for it.

“We said, ‘Why not – let’s get greedy and get after it,’” Mike Modano said after the game. It’s been really strong hockey. Everything has been really strong in our games. We’re playing with a lot of confidence.”

Now, before we get all giddy and say that this series is over, let’s tap the brakes a little bit.

While the Stars have a big advantage in winning the first two games of the series, this is not over. Far from it, in fact. Last time I checked, until a team has four wins, the series still has life. All it takes is Anaheim winning Game 3 to get back in it. So the Stars cannot take anything for granted.

There is a tremendous stat that does play in the Stars’ favor though: Teams that have taken a 2-0 lead in a best-of-seven NHL playoff series have gone on to win the series 86.8% of the time. Another fact that is quite huge when you think about it: Anaheim has to win four of the next five games (three of them in Dallas) to win the series.

The best news is that the Stars have proven they are not playing satisfied. When they took the lead in Game 1 – they went after more goals (and got them). When Mike Riberio gave Dallas a 1-0 lead in Game 2, they scored another one. Then when it looked like the Ducks were about to grab the momentum, Dallas came out in the third period in a tie game and scored three goals to take control.

The Stars simply refused to lose. Check that – they insisted on winning (there’s a big difference).

Once again, the Stars’ special teams were huge in the Game 2 win. Dallas scored two of their goals on the power play, including Modano’s game-winner in the third. But the penalty kill was tremendous once again. The Ducks did break through on Teemu Selanne’s power play goal in the second period, but Dallas had a huge kill in the first two minutes of the third as Anaheim had a fresh sheet of ice to work with. Marty Turco and the Stars slammed the door.

Speaking of Turco, his goals-against-average over the last two playoff seasons ballooned to 1.24 after giving up two goals. His play has been solid as a rock and he has done his job, and then some.

You can bet that the Stars do not look at this 2-0 series lead and think it is all over. They are sure to be prepared for Game 3 and the fans should be too.

Game 3 is set for Tuesday at American Airlines Center. Stars fans – BE READY TO GO. The game starts at 7:30, so be in your seats to give the boys a true home-ice advantage from the first drop of the puck. Steve Ott and the players are asking that all fans wear black to home playoff games, so do your part! The Stars are handing out 15,000 black playoff T-Shirts at the door on Tuesday, so even if you don’t own anything black, you’re covered.

So rest up on Sunday. Spend some time with family. Get your work stuff in order on Monday. Cause Tuesday we’re going to war. An army of 18,584 donning black will be right behind the 20-man lineup on Dallas’ bench, ready to do their part.

This is the best time of the year, no question. Let’s make Tuesday a night to remember and blow the roof off American Airlines Center.

Let’s do this.

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