Sharks
Stars
2 - 1 Final
  for this game

Michalek's goal keeps Sharks alive

May 1, 2008 - 5:28 AM
By John Tranchina PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

DALLAS (Ticker) -- It appears the demise of the San Jose Sharks was greatly exaggerated. For now, at least.

Down by a goal and facing elimination, the second-seeded Sharks pulled themselves off the mat as captain Patrick Marleau and Milan Michalek scored to rally the Pacific Division champions to a 2-1 victory over the fifth-seeded Dallas Stars in Game Four of their Western Conference semifinal series on Wednesday.

Vezina Trophy finalist Evgeni Nabokov made 17 saves for the Sharks, who still trail the best-of-seven series, three games to one, and host Game Five on Friday.

"We can't get too far ahead of ourselves," Marleau said. "We're going home and feel pretty confident about ourselves. That being said, we still have a lot of work ahead of us."

"Obviously, they didn't want to go back, so we got the confidence now and they're going to be nervous now, so it's great for us," Michalek added. "We're going to go home and we're going to win at home now."

Only two teams in NHL history have come back from being 3-0 series deficits in 150 instances.

"We had nothing to lose," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "So we went out there and had fun. We'll embrace the challenge to make history in coming back from a 3-0 deficit. That was a pretty solid effort. Our special teams were impressive, obviously. We scored a power-play goal and got another shorthanded, so it was a good night."

Joe Thornton and defenseman Brian Campbell each recorded an assist for San Jose, which has been swept of a best-of-seven series just once in its history.

"After winning the first three, at home, you'd like to close it out," said Dallas goaltender Marty Turco, who was excellent in making 22 saves. "We smelled the blood, we went after it. I don't think we ever thought we were going to win four straight in this series against these guys. Until (Game Three), we were always planning on going back to San Jose, and we're just going to have to keep going.

"The first three games were pretty tight. It was another tight game (Wednesday), tied going into the third, but we just didn't have the magic tonight."

Jere Lehtinen netted the lone goal for Dallas, which failed to complete its first sweep of a best-of-seven series since the 1999 conference quarterfinals.

"We knew they were going to come hard and they got a couple late goals," Lehtinen said. "We have to play better and get our game to the next level in Game Five. Both teams played tight, defensive hockey, and they just got one more goal than we did."

Michalek snapped a 1-1 tie with his third goal of the postseason - and the series - on a power play 3:26 into the third period. Camped at the top of the crease, Michalek redirected a deft pass from the right faceoff circle by Thornton past Turco to give the Sharks their first third-period tally since Game One.

"I had a couple of chances before and I'm happy it went in. It was an important goal for us," Michalek said. "Hopefully, they'll start to go in now."

With the Stars applying pressure right up to the final buzzer, the Sharks held on, with Nabokov coming up with a diving save on Niklas Hagman's backhanded wraparound attempt with 55 seconds remaining to seal the win.

"We still have a 3-1 lead, but we recognize that they're going home and they're going to get some life out of this," Dallas coach Dave Tippett said. "We have to regroup and go into Game Five and win another road game. It's a challenge for us."

Following a scoreless first period, San Jose came out determined in the second, generating numerous scoring chances and outshooting Dallas, 5-0, over the first five minutes of the session.

But the Stars struck for an opportunistic goal as, from the left side of his own net, Sharks rookie Devin Setoguchi backhanded the puck directly to Lehtinen, who fired it past Nabokov at 5:25 for a 1-0 lead.

The goal marked the first time in the series Dallas opened the scoring.

San Jose, which looked to be down and out when Ryane Clowe was whistled for interference at 8:32 of the second, got a quick infusion of energy when Marleau intercepted a pass by Dallas defenseman Sergei Zubov at the blue line and raced in on a shorthanded breakaway.

Marleau's wrist shot from the right faceoff circle beat Turco to the stick side at 9:19, forging a 1-1 tie. It was the second shorthanded goal in as many days by Marleau, who became the first player in NHL playoff history to accomplish the feat.

"I pushed the puck out pretty far in front of me," Marleau said. "I was kind of stuck on that one side, but I was able to get a pretty good shot off."

"He's got great speed and anticipation," Wilson said. "I think he plays more relaxed when he's killing penalties. He has a quick stick, he anticipates where the puck might go. He did a great job, got his stick in the passing lane, stole the pass and made them pay."

It was the second straight game in which Zubov, who was playing in just his third contest after missing 40 with a fractured foot and sports hernia, committed a costly turnover that led to a goal.

"Those are uncharacteristic mistakes by Zubie," Tippett said. "Those are mistakes that you'd like to see cleaned up. That's a way to give them momentum in a hurry."






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    Sharks 2, Stars 1  FinalMay 1 12:04 AM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    SAN JOSE 0 1 1 2
    DALLAS 0 1 0 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: DAL - JERE LEHTINEN 3 (UNASSISTED) 5:25
    SAN - (SH) PATRICK MARLEAU 4 (UNASSISTED) 9:19
    3RD PRD: SAN - (PP) MILAN MICHALEK 3 (JOE THORNTON, BRIAN CAMPBELL)
    3:26
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: SAN - 1

    Apr 30 11:33 PM
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    Sharks 2, Stars 1  3rd - 1:47Apr 30 11:28 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL SAN JOSE 2
    DALLAS 1
    3RD PRD: SAN - (PP) MILAN MICHALEK 3 (JOE THORNTON, BRIAN CAMPBELL)
    3:26

    Sharks 2, Stars 1  3rd - 16:34Apr 30 11:04 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    SAN JOSE 0 1 1
    DALLAS 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: DAL - JERE LEHTINEN 3 (UNASSISTED) 5:25
    SAN - (SH) PATRICK MARLEAU 4 (UNASSISTED) 9:19
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    SAN 4 11 15
    DA

    Apr 30 10:40 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL SAN JOSE 1
    DALLAS 1
    2ND PRD: SAN - (SH) PATRICK MARLEAU 4 (UNASSISTED) 9:19

    Sharks 1, Stars 1  2nd - 10:41Apr 30 10:21 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL SAN JOSE 0
    DALLAS 1
    2ND PRD: DAL - JERE LEHTINEN 3 (UNASSISTED) 5:25

    Sharks 0, Stars 1  2nd - 14:35Apr 30 10:21 PM
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    Sharks 0, Stars 0  2nd - 15:45Apr 30 10:09 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    SAN JOSE 0 0
    DALLAS 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    SAN 4 4
    DAL 7 7
    GOALIES: SAN - EVGENI NABOKOV
    DAL - MARTY TURCO

    Apr 30 9:46 PM
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