Stars Looking for Another 2-0 Start
On The Road With DotCom
Saturday, 04.26.2008 / 9:00 PM CT / Feature
By J. Douglas Foster
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Teams starting a best-of-seven series on the road generally have the same mindset entering the series.
Split in the road, then come home and take control.
But when said team wins Game One on the road, it’s safe to say the thought process changes.
Now, you’re playing with house money.
With Friday’s 3-2 overtime victory against San Jose in the bank, the Stars can now look at Sunday’s Game 2 in a different light. Win this one, and grab the series by the throat.
“The only time a coach says he’ll take a split on the road is when they lose Game One,” Stars head coach Dave Tippett joked. “But we know it takes four to win a series, so you have to take advantage of every opportunity you can.”
The Stars are very aware of the opportunity in front of them. It’s quite similar to what they faced in the Western Conference Quarterfinals against Anaheim, when they walked into the Honda Center and took a 4-0 Game One victory against the Ducks.
This win wasn’t nearly as dominant, but they’re still in the same spot. In that series, of course, the Stars won Game Two on the road, coming home with a 2-0 lead and two games to come at American Airlines Center.
“It’s the same mentality as Anaheim,” Stars defenseman Mark Fistric said. “When you take the first one, you get a little greedy and want to push for the second one. It was big for us to come in and win Game One, and now we’re determined to battle hard enough to steal both.”
The odds of going home with a 2-0 lead could be greatly improved if the Stars are able to get defenseman Sergei Zubov back in the lineup.
A two-time Stanley Cup champion and highly regarded as one of the best defensemen in the world, Zubov is still considered a game-time decision for Game Two – just as he was for Game One – as he continues to recover from surgery earlier this month on a sports hernia injury. He’s been out of the Stars’ lineup since Jan. 17 with first a fractured foot, then the sports hernia.
“He looks better every day,” Tippett said. “It looks like he’s moving forward. It just comes down to Zubi saying he’s ready to go.
“It’s not like a bone break where you know it’s six weeks and it’s healed.”
Zubov said he wasn’t feeling much pain, “other than mentally,” he joked. When asked if there was anything he felt he couldn’t do on the ice, he had another quick barb.
“What I can’t do? Go back to my 20s,” he said. “Other than that, everything is good.
“This is the longest I’ve been out of the lineup in my career, so it’s tough.”
*Fistric also he is fine and ready to go if needed after blocking a shot with his foot during a third period power play in Game One. “I’ve taken lots of those before,” he said. “Just a few bruises here and there.”
*The Stars are 7-1 in second round series’ in which they win Game One.
*The Game One win by Marty Turco was his 13th at HP Pavilion in the regular and postseason combined. Only Patrick Roy (17 total – 5 in the playoffs) has more as a visiting goaltender, while Turco is tied with Curtis Joseph for second.
*Mike Modano now has points in all nine games played against the Sharks this year (12 points total). He also has 12 points in 12 career playoff games against the Sharks.