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Close Calls Continue for Stars

Wednesday, 04.18.2007 / 12:00 AM / News
Dallas Stars
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Close Calls Continue for Stars
By Ken Sins

For a few tantalizing seconds, Mike Ribeiro thought he'd scored the tying goal. With his team trailing 2-1 and 2:33 showing on the scoreboard clock, Ribeiro's shot from close range trickled through the crease, past goaltender Roberto Luongo and skittered toward the back of the net.

Former Stars defenseman Willie Mitchell swept the puck off the goal line, but did he do so in time? Referees Wes McCauley and Brad Watson couldn't tell, so they went to replay.

Everyone in the AAC held their breath. The Stars' season hung in the balance.

Then came the bad news: no goal, by inches.

"There were some tense moments there where you think it's in the net," Stars center Stu Barnes said. "But the replay showed that it wasn't."

"You hope that's a bounce you're going to get to turn this thing around for us," Stars captain Brenden Morrow added. "But it didn't go in and we had to regroup."

Said Ribeiro: "It was almost. It was close, but not there, not enough."

Now the Stars find themselves in a three-games-to-one hole, with Game 5 Thursday night in Vancouver.

The series of near-misses continues for the Stars.

They got another strong effort out of goaltender Marty Turco, who stopped 27 of 29 shots.

"Marty gave us another opportunity to win," Morrow said. "We could have been down 4-0 or 5-0 if he didn't play the way he did over the first two and a half periods."

The final score was a slender 2-1 for the sixth time in the eight meetings with the Canucks this season (including four 2-1 finals in the regular season). Dallas came back to tie the game at 1 on Darryl Sydor's goal at 12:29 of the final period.

But once again the Stars didn't have enough offensive firepower to crack Luongo and his tight-checking teammates.

"We needed one more play to get us over the top," Stars coach Dave Tippett said.

The scoreless first period was dominated by special teams, with the Stars having the best scoring opportunity with 1:55 worth of 5-on-3. The Stars had been one of the league's best 5-on-3 teams during the regular season, converting 13 goals with the two-man edge, tied for third in the NHL. But Dallas only had two shots during Tuesday night's two-man advantage and three shots on two other first-period power plays.

"It was a big momentum swing," Morrow said. "I don't think we got a real good look at the net. We've got to find a way. No excuses anymore. We have to be a desperate hockey team."

The Stars were 0-for-6 on the power play and are 2-for-25 in the series. Dallas was seventh in the league on the power play during the regular season, converting at a clip of 18.5 percent, so the Stars know they're capable of capitalizing with the man advantage. But time is running out on their season.

Turco came up with one of the saves of the series late in the first period when he stuck out his right pad to rob Trevor Linden from short range during a Vancouver power play.

But the Stars lacked fire in the first period. Tippett thought the intensity was there, but both teams were nervous.

"I thought the play was jittery on both sides," Tippett said. "Both sides looked like they were waiting to see what was going to happen."

Dallas turned up the heat in the second period and came close to scoring in the final minute of the period during a power play. But Luongo sprawled to the ice and made big stops on Jeff Halpern and Niklas Hagman to keep it scoreless.

The Stars know close isn't good enough. They need a breakthrough. Maybe a return to the road will cause them to play with more early desperation. Dallas split the first two games of the playoff series in Vancouver, and the defeat came in quadruple overtime.

"You have to be ready right from the start," Sydor said. "It's do or die. We're down 3-1, but we've played two strong games in Vancouver. All we have to worry about is winning one game."

 

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NSH 63 41 15 7 191 151 89
2 ANA 63 39 17 7 186 176 85
3 STL 62 40 18 4 192 153 84
4 CHI 63 37 21 5 183 150 79
5 WPG 63 31 20 12 174 170 74
6 VAN 61 35 23 3 174 162 73
7 MIN 62 33 22 7 176 161 73
8 LAK 61 29 20 12 164 157 70
9 CGY 62 33 25 4 175 160 70
10 SJS 63 30 25 8 175 181 68
11 COL 63 27 25 11 167 182 65
12 DAL 62 27 25 10 195 207 64
13 ARI 63 20 36 7 138 214 47
14 EDM 63 18 35 10 143 208 46

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 62 23 37 -1 60
T. Seguin 55 29 30 0 59
J. Spezza 62 15 37 -3 52
E. Cole 57 18 15 4 33
T. Daley 59 16 16 -9 32
J. Klingberg 48 10 22 2 32
C. Eakin 59 14 14 -2 28
A. Hemsky 56 9 17 -7 26
A. Goligoski 62 2 24 2 26
A. Roussel 60 12 11 -11 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 25 13 10 .905 2.97
J. Enroth 13 24 2 .900 3.31
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