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1st Intermission Report: Stars 1 - Sharks 1

In case anyone has forgotten, this is what playoff hockey feels like. Dallas is playing with a desperation, a hunger that was sorely lacking in the Saturday game. They actually look like an actual hockey team today.

The game was a wild back and forth for the first 12 minutes of the game as each team traded chances. The Stars played good sound defense and Kari Lehtonen was there to make the stop when that defense crumbled. They put in a few good chances on Antti Niemi but just couldn't get it past him. They also had a bunch of shots blocked by diving Sharks defenders.

The Sharks finally scored a goal 13 minutes into the period that probably should not have counted. The Stars lost a face-off (which would be a problem throughout the period) and the puck went back to the blue line. A shot went wide and Lehtonen was tripped from behind by Tommy Wingels and the officials did not make a goalie interference call. The rebound from the initial shot eventually went to Daniel Winnik, who shot it by a sprawled Lehtonen (again because he was tripped by Wingels). There was no review of the play for some reason so the goal counted. 1-0 Sharks.

Dallas answered back as Brenden Morrow made his biggest contribution in weeks, if not months, with a goal that had to be given from the hockey gods. He fought for the puck behind the net, got it and swung around. As he appeared on the side of the net, he just backhanded a shot towards the net that bounced off of Niemi's pads and into the net to tie it up at 1-1.

This was a very encouraging period from the Stars. They look lively out there and are fighting for every puck. They were unlucky on the goal as it (at least in my opinion) should not have counted, but they fought through that and tied it up.. There were a lot of loose pucks in front of Niemi that the Stars couldn't quite reach, but the danger is there. They got the only power play of the period, a five-on-three, at the very end. They didn't score, but still have some time left to start the second period.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.