Marty Turco out-lasted his competition in a goaltending display for the ages and Captain Brenden Morrow, after the other team was whistled for a penalty, provided the overtime game winner. Sound familiar? Before that series of events played out in 2008 against the San Jose Sharks it happened nearly the same way against the Vancouver Canucks and Roberto Luongo on April 19th, 2007.
The Stars trailed the Canucks 3-1 after four games, including two overtime losses and two straight dropped at the American Airlines Center. They traveled back to British Columbia figuring to lose in five games for the third year in a row, but were able to break a horrendous playoff overtime losing streak to nab this one.
Both teams battled staunch defense and offensive constipation throughout as Marty Turco recorded three shutouts and lost anyway. A huge performance from him in this one gave the Stars the chance they needed to come back, eventually forcing a game seven, though we know what happened there. This one was a goaltending showcase for the ages, however, and a highlight of what was ultimately a great, though, disappointing series for Stars fans.
"Both goalies were excellent. That's just what's happening in the series," said Stars coach Dave Tippett, summing up for the series after this one. "It just goes to show how even the teams are, how well the goaltenders are playing."
Continued after the jump...
It's fun to look back at these games and wonder at the line combinations and rosters. Zubov, Sydor, Norstrum, Boucher, Daley and Robidas on the blue line makes sense to us (Daley was the youngster back then), but then you look at the forward grouping.
Mike Modano played with Jere Lehtinen and Jussi Jokinen, who wasn't available for this game. Eric Lindros was brought in for this one and he played with Niklas Hagman and Loui Eriksson. Joel Lundqvist, Jeff Halpern and Stu Barnes handled the checking duties admirable, and Mike Ribeiro and Brenden Morrow joined forces with Steve Ott, and sometimes Miettinen. Sometimes Ladislav Nagy, who bounced around the lineup after the Stars surrendered a first round pick for him.
Loui Eriksson, if you recall, was a healthy scratch for the first four games of this series. Antti Miettinen drew the coaches decision in Eriksson's favor for this one. We know now which one panned out and which one didn't.
This one also had the nearly tragic oops moment of Loui Eriksson's pass to the point on a delayed penalty that nearly sailed right into a recently vacated net. Marty Turco could only watch with horror from the bench as the puck stayed out but hit the post.
For Stars fans at the time the big story line was Marty Turco. The Dallas netminder was oft maligned as being a weak playoff performer, particularly in overtime, where he had dropped six straight games dating back to 2004, including two already in this series.
This would be Turco's second of three shutouts in this series, with the final one coming in game six to force a decisive game 7 in Vancouver. The win following this one would end a six-game home losing streak for Dallas in the playoffs, which at the time was just one short of an NHL record. Turco was one of few standout performers for Dallas in 2007, if not the only one.
We'll remember this one for the goaltending duel, for the hope it brought after, and for the elation of FINALLY winning one in overtime after three years worth of playoffs without (the aforementioned six straight playoff losses).
A playoff win in a first round series the team ultimately loss may not sound like anything great, but like it or not it was one of the best series the Stars have played, so consider this one representative of the series as a whole.
Little did we know at the time how much better the following year would be. We'll get to that as we move up the countdown, of course.