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Falling flat

Sharks hope to find life in Game 2 in Dallas

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Posted: Sunday April 30, 2000 04:00 PM

  Steve Shields Against the Blues, Steve Shields and the Sharks proved they can bounce back from tough defeats. Tom Pidgeon/Allsport

DALLAS (AP) -- Coming off the emotional high of beating St. Louis in the first round, the San Jose Sharks were a bit lifeless in the opener of their second-round playoff series.

The Sharks better get revived in time for Game 2 tonight if they're going to have any chance of also taking out the Dallas Stars.

"We didn't play with as much emotion," said goaltender Steve Shields, the hero of the Game 7 victory against the Blues but one of the goats in a 4-0 loss to Dallas on Friday night. "We need to play more aggressively."

The eighth-seeded Sharks capped their upset of the Blues on Tuesday night. The two days off between the series may not have been enough to heal most bumps and bruises.

"Being tired is no excuse in the playoffs," defenseman Bryan Marchment said. "We've had our ups and downs all year, so hopefully we'll be ready [today]."

Then again, it may not matter what the Sharks do if the Stanley Cup champions continue to play the way they did in the opener.

Dallas scored on its first and sixth shots, got goals on two of its first three power plays and posted its second shutout in six playoff games. There were no signs of rust following a six-day layoff since ousting Edmonton.

"We talked about having a good first 20 minutes," said center Mike Modano, who scored the second goal and nearly had another in the closing seconds of the first period. "We picked up where we left off against Edmonton and that's a good sign."

Coach Ken Hitchcock was pleased with the victory, but sounded like he was counting on it even though San Jose won the regular-season series 4-2.

"I don't think you can evaluate Game 1 for the visiting team," he said. "In Game 1, the home team should be expected to win, especially when you've had a layoff. I've found for our team, in our building, the tougher game has always been Game 2."

Dallas, which is 4-0 at home this postseason, wants to go to San Jose up 2-0. The Sharks will be hoping to bring the best-of-seven series home tied at a game apiece, as they did in the first round.

St. Louis won that opener 5-3, then San Jose rebounded with a 4-2 victory in Game 2. The Sharks also bounced back from a 6-2 loss in Game 6 to win the finale.

"I think we'll be a lot more focused in Game 2," center Vincent Damphousse said. "Getting blown out or losing in overtime, it's only one game."

The Stars were rejuvenated by the return of defenseman Sergei Zubov, who'd missed the last month with a knee injury. The power play suffered without him running it, and other defensemen were forced to play more minutes.

His impact was felt immediately as Dallas scored on its first stint with the man advantage.

Zubov held the puck long enough to get the San Jose defense out of position, then fired a shot into Shields' chest. The rebound went straight to Modano, who was wide open, and he flushed it into the net before Shields could react.

Zubov got a second assist when he set up a goal by Joe Nieuwendyk in the third period. It was the 10th power-play goal allowed by San Jose in eighth playoff games.

"We should've been ready to battle," Sharks forward Mike Ricci said. "We can come up with all the excuses, but the bottom line is we've got to be better."

Related information
Series at a Glance: Dallas-San Jose
Series Breakdown: Dallas-San Jose
Stars crush Sharks, take 1-0 series lead
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