Stars' Captain Mike Modano took an early hooking peantly on Jonathan Cheeecho (SJ) to give the Sharks a powerplay. Both teams traded early chances on the Sharks powerplay, but neither managed to convert. Teemu Selanne (SJ) released a succession of shots against Marty Turco (DAL), who nullified both attempts. Dallas played physically in the defensive zone to keep the chances to a minimum and the Sharks off the scoreboard as Mike Modano exited the penalty box.
Teemu Selanne, playing his best hockey of the series, made and took hits, registered shots, and broke in behind the Stars' defense to challenge Marty Turco on a backhand attempt that was blocked by the right pad of Turco. The score remained 0-0.
Alyn McCauley (SJ) then engaged in an incredible display of puck protection that gave him just enough space to spot Alexander Korolyuk (SJ) in the slot. Korolyuk then took the pass from McCaluey and lifted an innocent backhand shot towards the shoulder of Marty Turco. Turco flinched and the shot somehow managed to hit the back of the net. The Sharks led 1-0.
Stu Barnes (DAL), afforded breakaways all series, had another one denied by a quick right pad save of Ecgeni Nabokov (SJ) The Sharks continued their pressure in the attacking zone, with the period ending on a Johnathan Cheechoo one-timer that was blockered away by Marty Turco. The Sharks outshot the Stars 10-5 in the opening period, and carried a 1-0 lead into the 2nd Period foor their efforts.
Jere Lehtinen (DAL) started the period with a hooking penalty on Scott Hannan, and the Stars lost one of their strongest penalty killers against the best powerplay of the playoffs.
Dan McGillis (SJ) established himself in the offensive zone and passed the puck to Adam Graves (SJ) in the slot for a familiar one-time shot that went glove side on Marty Turco (DAL) to extend the Sharks' lead to 2-0. The Sharks, smelling blood, continued heavy pressure on Turco, who denied further attempts for the 1st half of the 2nd Period. This included yet another scoring chance by Teemu Selanne (SJ), who broke in alone and backhanded a shot that bounced off the outstretched right pad of Turco and kept the game 2-0.
The Stars continued to be abused by the puck possession ability of the Western Conference's #1 seed, and the distance in skill between the two team appeared to be widening. That is, until Manny Malhotra (DAL) and Niko Kapanen (DAL) began dominating in the Sharks' zone with their own offensive cycle. The Sharks managed to clear the puck, but it eventually found its way back into the Sharks' zone where Kapanen fed Malhotra in the slot for a one-timer that rang off the post behind Evgeni Nabokov. Refusing to be denied, Malhotra tracked down his own rebound and passed back to the point, where Stephane Robidas wristed a shot that hit off of the same post, but this time, ricocheted behind Evgeni Nabokov. Sharks 2, Stars 1. The Sharks were ousthooting the Stars 16-9 by the 2nd Intermission.
The potential final period in the Stars' otherwise incredible season saw a tense and physical confrontation. Neither team had many defensive lapses in the first half of the 3rd period, save for a clear cut breakaway by Alexander Korolyuk (SJ) that was stopped cold by Marty Turco (DAL) on his quest for a sliver of redemption.
Richard Matvichuk (DAL) then took a hooking penalty against Brad Stuart (SJ) to give the Sharks another powerplay chance. Teemu Selanne (SJ) continued his dominance with a one-timer chance against Marty Turco that was, yet again, stopped. Alexander Korolyuk (SJ) and Captain Patrick Marleau (SJ) saw shot after shot denied by Marty Turco as the penalty to Richard Matvichuk (DAL) ended with the score still 2-1 Sharks.
Alyn McCauley (SJ) managed to deke around several Stars players and find an open Jonathan Cheechoo (SJ) for what surely should have been a tap-in goal, but somehow the glove of Marty Turco (DAL) reacted just in time to stuff the attempt. Hard hits and remained a constant throughout the period, as neither team afforded the other much open ice. With less than a minute to go, the Stars pulled their goalie to attempt to tie the game and keep their playoffs alive. Evgeni Nabokov (SJ) made a routine save on a Stars dump in and shot the puck to Marco Sturm (SJ) who then skittered it along to Alexander Korolyuk (SJ) who scored on the empty net on his second goal of the game.
Teemu Selanne (SJ), possessed to score all game, managed to finally break in across the crease of Marty Turco (DAL) and unleashed a backhander that, after much toil, beat Turco to give the Sharks a 4-1 lead, identical to Games 2 and 3. Evgeni Nabokov (SJ) made a few more saves and the Sharks held on for the win. The Sharks outshot the Stars 29-15, and the following players were selected as the three stars of the game:
3) Teemu Selanne (SJ) Registered 1 Goal, 0 Assists and +1
2) Adam Graves (SJ) Registered 1 Goal, 0 Assists and +1
1) Alexander Korolyuk (SJ) Registered 2 Goals, 0 Assists and +2
San Jose Sharks 4
Dallas Stars 1
The Sharks sweep the Stars to Advance to the Western Conference Finals. The Sharks outscored the Stars 22-5 in the series, and the Sharks outshot the Stars in 3 out of the 4 games. Game 1 of the Western Conference Final is scheduled to be broadcast on Tuesday, June 16th at 7:00PM Pacific Standard Time.