SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Brenden Morrow and the Dallas Stars responded to a blown third-period lead by picking up their play instead of hanging their heads.
Morrow scored his second goal 4:39 into overtime and the Stars overcame Jonathan Cheechoo's tying goal late in regulation to beat the San Jose Sharks 3-2 Friday night in the opener of their second-round series.
"Our goal was to come in and steal a game," Morrow said. "You never know what it will be or how many goals it will take. We didn't want to be denied."
It looked like that just might happen when Cheechoo banged home Torrey Mitchell's rebound of Matt Carle's shot for his fourth goal of the postseason with just 3:02 remaining.
The Stars had managed only 13 shots on goal up until that point as they tried to hang on to a 2-1 lead Morrow provided with his goal midway through the second period.
"It could have been deflating with that late goal in the third period," goalie Marty Turco said. "But this team isn't one to be flat-lined."
Dallas dominated the play after Cheechoo's goal. Mike Modano drew a penalty and the Stars had a couple of good scoring chances late in regulation that they couldn't finish.
They capitalized on some defensive confusion by San Jose to score the game-winner. Mattias Norstrom whipped the puck across the ice to Morrow, who easily beat an off-balance Evgeni Nabokov.
"There was a lot of chaos around the net," Morrow said. "There were a lot of people in the crease. I just wanted to get in the shooting area. Norstrom made a good heads up play to find me with the pass. The puck didn't go where I wanted it to but it found a hole."
Game 2 is Sunday night in San Jose, with Game 3 in Dallas on Tuesday.
After eliminating defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim in the first round, the fifth-seeded Stars rallied from a two-shot first period and an early deficit to take away home-ice advantage from the division rival Sharks, who needed seven games to put away Calgary in the opening round.
Modano scored Dallas' first goal on the power play and Turco made 25 saves in the Stars' seventh win in their last eight trips to the Shark Tank. They've thoroughly dominated the Pacific Division champion Sharks here for two years, leading Modano to jokingly rename his team "the San Jose Stars" after their sixth straight win in January.
"Some good things have happened here," said Modano, who became the NHL's leading American-born scorer during a game in San Jose last year. "I've had a lot of games over a lot of seasons against these guys. After so many years and games, I kind of feel comfortable out West."
Milan Michalek scored an early goal for the second-seeded Sharks, who blew Game 1 for the second straight series. San Jose again endured special-teams mistakes while taking a handful of careless penalties and struggling to generate offense against the Dallas trap.
"It's always tough when you lose, especially at home," Cheechoo said. "It happened last series as well, so we've just got to put it behind us."
Both teams came out cautiously for their ninth meeting of the season. The Stars didn't get their first shot of the game until late in their second power play with 3:36 left in the first period.
Michalek, who went scoreless in the Sharks' first seven games against Calgary, got credit for their first goal when his shot trickled underneath Turco midway through the second period. Modano, who scored four goals in four trips to San Jose during the regular season, tied it with a power-play goal 76 seconds later, putting a one-timer through traffic.
"(On) the goals they scored, we lost the battles," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "We turned it over against a great line. You don't win the battles, (you) give somebody like Mike Ribeiro two or three shots at making plays. It should be one, and then we snuff it and get the puck out."
Notes:@ Dallas D Sergei Zubov was scratched again despite rejoining workouts this week. Zubov, a two-time Stanley Cup winner, has been out since Jan. 17 because of a sports hernia. … Both clubs played their first overtime game of the postseason. … Dallas' Shark Tank winning streak ended with San Jose's overtime victory March 27.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.