Brenden Morrow scored a power-play goal on a deflection at 6:22 of overtime as the Stars beat the Vancouver Canucks 1-0 Thursday night. The Stars trail in the best-of-seven Western Conference quarter-final series 3-2 with Game 6 Saturday in Dallas. “We were in every game but when push came to shove, we didn’t push that extra bit to get the job done,” said Morrow after the Stars avoided elimination. “Tonight we earned the break with the penalty in overtime and we capitalized on it.”
Dallas scored 1:04 after the Canucks were assessed a bench minor for too many men on the ice. Morrow notched the winner when he deflected a Sergei Zubov shot past Canuck goaltender Roberto Luongo.
“When Zubovy has the puck you always have to be ready because he’ll find the open guy,” said Morrow. “He had a good hard pass along the ice and I was able to get a stick on it.”
Luongo, who made 29 saves, managed to get a piece of the puck but it flipped over top of him into the net.
It was Dallas’s third power-play goal in 29 attempts during the series.
“Our power play hasn’t been real successful,” said Morrow. “The Canucks have had great penalty killing all series and it was just kind of a breakdown.
“We found a hole. Now we’ve got to find a way to do it back home.”
Dallas goaltender Marty Turco made 21 saves for his second career playoff shutout. The first came in a 2-0 win in Vancouver Friday night.
“Our backs were against the wall,” said Turco. “The pressure was on. It was do or die and we were all about the do.”
The penalty came as the Stars Mike Ribeiro was stretching for a breakaway pass. It looked like two Canucks jumped on the ice after only one returned to the bench.
“We had four guys up the ice,” said Vancouver centre Brendan Morrison. “I don’t know who jumped (over the boards) or what.”
The Canucks had trouble generating offence all game. The tight Dallas checking kept the Canucks shooting from the perimeter. Rarely did Vancouver get a body in front of the net to deflect a shot or pounce on a rebound.
“Two teams are out there fighting, trying to win games,” said Bryan Smolinski, who fired a shot off Turco’s shoulder just 24 seconds into the game.
“They got that one break. We knew it was going to come. We thought we were going to get it. It just didn’t happen.”
It was the third overtime game of the series. Vancouver won the opening match 5-4 in quadruple overtime, then needed just 7:47 to win the third game 2-1.
The game was almost decided early in the third when the Stars came close to shooting themselves in the foot.
With Turco out of the net on a delayed penalty, a Dallas defenceman was unable to keep a Loui Eriksson pass in the Canuck zone. The puck slowly slid down the ice toward the open net but grazed off the post.
As he’s done all series, Luongo kept the Canucks in the game. A huge banner in the crowd read “in Luongod we trust” and there were chants of “MVP… MVP” from the sellout crowd of 18,630.
In the first period Luongo got a toe on a Jere Lehtinen shot. In the second he flashed his glove to snag a Joel Lundqvist drive that was headed for the far side of the net before getting in front of a Morrow shot from in close.
Morrow said the Stars must carry the momentum back to Dallas.
“Back home, we haven’t had a whole lot of success in the last couple of years so we’ve just got to keep doing the things we’re doing,” he said. “We have to do them harder, do them longer and go out there and earn another one.”
Dallas’s Eric Lindros, who had missed the last 16 games of the regular season and the playoffs with a groin injury, returned to the lineup. He played 9:46 and had two shots on goal.
It was his first playoff appearance since playing two games in 2000 as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers before suffering a concussion from a Scott Stevens hit.
Notes-The Canuck scratches were Matt Cooke (groin), Rory Fitzpatrick, Tommi Santala and Nathan Smith . . . The Canucks returned to Vancouver on Tuesday night while the Stars didn’t arrive until Wednesday evening . . . The last time the Canucks lost three games in a row in the playoffs was 2003 when they blew a 3-1 series against the Minnesota Wild . . . The Stars Jussi Jokinen missed the game with an upper body injury.