Courtesy of Daniel Fung
THE SUN REPORTSTwo glaring mistakes led to two Stars goals on Friday night, and that was pretty much the ball game, writes Elliott Pap. But are the Canucks fazed by the fact they now have to head into Dallas needing at least a split in Games 3 and 4 to regain home ice advantage? Not according to Roberto Luongo.
Canucks confident on road
"We've been playing well on the road all year long, especially in the second half of the season, so we're confident we can get the job done," Luongo said. "Offensively, we have to do a better job of getting in Marty's face a little bit more."
More need to step up
The Canucks might not have been making any excuses about losing three of their top energy players in Matt Cooke, Alex Burrows and Ryan Kesler, but it was clear there was little inspired play by the Canucks in Game 2, writes Iain MacIntyre.
"What Vancouver lacked, most basically, was inspired play from almost anyone beyond a reunited Ornskoldsvik line of Naslund with Daniel and Henrik Sedin," writes MacIntyre. "The Swedish three drew penalties and often controlled the puck - this put them a notch about their teammates - but only infrequently worked it to the front of the net for scoring chances." MacIntyre also notes callup Jannik Hansen as having his moments as well.
Jannik Hansen made quite an impression in his first NHL game ever on Thursday, writes Brad Ziemer, but the media blitz he faced upon arriving in Vancouver might have been no big deal compared to the attention he received back in his native Denmark.
"His Canuck call-up was big news back home," writes Ziemer. "Hansen was getting so many calls from Danish media early Friday morning that he had to turn off his cell phone so he could get some sleep."
Hansen is only the second Dane to play in the NHL. Islanders Frans Nielsen beat him to the punch earlier this season. However, Nielsen is not on the Islanders' playoff roster, so Hansen became the first Dane to play in an NHL playoff game.
FROM THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS
Playing scared is a good thing
According the Jean-Jacques Taylor, the Dallas Stars actually like it when they're behind the eight-ball. After dropping a quadruple overtime game in Game 1, the Stars might have already felt their season was on the line despite only being down 1-0 in the series.
"The Stars weren't going to beat Roberto Luongo...in four of the next five games. He's too good," writes Taylor. "So the Stars had to win Game 2. Otherwise, this series wasn't going to last nearly as long as most experts had expected. That's why the Stars played with such desperation. For once, they initiated the action."
Ott to be proud
It hasn't been an easy season for Stars forward Steve Ott. After breaking his ankle in a fight in late October, Ott returned to the lineup in late January only to be sidelined again after realizing the original surgery didn't do the job, writes Mike Heika. But with an intense rehab program, Ott returned sooner than most believed he would suiting up for six of Dallas' final seven regular season games. Still, the energetic forward was a healthy scratch for Game 1 and didn't make his playoff debut until Game 2. Through everything, Ott is just happy to get a chance to play.
"With the circumstances I've been through, I'm not going to lie, it's been the toughest year of my career by far," Ott said. "To kind of go from almost being written off for the season to busting my hump to get where I'm at, I'm very excited for the chance to get in that first game. So when I'm called upon, I'm ready to go."
Who needs tickets?
For Canuck fans unable to get their hands on tickets for Games 1 and 2 here in Vancouver, you may have a better chance of watching the team when the series shifts to Dallas. According to Kate Hairopoulous, 200 upper-level tickets are still available for Sunday's Game 3 while 500 upper-level tickets are available for Game 4 on Tuesday.
FROM THE FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM
Start was key for Stars
After a heart-breaking quadruple overtime loss, the great start early was exactly what the Stars needed to even the series heading back to Dallas, writes Tracey Myers.
"We wanted to get a good start, play physical and let them know they were going to be in for a fight," Stars Captain Brendan Morrow said. "We knew we had to steal a game."
That's exactly what they got after Jeff Halpern opened the scoring 24 seconds into the first, while Joel Lundqvist scored 45 seconds into the second period.