Yesterday, game 5 of the Western Conference final was another opportunity for the Detroit Red Wings, up 3-1 in this series, to finish off the Dallas Stars and qualify for the Stanley Cup finals.
But the Dallas Stars were on a mission and had some objectives worth playing for. The disallowed goal to the Red Wings during the first period of game 4 gave a new life to the Stars.
They went on to score the first goal of the game to a 3-1 victory, avoiding a series sweep. Goaltender Marty Turco was still looking for a first victory at the Joe Louis Arena in career and needed his best game of the series to avoid the team's elimination.
For game 5, Dallas needed to score first.
Outside the reduction of the stress and anxiety level, the feeling of playing with ''nothing to lose'' has a tendency to include. Each player feels that his tiny contribution can keep his team rolling.
We had a good proof of that in game 5. Halfway into the first period, Trevor Daley with his very first goal of the playoffs, opened the score.
The Red Wings did tie the score at 1 before the end of the first period. During a man-advantage, Jiri Hudler sent the puck into the net defended by Marty Turco on a great setup by defense men Niklas Kronvall.
Then the winning goal came in the second period on a brilliant clearing by Turco. His long pass caught a skating Joel Lunqvist, who went on to score on goaltender Chris Osgood.
The score remained unchanged for the rest of the game as Marty Turco stopped 38 of the 39 shots he faced and played his best game of the series to finally win at the Joe Louis Arena.
Final score: Dallas Stars 2 - Detroit Red Wings 1 (Detroit leads the series by 3-2)
The Dallas Stars will now host game 6 of the series.
(Picture: The Dallas Stars, Getty Images.)