Dallas Stars center Mike Modano, left, celebrates with teammate Brenden Morrow, right, after scoring against the San Jose Sharks in the third period of Game 2 of a Western Conference semifinal playoff hockey series in San Jose, Calif., Sunday, April 27, 2008. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Marcio Jose Sanchez
DALLAS - Frustrating enough for the Dallas Stars was blowing a two-goal lead.
They don't even want to imagine the possibility of a more historic letdown. And they don't want to go back to San Jose.
Dallas is back home Sunday night for Game 6 - and a third chance to close out its Western Conference semifinal series against the Sharks.
"We need to lock things up, clean it up, go home and win a game," Stars captain Brenden Morrow said. "Every game we lose, we give them more life, but I like our position better than theirs."
Since falling into a 3-0 series hole, San Jose has avoided elimination twice. The Sharks overcame a 2-0 deficit heading into the third period of Game 5 on Friday night and won on Joe Pavelski's goal 65 seconds into overtime.
"I think they obviously have the advantage, but they know it's going to be a series," said defenceman Brian Campbell, who scored the tying goal midway through the third period.
"We're not down or disappointed. They made a great shot," goalie Marty Turco said. "We knew it wasn't going to be easy, and it certainly wasn't easy. My only concern is keep pushing forward and give our home fans another series win at home."
San Jose is trying to accomplish what's only been done twice in the NHL playoffs: complete the comeback after losing the first three games. It's something coach Ron Wilson keeps reminding his team.
The last team to do it was the New York Islanders 33 years ago - 33 years after the Toronto Maple Leafs were the first to do it.
"I'm not afraid to talk about being down in a series 3-0," Wilson said. "You're not supposed to do that. Well, the last 60 teams acted that way and they lost, so we're talking about it."
Waiting for the series winner are the Red Wings, who wrapped up a sweep of Colorado with an 8-2 victory Thursday night. The Western Conference finals will start in Detroit.
The Sharks had lost six straight elimination games going into this post-season. Now, they've won three in a row, beating Calgary in Game 7 of the quarter-final series before the last two games against Dallas.
"It's nice to have that little bit of confidence, but we still have to do the work," Sharks captain Patrick Marleau said.
San Jose is only the fourth team in the past 20 seasons to even stretch a series to six games after trailing 0-3.
While confident, the Sharks also know they were a bit fortunate in Game 5, when Dallas had two apparent goals by Morrow disallowed after lengthy reviews.
In the second period, on-ice referees ruled that the puck off Morrow's skate that got past Evgeni Nabokov was a goal. But that goal was waved off after being reviewed on video by off-ice officials.
Morrow left no doubt with his wrister in the final minute of the second period that gave Dallas a 2-0 lead. But on a power play early in the third, after on-ice officials ruled Morrow knocked a puck in with his hand, that no-goal call was upheld after a review.
"Sometimes you get a bad break, sometimes a good break. It's hard to let it go, but we didn't play that bad of a game," Stephane Robidas said. "It's frustrating, but we're still up 3-2. ... They have their backs against the wall. There's pressure on us too, but at the same time, we need one and they need two."
The second disallowed goal would have given the Stars a 3-0 lead. Instead it was only a two-goal lead, and San Jose got even when Milan Michalek and Campbell scored.
"We're not ready to go home. We're a desperate hockey team," Joe Thornton said. "We just stuck with it and played hard. ... You lose the period, you go home, and we weren't ready to do that just yet."
Unless it's for a deciding Game 7 at the Shark Tank.