Stars one win from Cup

Archived from 1998-99 season.

1999 Playoffs




Darryl Sydor and Pat Verbeek scored as the Dallas Stars took a three games to two lead in the Stanley Cup finals with a 2-0 shutout victory over the Buffalo Sabres.

"This is so intense, the only confidence we have is we're up 3-2," Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said. "There's no dominant player, no dominant area, it is absolutely a shift-by-shift battle. There's just no read on the series."

Ed Belfour earned his third shutout in the playoffs with a cool and focused performance stopping all 23 Buffalo shots..

"He's played in the shadow of a lot of goaltenders and I think he's taking advantage of this to do something," Sydor said.

Buffalo now faces a do-or-die situation in Game 6 on Saturday. No team has come back from three games to two deficit to win the Stanley Cup since since Montreal in 1971.

Said Sabres coach Lindy Ruff: "Our players believe they will be back here for Game 7."

Mike Modano had assists on both Dallas goals. Modano has played with a serious wrist since Game 3 and was fitted with a different cast on his left wrist than he wore in the previous two games, and he said it gave him more mobility.

"I did a lot of experimenting with some casts and different things that I've been wearing and tonight I felt like I had a little more movement in my hand. That's the strength of my game -- handling the puck and moving it and getting some freedom," Modano said.

Game 5 was as close and low-scoring as the previous games in the series. This is the lowest-scoring series since 1947, when Toronto and Montreal also had only 19 goals through five games.

"The games are so tight," Ruff said. "The team that scores first gets the upper hand."

The veteran Stars can win their first cup by winning in Buffalo on Saturday. If needed Game 7 will be played in Dallas on Tuesday.

"We're one win from the Stanley Cup, and I don't think anybody feels old," the Stars' Mike Keane said.

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