DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars are used to making comebacks in playoff games. Now they'll try to do it in a series.
"What we have to do is score, get great opportunities, and we always seem to bounce back," Stars center Mike Modano said.Trailing 1-0 in the Stanley Cup finals, the Stars face another test in their postseason adventure story when they meet the Buffalo Sabres Thursday night in Game 2 at Reunion Arena.
The Stars have made a habit of comebacks in the postseason, rallying to win five times when trailing at some point in the third period. That has tied an NHL record.
They almost did it again in Game 1 of the finals Tuesday night after the Sabres went ahead 2-1 in the third period. But they eventually lost 3-2 in overtime.
"We recognize what we did wrong, and the coaches and players know how to correct it," Modano said. "We've got to be more aggressive and feed off that. We've got to take more quality shots in front of the net and not leave that area until the puck does."
The Stars don't want to leave town without a victory. They have already lost their home-ice advantage and don't want to go to Buffalo for Games 3 and 4 trailing the best-of-7 series 0-2.
"We are in a desperate situation, trust me," Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said. "I think our team recognizes that."
Actually, Hitchcock felt that the Stars played a pretty good game in the opener, even while losing.
"I think we played two great periods and we really started the third period with a real high level of determination, but I thought from about the 12-minute mark on we got conservative. We tried to protect a lead, and I think that was really to their benefit."
While the Stars finished with the best record in the league, 14 victories and 23 points better than the Sabres, they split the two-game season series with Buffalo. Hitchcock said there wasn't much to separate the two teams.
"We watched Buffalo play a lot," Hitchcock said. "I don't think (Tuesday's) game is any different. They are a team like us on the road. You hang around long enough, if the other team doesn't create a big enough gap then you give yourself a chance to come back."
The Sabres might be feeling pretty lucky following their Game 1 victory. They got off to one of their worst starts of the playoffs and gave the Stars 10 power-play opportunities, yet still managed to win.
The Stars scored on only one of the man advantages. The Sabres, meanwhile, had four power plays and converted one.
"We tried to set the tone and hit throughout the game," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "A couple of times we got a little bit too carried away."
Sabres captain Mike Peca agreed.
"The important thing for us (in Game 2) is to be more disciplined, and not give them so many power plays."
The Sabres were admittedly nervous before Game 1 -- even All-Star goalie Dominik Hasek said so -- and felt a sense of relief after winning. They immediately put the odds in their favor to win the Cup. Only 12 of 60 previous league champions have come back to win the Cup after dropping the opener.
The victory also gave the Sabres confidence in another way.
"I think it takes a little bit of pressure off," said Jason Woolley, who scored the overtime game-winner for Buffalo in the opener. "We are are up one.