San Jose’s Joe Thornton, right, and Dallas’s Mike Modano chase the puck during Sunday’s game. - AP

Stars explode in third, drop Sharks into deep hole

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Mike Modano and the Dallas Stars probably don't want to leave the Shark Tank. At least they're heading home with a two-game lead in a second-round series that's turning into a rout.

Modano scored the tiebreaking goal early in the Stars' four-goal third period, and Marty Turco made 29 saves in a 5-2 victory over the Sharks in Game 2 on Sunday night, sending Dallas home with a commanding series lead.

Brad Richards scored the tying goal on an awful San Jose turnover in the opening minute of the third period, and Niklas Hagman added two insurance goals in the Stars' eighth victory in their last nine trips to San Jose. Mike Ribeiro also scored an early goal before Dallas put a tremendous finish on another profitable night.

Dallas hasn't reached the conference finals since 2000, when the Stars beat San Jose in the second round on the way to their second straight Stanley Cup finals appearance.

Games 3 and 4 are back-to-back, starting Tuesday night in Dallas, where the Sharks won three of four during the regular season."We've played very well in Dallas all season long," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "We can just relax now and push the pace, and play as a desperate hockey team. You just have to keep playing on. You can't worry about your missed opportunities."

Milan Michalek and Joe Pavelski scored for the second-seeded Sharks.

San Jose nursed a 2-1 lead heading into the third period, but Richards tied it just 32 seconds in on a giveaway by Pavelski. Modano then put the Stars ahead with 16:21 to play on a goal set up by an exceptional play from Sergei Zubov.

, who was in Dallas' lineup for the first time since Jan. 17.

Zubov, who had been out with a sports hernia, made a stunning cross-ice backhand pass out of a graceful pirouette, and Modano buried his second goal in two games against San Jose — and his sixth in six games at the Shark Tank this season alone.

When Hagman banged home his first goal, thousands of fans headed for the exits in souvenir teal T-shirts handed out by the Sharks before the game. Hagman added an empty-netter with 1:15 to play.

"We've had amazing third periods so far in the playoffs," said Modano, who has six goals in six games in San Jose this season. "It was a big trip for us. Now it's up to us to respond to this at home. We know this is far from over, but at the same time, we had a great two days here. Every shift, every night, we've looked hungry."

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