DALLAS - The Detroit Red Wings aren't really going to blow this - are they?
Just a few days ago, the Red Wings were still in a span of being undefeated for almost a month, owning the NHL's longest postseason winning streak in 15 years and doing it with flair. Three games into the Western Conference finals, they hadn't even trailed the Dallas Stars for a single second.
All they had to do was win once more to seal a spot in the Stanley Cup Finals. Then the Stars won Game 4. And Game 5.
Now Game 6 is tonight, and the Stars are feeling good, realizing they are halfway to a historic comeback.
"I think that's crept into all of us a little bit," Dallas captain Brenden Morrow said yesterday. "It's building. We're getting a little more of that feeling. None of us will be content just to make a series out of it. We want to win this thing."
As for the Red Wings, they've lost four straight games only once all season. It seems hard to imagine this talented, experienced group would pick Games 4-7 of this series to do it again.
"We're still up 3-2," center Kris Draper said. "That's something that we've got to keep hammering home. We're in a dogfight with a great hockey club. You don't expect that to be easy."
Dallas is the 13th team out of 153 to turn a 3-0 deficit into a 3-2 series. Only five have been able to force a deciding game, and only two teams have come all the way back to win the series.
Toronto did it in 1942. The New York Islanders did it 33 years later, in 1975. And now Dallas is taking a shot.
"We've felt if we could get Game 6 at home, it would be a whole different animal," Dallas forward Mike Modano said.
"Who knows what can happen Wednesday in Detroit? But we don't want to get ahead of ourselves. We knew it would be an uphill battle. Nobody picked us to win this thing from the start."
Stars goalie Marty Turco has limited the Red Wings to one goal in each game, setting their playoff low and then matching it. Maybe now Detroit is starting to feel the absence of league-wide postseason scoring leader Johan Franzen, who has been out since Game 1 because of concussionlike symptoms.