The NHL's best road team is going home to play at least one more game.
Milan Michalek scored his third goal of the series to lift the San Jose Sharks to a 2-1 win over the Stars in Dallas Wednesday night to stave off elimination.
The victory by the Sharks, who sported a league-best 27-10-4 record on the road during the regular season, was its first away from home since Game 4 of their first-round series against Calgary.
Dallas leads the Western Conference semifinal 3-1, with Game 5 of the best-of-seven series slated for Friday night in San Jose.
The Stars squandered their chance for their first post-season series sweep since 1999, when they beat Edmonton in the first round en route to winning the Stanley Cup.
"One of the keys to our success has been our discipline. We took a lot of penalties and they capitalized," Stars captain Brenden Morrow said. "It's tough to keep the flow and momentum when you're killing off that many penalties."
Despite the victory, the Sharks still face long odds if they are to avoid being knocked out of the Stanley Cup playoffs in Round 2 for the third spring in a row. In NHL history, only two teams — the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs and the 1975 New York Islanders — in 151 attempts have rallied from a three-games-to-none deficit to win a playoff series.
"We'll embrace the challenge to make history in coming back from a 3-0 deficit," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "We've been sitting back too much and not playing Sharks hockey. There were a few blips, but it was a pretty solid effort tonight."
An entertaining first period produced 11 shots on net but no goals, as both Evgeni Nabokov and Marty Turco made some big saves in the opening 20 minutes.
Dallas winger Jere Lehtinen broke the deadlock at 5:25 of the middle frame. Sharks forward Devin Setoguchi made a horrendous clearance from the side of the net up the slot, putting the puck right on the stick of Lehtinen who fired a quick wrist shot by Nabokov.
San Jose captain Patrick Marleau tied things up four minutes later, scoring a shorthanded goal on a breakaway for the second straight game after Dallas defenceman Sergei Zubov coughed up the puck at his blue-line.
"He's given us that boost," teammate Joe Pavelski said of Marleau. "When the puck is chipped out, he's got that extra step that a few guys might not be able to get around the defence."
The Sharks caught a break later in the period when Brian Campbell fell on the puck in his crease, normally an automatic penalty shot for the opposing team, but the San Jose defenceman's infraction went unpunished.
Turco made three outstanding saves in the opening minute of the third period, but he couldn't prevent Michalek from scoring on the power play at 3:36, as the Sharks forward re-directed a Joe Thornton pass from in close by the Dallas netminder.
San Jose went 0-for-4 with the man advantage before Michalek found the back of the net.
The Stars pressed for the equalizer in the waning minutes, but Nabokov made some key stops, including thwarting a Dallas wraparound attempt in the final minute of regulation.
Stars forward Stu Barnes sat out Wednesday's contest with an undisclosed injury.
Dallas coach Dave Tippett said Barnes was still "feeling the effects" of a shot to the head from Sharks forward Jonathan Cheechoo in the third period of the Stars' 2-1 overtime victory in Game 3 on Tuesday.
Team officials wouldn't say if Barnes sustained a concussion. Tippett would only say the centre's status is day-to-day.