Maybe the Wranglers should stop going ahead by two goals.
They blew two-goal leads in a pair of first-round losses to Bakersfield and lost another one Friday at Stockton, Calif.
Cory Urquhart's second goal broke a 3-all tie 4:02 into the third period, and the Stockton Thunder beat the Wranglers 4-3 to begin the best-of-7 ECHL Pacific Division finals.
Game 2 is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Orleans Arena. The Wranglers have the home-ice advantage for the series, but arena unavailability sent them on the road for Game 1.
With Games 3 and 4 in Stockton, the opening loss places added pressure on the Wranglers to win Monday.
Goals by forwards Mike Hamilton and Justin Taylor gave Las Vegas a 2-0 lead 6:06 into the game. It didn't last long, as Stockton scored three times in less than three minutes to chase Wranglers goaltender Glenn Fisher after he faced only eight shots.
"We got a 2-0 lead, and we weren't playing great by any stretch," Las Vegas coach Glen Gulutzan said. "We had a couple of bounces."
John DeCaro replaced Fisher and saved 19 of 20 shots.
"I thought when I went in, we settled in," DeCaro said.
The Wranglers tied the score 3-3 2:24 into the second period on Adam Miller's tip-in off defenseman Sean Owens' pass. Las Vegas seemed in control and eventually outshot the Thunder, 38-28.
"We were playing really well. I thought we had total control of the game," DeCaro said.
But the Wranglers never regained the lead, and a pass by forward Ryan Huddy set up Urquhart's go-ahead goal.