Modano gives Stars shootout win over Avalanche

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By John Tranchina

PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

DALLAS (Ticker) -- With all the negative attention swirling

around them the last few days, the Dallas Stars deserve credit

for blocking out the distractions and doing their talking on the

ice.

In Dallas' first game since learning left wing Sean Avery would

be suspended for four more games for inappropriate comments made

three days earlier, Mike Modano scored the decisive goal in the

fourth round of the shootout Friday, leading the Stars to a 2-1

victory over the Colorado Avalanche.

Toby Petersen tallied in regulation and Marty Turco made 26

saves for Dallas, which has won four of its last six games.

"We had a lot of guys compete very hard, and Marty was excellent

tonight," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "Toby's speed and

tenacity are big assets, and he is very valuable in what we're

doing here."

"(Turco) made some huge saves to keep us in it and obviously

came up huge in the shootout," Petersen said. "We're turning a

corner here. We're starting to play as a team and make things

happen. Shootouts haven't been our strongest suit this year, so

it was good to get a win in the shootout."

The win was Dallas' first in three tries in the bonus format

this season.

Marek Svatos scored with 56 seconds remaining in the third

period to earn a point for the Avalanche, who had won three of

five.

"It was a big tying goal," Svatos said. "We needed a point.

Too bad we didn't get the other. It was a big game. We played

well. Too bad we didn't bury the chances that we had."

"We had to work for 60 minutes to get a point," Colorado coach

Tony Granato added. "Turco was very good. They've said he's

been struggling. We didn't see that tonight. (But) to find a

way to get a point shows a lot of resolve."

The injury-depleted Stars improved to 2-1-0 since Avery's

deplorable remarks as they try to rebound from a sub-par start

to the season that had them last overall in the Western

Conference entering Friday.

"It's very much needed right now," Modano said. "We're fighting

and clawing for every point, so this was big. (The incident)

has been a strong rallying point for us. We knew we needed to

play solid hockey and try and build some momentum."

Turco was less than a minute away from posting his first shutout

since blanking Colorado on March 9, a span of 33 games. But

with goaltender Peter Budaj pulled for an extra attacker,

Colorado tied it with just 55.5 seconds left in regulation.

After a scoreless overtime, Wojtek Wolski gave Colorado a 1-0

edge in the shootout by making a nifty move and stuffing the

puck around a sprawled Turco in the first round. Mike Ribeiro

kept alive Dallas' chances by beating Budaj to the stick side in

the third round, and Modano ripped a scorching wrist shot over

the netminder's glove on the Stars' fourth attempt for a 2-1

advantage.

Turco then denied Ryan Smyth's backhander to clinch the triumph.

"The focus is there and has been growing over the last week,"

Turco said. "It's an awesome sign, even despite a late goal.

In the short term, if you get on a streak or start collecting

points with regularity, it certainly helps."

After going 49 NHL games - including the playoffs - without a

goal, Petersen netted his third in the last four contests less

than eight minutes into the second period to snap a scoreless

tie. Two minutes after Svatos fired a shot over Turco's

shoulder and off the crossbar, Modano unleashed a wrister from

the top of the right circle that was deflected between Budaj's

pads by Petersen at 7:57 for a 1-0 lead.

"When your linemate gets the puck, you just want to get in front

of the net and create some traffic, and that's exactly what

happened when Mo put it on net," Petersen said. "Anytime you

get on the ice with Mike Modano, it's going to make your game

better. He's got such great vision."

With the Avalanche pressing late, they got the equalizer in the

final minute of the third. Just 36 seconds after an apparent

goal by Paul Stastny was waved off after a video review, he

collected the puck behind the and backhanded it in front to

Svatos, who chipped it over Turco's right shoulder for his fifth

goal of the season.

"We showed a lot of fight," Budaj said. "Dallas played pretty

well and Marty made some big saves. It's a big point for us.

We battled against a great team. It's a point we deserved to

get."

Budaj made 23 saves.

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