Turco helps Stars get by Red Wings - The Hockey News on Sports Illustrated

Turco helps Stars get by Red Wings

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By John Tranchina

PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

DALLAS (Ticker) -- Perhaps all the Dallas Stars needed was a

reminder of how good they could be.

Marty Turco made 37 saves in his 17th consecutive start as the

Stars clipped the Detroit Red Wings, 3-1, on Friday in a matchup

of last season's Western Conference finalists.

Tom Wandell scored his first career goal and fellow rookie

Fabian Brunnstrom also tallied for Dallas before Mike Ribeiro

recorded an empty-netter with one minute left in the third

period.

"We certainly think about it, recalling what happened last year

in the playoffs, the team that beats you out, that's right there

in the front of your mind," Turco said of facing Detroit. "But

as long as we've had this game circled on the calendar, almost

every game is circled because of the position in the standings.

That's the way things are going for us."

Trudging through a rather trying season, Turco entered with a

3.41 goals-against average - a far cry from his 2.31 mark in

2007-08. But the 33-year-old shined in this one, especially

over the final 40 minutes, when he turned aside all 29 shots he

faced.

"I felt great," Turco said. "A team that shoots the puck as

often as they do, you've got to be on your toes at all times.

It can make it a little bit easier out there, but all things

considered, to say we got this one certainly does feel good."

Even with the win, Dallas - which was picked by many to contend

for the Stanley Cup this campaign - still is stuck in last place

in the West with an 11-13-4 record.

"We competed hard, had excellent goaltending and we played well

as a group," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "We defended really

well and Marty was so solid. Our defense blocked a lot of

shots, made smart plays in our end and really did well tonight.

It was a good, solid team effort and it builds a belief system

that it doesn't matter who we are playing, we can find a way to

win."

Making his third straight start, Ty Conklin made 21 saves and

defenseman Brett Lebda scored his second goal of the season for

the Red Wings, whose four-game winning streak came to an end.

"Every time we've come in here in the last few years, it's

always a battle for first place or a Stanley Cup playoff game,"

Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "We knew we were going to have

a battle tonight. That's a proud team. Turco made some real

good saves in the third period. They did a good job clogging up

the neutral zone, like we thought they would."

Detroit opened the scoring at 6:05 of the first period, when

Lebda's one-timer from the right faceoff circle beat Turco to

the short side.

The Stars had a golden opportunity late in the first, as they

had a two-man advantage for 1:47 but were unable to capitalize.

Dallas then claimed a one-goal lead with two tallies in a 1:40

span early in the second.

Wandell, who was just recalled from Timra IK in Sweden last week

after Sean Avery was suspended, tied the game at 5:47, when he

cut into the slot and whipped a quick backhander past Conklin.

"It was a loose puck and I did a couple of moves there and took

a shot and it went in," Wandell said. "It was a lot of fun

tonight. I can't really describe the feeling right now. I have

to wake up first."

With the momentum on the Stars' side, Brunnstrom netted his

ninth of the season at 7:27, taking a pass from Ribeiro and

rifling a wrist shot that beat Conklin between the pads for a

2-1 edge.

"I got a great pass from Ribeiro and I faked the shot first and

shot it right away," Brunnstrom said. "It was a great pass and

it was fun to score. It was good luck."

The Red Wings pressed throughout the final period, but Turco

made big stops on Jiri Hudler and Henrik Zetterberg before Johan

Franzen rang a backhander off the goalpost with 7:07 left.

Detroit then pulled Conklin for an extra attacker with 69

seconds remaining, but Dallas regained possession shortly

afterward and Ribeiro slid the puck into the empty net to seal

the win.

"It was a couple of mistakes. They scored two goals and we

couldn't get the (tying) goal," Detroit's Marian Hossa said.

"We've won a lot of games in the third period when we've been

down. We can't win them all, and we know that."

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