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Turco, Sydor team to give Stars comeback win

Oct 5, 2006 - 5:05 AM DENVER (Ticker) -- Darryl Sydor was poised to be the goat in his first game back with the Dallas Stars. Instead, he became the hero.

After starting overtime in the penalty box, Sydor scored on a breakaway at 2:07 to give the Stars a 3-2 comeback win over the Colorado Avalanche in the season opener for both teams.

Sydor, who was re-acquired over the summer from Tampa Bay, was called for slashing at the end of the third period, earning himself a seat in the penalty box for the beginning of overtime. However, goaltender Marty Turco bailed out the defenseman by stopping all three shots he faced during the 4-on-3 power play.

"For two minutes, I was praying that they didn't score," Sydor said. "You don't want to take a penalty, especially in overtime when it's 4-on-3. We had outstanding penalty killing."

As time expired on the penalty, Turco grabbed a loose puck at the top of his crease and spotted Sydor, who had just stepped onto the ice. After receiving a long pass from the netminder, Sydor skated in alone on Jose Theodore and wristed a shot into the top left corner of the net to give the Stars the victory and keep Colorado coach Joel Quenneville winless in nine career season openers.

"I came out, Marty plays the puck extremely well and he saw me," Sydor said. "Once I saw Marty get it and basically set himself up to shoot it, I had a feeling he was going to go up the middle with it. He knew what he was doing. ... I didn't think, I just shot, and I was lucky enough that it went in."

"I don't plan on scoring any goals or helping out on the offense too often," Turco said. "Just seeing Darryl jump out of the box, a quick bang-bang play. That was a pleasant surprise, but an even better ending when he put it roof down at the other end."

The tally extended Dallas' unbeaten streak in season openers to 10 games, the fourth-longest in NHL history. The Montreal Canadiens hold the longest mark, failing to drop their first game of a campaign from 1963-79, a span of 17 seasons.

Captain Joe Sakic and Wojtek Wolski scored power-play goals 46 seconds apart midway through the first period to give Colorado a 2-0 lead. But Mike Modano and rookie Loui Eriksson tallied in a span of 28 seconds early in the third to forge a tie.

"We didn't want to sit back in the third, but they got a couple of goals right off the bat, and that gave them all the momentum," Sakic said. "After that, Jose really kept us in the game and gave us a chance to get a point."

Turco made 36 saves - including 20 in the first period - for the Stars, who are unbeaten in six season openers against the Avalanche franchise.

"I take a lot of pride in giving my guys a chance to win," Turco said. "Down 0-2, I knew we still had a chance. You can't really rely on that every night, but my job is to win hockey games and give these guys every opportunity to win."

"I give Marty Turco a heck of a lot of credit because he held us in the game," Dallas coach Dave Tippett said. "He gave us a chance to win. That's all that was said after the second period - 'Marty's given us a chance, let's go see if we can steal one.'"

Defenseman John-Michael Liles recorded two assists for Colorado, which entered with a 15-5-6 mark on Opening Night - the best record in the NHL.

With Jeff Halpern and defenseman Philippe Boucher both serving penalties, the Avalanche grabbed a 1-0 advantage. From the left side of the net, Milan Hejduk passed across the crease to Sakic, who fired the puck past Turco at 11:54 of the opening period for his 575th career goal.

The former Hart and Conn Smythe Trophy winner is just 25 tallies away from becoming the 15th player in NHL history to reach the 600-goal plateau.

Colorado remained on the power play and quickly cashed in for a two-goal bulge as Wolski, the 21st overall pick in 2004, wristed a loose puck by Turco from the left faceoff circle with 7:20 to go in the session.

"We stood around and watched," Tippett said. "Right from the drop of the puck, we didn't react. We were chasing the whole period. When you take five penalties in a period, you're going to chase the whole period."

After a scoreless second period, the Stars stormed back early in the third to draw even.

Looking to revive his career in Dallas, Eric Lindros made a pass from behind Colorado's net to Modano, who beat Theodore to the glove side from the inner edge of the left circle at 1:28 of the period. It was the 486th career goal for Modano, who is 16 away from tying Hall of Famer Joe Mullen for the all-time lead among United States-born players.

Playing in his first NHL game, Eriksson - a second-round pick in 2003 - converted a cross-crease pass from Stu Barnes less than 30 seconds later to knot the contest.

"It was a great pass from Stu Barnes, so it was just, 'Shoot it in,'" Eriksson said. "I saw him hold it all the way. It was a great pass right on my stick. ... It was a great feeling, amazing. First NHL game and you score, it's unbelievable."

"They came out flying," Theodore said. "They got a quick goal, then after that, they just kept the momentum and they kept coming. They just kind of turned it up a notch."

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