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Stars edge Canucks for franchise-best start

Oct 24, 2006 - 3:25 AM DALLAS (Ticker) -- Looking for the best start in franchise history, the Dallas Stars relied on their biggest stars.

Mike Modano scored the game-winning goal in the third period and Marty Turco made 31 saves to lead the Stars to a 2-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

Dallas improved to 8-1-0 with its third consecutive victory while beating Vancouver at home for the fifth straight time.

"It's not one or four guys that are carrying us," Turco said. "You look at the stat sheets and you can tell it's a total team effort. It's the little things. It has been a great effort, but it doesn't feel like we've been running over teams."

Dallas' quick start is even more impressive considering the fact this was just its third home game of the season.

"Our goal every night is to win. With our schedule lately and the travel, give our guys credit for finding a way to win," coach Dave Tippett said.

It didn't figure to be a defensive battle after each team scored on its first shot, but it remained a 1-1 game until just before the halfway point of the final session.

With the Stars on a 5-on-3 power play, Eric Lindros ripped a shot from the left wing that caromed off goaltender Roberto Luongo. Modano, positioned to the right of the net, quickly pounced on the rebound and slid the puck between Luongo's skate and the goalpost at the 8:33 mark.

"We were in their zone for most of the time. So, we were feeling pretty good," Luongo said. "It was just unfortunate that they got that 5-on-3. Unfortunately, I was just a fraction of a second away on that second goal."

Turco made the one-goal lead stand up with 14 third-period saves, including back-to-back stops on defenseman Rory Fitzpatrick and Henrik Sedin with just over three minutes to play.

"I think we've always prided ourselves on a great start, gather up points when guys are healthy and get our confidence up early," Modano said. "Tonight was one of those sluggish early games. We tried to play a patient game. Marty was the only one not sluggish. He was pretty much the reason we won."

The 31-year-old netminder improved to 12-2-0 lifetime against the Canucks, including 7-1-0 at home.

Daniel Sedin opened the scoring for Vancouver just 1:46 into the game. Henrik Sedin slid a pass across the crease to his twin brother, who just had to punch it in.

The lead was short-lived as Niklas Hagman answered for Dallas 38 seconds later. Hagman uncorked a wrist shot that knuckled off defenseman Kevin Bieksa's stick and one-hopped past a surprised Luongo.

"They got a flukey goal right off the bat and they got a power-play goal, and our power play was not able to contribute," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said.

Luongo made 24 saves for the Canucks, who were playing the fourth contest of a five-game road trip.

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