Stars
Canucks
2 - 0 Final
  for this game

Turco answers critics as Stars blank Canucks

Apr 14, 2007 - 6:35 AM
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Ticker) -- The rigors of the longest playoff game in franchise history had the Vancouver Canucks napping early this time around.

Jeff Halpern and rookie Joel Lundqvist scored in the opening minute of the first and second periods, respectively, and Marty Turco posted his first career playoff shutout as the Dallas Stars recorded a 2-0 victory over the Canucks to knot their Western Conference quarterfinal series with the Canucks at one win apiece.

Stu Barnes notched a pair of assists for the Stars, who return home to host Game Three on Sunday.

"We have some pretty quality fans that I think are underrated," Turco said. "GM Place was rocking for Games One and Two. We expect it to be loud down (in Dallas), too."

"We came up here at least for a split," Halpern said. "It would have been nice to get two, but it at least gets us back in the series."

After needing 78 minutes, 6 seconds of extra time to post a victory in Game One, Vancouver began this one in a groggy state as Halpern tallied just 24 seconds into the contest.

"The last thing you want to do is take your home crowd out of the game 30 seconds into the game," Canucks center Brendan Morrison said. "You want to try and build some momentum, get some shots and try to ride that wave, so to speak. But it wasn't the start we were looking for."

The Canucks also appeared half-awake at the start of the middle session, allowing Lundqvist to net his first career postseason goal at the 45-second mark for a 2-0 bulge.

"I think that first goal was big for our team," Halpern said. "Whenever you've seen, in past years, games (like the series opener) that go that long, sometimes the team doesn't respond for the next game. It's almost like a knockout punch."

"They battled hard. They're competitors, they're warriors," Dallas captain Brenden Morrow said of the unlikely goal-scorers. "This time of year, you can't have anyone quit. There's no room for soft play. Those guys give us energy and it's great when they can chip in (offensively)."

Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault did not believe the length of the series opener was a factor in his team's poor early play.

"For me, it was two mistakes at the beginning of the first and second periods from two different forwards," he said. "It wasn't a fact that our guys were fatigued, it was just the fact that we didn't bring our best game to the table. I thought our guys worked hard and they battled hard, but you've got to bring your best game on the ice, and obviously tonight, we weren't able to do that."

Lundqvist's tally was more than enough support for Turco, who has been much maligned for his sub-par play in the postseason. The All-Star goaltender has gone 4-12 in losing three consecutive series, posting just one win in each of the last two postseasons.

Turco also was forced to endure heckling from Canucks fans regarding his playoff struggles.

"I know there's going to be more of it down the road," he said. "I'm just going to concentrate on what I can do and disregard it because it's useless to me."

Turco earned his first victory of this year's playoffs with a strong performance, turning aside 35 shots. The 31-year-old veteran made 10 saves in the first period, eight in the second and 17 in the third to improve to 9-15 in 24 career postseason appearances.

"The guys helped me tremendously to see the puck and collect rebounds," Turco said. "They were there most when I needed them. Their focus seemed unwavering."

"We just try to give him every opportunity to see the puck and make the easy save," Stars center Mike Modano said. "They came at us pretty good in the third, threw everything at the net, quick plays out of the corner, behind the net and things like that, so he was pretty sharp. It's a big win for him."

After coming within one save of Kelly Hrudey's all-time playoff record of 73 on Wednesday, Roberto Luongo stopped 25 shots for Vancouver, which has lost each of the last four series in which it won Game One.

"We didn't think we were going to sweep the series," Luongo said. "We've been playing well on the road all year long, especially the second half of the year, so we're a confident group and we can get the job done on the road."

Turco received all the offensive support he needed from Halpern, who netted his fifth career playoff goal and first since 2001 with Washington. Defenseman Sergei Zubov one-timed a pass to the former Capitals captain, who redirected it past Luongo from alone in front for a 1-0 lead.

"It a shame because that was the ballgame there, pretty much," Luongo said. "First shift of the first two periods, they score and that's it, the game's over."

"You couldn't ask for anything more on the road," Modano said of the fast start. "It kind of puts everybody feeling good about themselves. The weight of the other night is off us. We're kind of moving, everybody's flowing through the game."

Less than a minute into the second, Lundqvist doubled the advantage. Barnes carried the puck down the slot before dishing to Modano, who made a cross-ice pass to Lundqvist. The identical twin of New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, the 25-year-old Swede beat Luongo high to the blocker side for a 2-0 bulge.

"We played them soft on the first one," Luongo said. "(Halpern) just tipped it in the top corner. The second one, I was trying to get across and I almost had it, but it just got through me."

"Every win is big, and especially here when they're on home ice," Joel Lundqvist said. "We played really good last game, so it's good we could get a win."

Dallas coach Dave Tippett was impressed with his team's ability to preserve the lead.

"We got the 2-0 lead and then we protected it well in the third," he said. "They got a few outside shots, but we protected it well and we got what we came for, which was a win."

Turco showed no signs of fatigue after Wednesday's four-overtime marathon. He made a big save on Danish rookie Jannik Hansen's tip-in attempt 7 1/2 minutes into the first and came up with another brilliant stop on Jan Bulis' wrist shot just over two minutes into the second.

"He was solid in there," Tippett said. "I didn't think they had a lot of great chances or there were outnumbered chances or anything, but there was a lot of poking and prodding at the side of the net, and he was strong in there. He was very solid for us tonight."

"We weren't going to give them much," Modano added. "We knew that going in, that we'd be good and stifling guys, taking time and space away from them. And I think we did a great job of that tonight."








  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DALLAS 1 1 0 2
    VANCOUVER 0 0 0 0 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DAL - JEFF HALPERN 1 (SERGEI ZUBOV, STU BARNES) 0:24
    2ND PRD: DAL - JOEL LUNDQVIST 1 (MIKE MODANO, STU BARNES) 0:45
    3RD PRD: NONE
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: DAL - 0 OF 7, VAN - 0 OF 6.
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1S

    Apr 14 12:13 AM


  • PLAYOFFS
    ------------------------------------
    Dallas 1 1 0 --2
    Vancouver 0 0 0 --0
    ------------------------------------

    Shots on goal:
    ---------------------------------------
    Dallas 14 6 7 --27
    Vancouver 10 8 17 --35
    ---------------------------------------

    Goalies : Dallas, Marty Turco (35 shots, 35 saves). Vancouver, Rob

    Apr 13 11:41 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DALLAS 1 1 2
    VANCOUVER 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DAL - JEFF HALPERN 1 (SERGEI ZUBOV, STU BARNES) 0:24
    2ND PRD: DAL - JOEL LUNDQVIST 1 (MIKE MODANO, STU BARNES) 0:45
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DAL 14

    Apr 13 10:41 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL DALLAS 2
    VANCOUVER 0
    2ND PRD: DAL - JOEL LUNDQVIST 1 (MIKE MODANO, STU BARNES) 0:45

    Stars vs. CanucksApr 13 10:07 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    ------------------------
    Dallas 1 --1
    Vancouver 0 --0
    ------------------------

    FIRST PERIOD -- Scoring: 1, Dallas, Jeff Halpern 1 (Sergei Zubov, Stu
    Barnes), 0:24. Penalties: J Cowan, Van (interference), 0:48; W
    Mitchell, Van (high sticking), 7:56; J Lundqvist, Dal (high sticking),
    10:38; T Pyatt, Van (goalie interference), 11:34; D Sydor, Dal
    (tripping), 12:26; B Sm

    Apr 13 9:48 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL DALLAS 1
    VANCOUVER 0
    1ST PRD: DAL - JEFF HALPERN 1 (SERGEI ZUBOV, STU BARNES) 0:24

    Stars vs. CanucksApr 13 9:13 PM