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Turco perfect again as Stars force Game Seven

Apr 22, 2007 - 5:07 AM
DALLAS (Ticker) -- In silencing the Vancouver Canucks, Marty Turco also has silenced his critics.

Turco posted his second consecutive shutout and Mike Modano and Jeff Halpern scored goals as the Dallas Stars evened their best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinal series with the Canucks at three games apiece with a 2-0 victory.

With the triumph, Dallas snapped a six-game playoff losing streak at home and will travel to Vancouver - where it is 2-1 thus far - for Game Seven on Monday. The Stars had failed to force a seventh game in each of the previous 12 playoff series in which they lost three of the first four contests.

"It's Game Seven, but we've been in Game Seven for two games," Dallas coach Dave Tippett said. "We've still got our backs against the wall. We've got to be ready to go in there and give that same effort again, that same will to win the game. That's exactly what we have to have to be successful."

"You always like to have the comfort of playing it at home, but you can take a positive any way you can get it," Stars captain Brenden Morrow said. "We're going up there as a team, and we'll have 20 guys going up there together and it's all business when we get there."

After winning his first career postseason series against Edmonton in the 2003 conference quarterfinals, Turco has lost each of his last three series, going 4-12 in the process. He had won just one game each of the last two postseasons and entered the matchup against Vancouver without a playoff shutout.

Pitted against fellow All-Star Roberto Luongo, Turco did not figure to improve his numbers much. However, the 31-year-old actually has outplayed his counterpart, posting three shutouts in the series while allowing a total of just nine goals.

"It's a good sign," Modano said. "It's something that he was looking forward to, this spring. He's been great."

Having not yielded a tally since 14:29 of the third period in Game Four, Turco lowered his postseason goals-against average to 1.20 by making 21 saves in this one. The veteran turned aside 11 shots in the opening session, six in the second and four in the third to extend his shutout streak to 130 minutes, 33 seconds.

"Our guys played really well in front of me and they got in lanes to take plays away," said Turco, who has allowed just four goals in the last four games after surrendering five in the series opener. "We are strong as a unit down low and this is a product of how badly we want to win this series. Tonight was certainly a game which we were happy with our effort. We played well and didn't give them much."

The blanking gave Turco the franchise record for most in a playoff series, eclipsing the mark set by Cesare Maniago against Philadelphia in the 1973 West Division semifinals and matched by Ed Belfour in the 2000 Western conference semis vs. San Jose. Belfour went on to establish the club record for most shutouts in one postseason with four.

Vancouver captain Markus Naslund thinks he knows the reason his team has been so unsuccessful against Turco.

"The passes are not there," he said. "The skill plays are not there. We've got to get some rebounds and get some deflections and try to create stuff that way."

Modano provided all the support Turco needed early in the first. With just one assist in the first five games, Modano received a feed from the bottom of the left faceoff circle by defenseman Sergei Zubov and unleashed a one-timer from the top of the slot that beat a screened Luongo low to the glove side during a 5-on-3 power play at 3:05.

"We finally got some good looks on that 5-on-3," said Modano, who has 12 career postseason game-winning goals. "We were moving the puck around, finally, getting some good shots, and Sergei made a couple of good passes. I was able to get some clean shots off."

"You give the 5-on-3 a lot of credit because if you don't get a goal, now Vancouver thinks they dodged a bullet," Tippett said. "So give our guys a lot of credit."

It was the 53rd career playoff goal for Modano, who is fifth among active players.

"I think anyone who's been put under the microscope and been scrutinized has stepped up and played well," Morrow said. "Now Mo is answering the call. It's a different guy every night."

Clinging to the 1-0 lead, Dallas received an insurance tally from Halpern 7 1/2 minutes into the third. Attempting to clear the puck from the left corner, Vancouver defenseman Mattias Ohlund gave it right to Halpern, who moved from the blue line to the top of the slot before blasting a shot into the top right corner of the net for his second goal of the series.

"I basically just shot it as high and as hard as I could," Halpern said. "I was lucky to find a spot."

Turco also received help from Dallas' penalty-killing unit, which kept Vancouver scoreless on three power-play opportunities. The Stars have allowed just one man-advantage goal in their last 53 shorthanded situations dating to the regular season.

"We needed (the win), this franchise needed it," Turco said. "Regardless of where it was, we needed to win this game."

Luongo stopped 28 shots for the Canucks, who fell to 4-1 all-time at Dallas in the postseason.

"As far as I'm concerned, there was just one team on the ice tonight, and it was the Dallas Stars," Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said. "They outchanced us badly. They outworked us, they outhustled us. If it weren't for Roberto, this game would have been 5-, 6-, 7-0."

"They were the hungrier team tonight and they deserved to win, that's the bottom line," Luongo said. "The shots, the goals, the power plays, everything indicated tonight who deserved to win and who was the hungrier team and who wanted it more."

Vigneault again was very unhappy with his top offensive players. Naslund, Brendan Morrison and Henrik and Daniel Sedin have combined for three goals and four assists in the series thus far.

"The players that have played for the Vancouver Canucks for the longest are not bringing their A game to the table," Vigneault said. "Our top players right now are being outplayed. Not just the game they are putting on the ice, but the work ethic, dedication and commitment needed, and that's not good enough."

Dallas received a scare late in the third period when Morrow was slashed by Alex Burrows and suffered an apparent left leg injury. Unable to put pressure on the leg, Morrow approached Burrows, who was standing at Vancouver's bench, and the two briefly scuffled.

"Just letting them know I'll be back," Morrow said. "It's not going to keep me out of the next game."








  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    VANCOUVER 0 0 0 0
    DALLAS 1 0 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DAL - (PP) MIKE MODANO 1 (SERGEI ZUBOV, MIKE RIBEIRO) 3:05
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: DAL - JEFF HALPERN 2 (UNASSISTED) 7:22
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: VAN - 0 OF 3, DAL - 1 OF 6.
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3

    Apr 21 10:31 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL VANCOUVER 0
    DALLAS 2
    3RD PRD: DAL - JEFF HALPERN 2 (UNASSISTED) 7:22

    Canucks vs. StarsApr 21 10:04 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    VANCOUVER 0 0 0
    DALLAS 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DAL - (PP) MIKE MODANO 1 (SERGEI ZUBOV, MIKE RIBEIRO) 3:05
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    VAN 11 6 17
    DAL 8 10 18
    GOAL

    Apr 21 9:38 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    VANCOUVER 0 0
    DALLAS 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DAL - (PP) MIKE MODANO 1 (SERGEI ZUBOV, MIKE RIBEIRO) 3:05
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    VAN 11 11
    DAL 8 8
    GOALIES: VAN - ROB

    Apr 21 8:49 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL VANCOUVER 0
    DALLAS 1
    1ST PRD: DAL - (PP) MIKE MODANO 1 (SERGEI ZUBOV, MIKE RIBEIRO) 3:05
    (TWO-MAN ADVANTAGE)

    Canucks vs. StarsApr 21 8:19 PM