tampabay.com

After further review, Stars still top Wings

By wire services
Published January 29, 2006


DALLAS - This was the kind of game NHL executives dream about: Two elite clubs playing at their best before a national TV audience, needing overtime to settle it. When five thrilling minutes weren't enough, on came a shootout - one that was extended to sudden death by a bizarre play overturning an apparent winning defensive stand.

Stars goalie Marty Turco couldn't care less about any of that. He's just glad to have finally beaten the Red Wings.

Turco made 27 saves and was bailed out for two mistakes - a slashing penalty and a thrown stick - when Mike Modano pounded a shot into the top of the net in the first round of sudden death, giving the Stars a 2-1 victory over Detroit on Saturday.

"It was an exciting afternoon," Modano said. "NBC probably couldn't have asked for a better game."

"The only people who didn't like that game was the American Airlines Center crew," joked Stars coach Dave Tippett, referring to the long game (2 hours, 51 minutes) making it even tougher for arena workers to convert the playing surface in time for the second half of Dallas' first-ever NHL-NBA doubleheader. The Mavericks were hosting Utah.

With the Stars up 2-1 after two shootout rounds, Turco stopped Henrik Zetterberg, apparently sealing it. But Turco's stick slipped from his hands as he tried to poke away the puck. Replay officials took another look, ruled it a thrown stick and credited Zetterberg with the tying score.

Dallas improved its league-best shootout record to 8-0 and increased its point total to 70, one behind Detroit for the most in the Western Conference.

Turco, a former University of Michigan star, had been 0-5-5 against Detroit. Dallas' Jere Lehtinen tied it with 5:12 left, then Turco turned away seven shots in overtime - most on a Detroit power play - to force the shootout.

HURRICANES 4, THRASHERS 1: Justin Williams and Erik Cole scored in the first and Martin Gerber stopped 17 shots for host Carolina on "Ron Francis Night." Newly acquired Anton Babchuk had his first goal for the Hurricanes, who won their team-record ninth straight at home to increase their lead over Ottawa to four points in the chase for the league's best record. Overall, they have won 13 of their past 14. In a pregame ceremony Carolina retired the No. 10 worn by Francis in 16 years with the franchise - the first 10 in Hartford. He completed his career second in history to Wayne Gretzky with 1,249 assists.

MIGHTY DUCKS 6, KINGS 2: Corey Perry had two goals and an assist, Scott Niedermayer had a goal and two assists, and Anaheim tied a franchise record with four power-play goals in winning at Staples Center for only the second time in its past 14 trips up the freeway. Teemu Selanne had two assists and needs two points to become the 70th player to reach 1,000, and the seventh born and trained in Europe.

RANGERS 7, PENGUINS 1: Jaromir Jagr scored twice in the third period and added an assist for host New York. The score was tied at 1 after one period but the Rangers scored twice in the second while outshooting Pittsburgh 16-2. Rookie goalie Henrik Lundqvist improved to 21-7-5.

CANADIENS 4, LEAFS 3 (OT): Saku Koivu scored a power-play goal at 1:04 of overtime for visiting Montreal, which handed Toronto its eighth straight loss. With Toronto's Alexander Khavanov serving a penalty for holding, Koivu stuffed the puck past goalie Mikael Tellqvist. Toronto's Ken Klee tied it at 3 with a weak shot that beat Jose Theodore with 4:18 left in regulation.

ISLANDERS 4, BRUINS 3: Alexei Zhitnik and Mark Parrish scored 20 seconds apart midway through the third and visiting New York killed off a late two-man power play to improve to 3-0 against Boston this season.

BLUE JACKETS 4, PREDATORS 3: David Vyborny scored the second of his two goals with 1:23 left for host Columbus, which trailed 3-2 before Duvie Westcott's short-handed goal late in the second.

COYOTES 6, SHARKS 2: Mike Comrie scored twice and Mike Ricci added a power-play goal for host Phoenix, which improved to 4-0 against San Jose this season.