DENVER (AP) - Caught offbalance by a fake, Marty Turco spun around and blocked Milan Hejduk's shot with his back. Next up was Alex Tanguay, who seemed to have Turco beat only to have the Dallas goalie nearly do the splits and block the shot with his skate.
Just like that, Dallas' first shootout ended just as coach Dave Tippett expected.
Turco stopped 27 shots in regulation and overtime and made two more spectacular stops in a shootout, helping the Stars end the Colorado Avalanche's four-game winning streak with a 3-2 victory Saturday night.
``He made two great saves and that's all it takes,'' Tippett said. ``In practice the other day he was really good, too. We do a drill where the goalie just keeps going until he gets beat and he went through about 15 before he got beat, so that was a good sign going into the game. That's what I thought about going into the shootout.''
The Stars were concerned about Turco's fundamentals and positioning after he gave up four or more goals in four of Dallas' first nine games. He's been a lot better the past two games.
Though he had it relatively easy in Dallas' 9-1 win over Chicago Friday night, Turco was as sound fundamentally as he's been all season, turning away 18 shots. He was even better against Colorado, which put far more pressure on him than the Blackhawks.
After giving up two goals in the first period, Turco didn't give the Avalanche many more holes to shoot at, gliding across the crease to stay in position and finding a way to knock down shots when he wasn't. He stopped 13 shots the final two periods, four more in regulation and ended it with the two spectacular saves in the shootout, though the one on Hejduk might have been assisted by the Zamboni.
``Sometimes you lay down and take away some options,'' Turco said. ``It just hit me in the back. I think that the slippery ice helped me to continue to slide forward on that one.''
Colorado goalie Peter Budaj was nearly as good in his first start in two weeks. He stopped 33 shots, including 15 in the second period, but was beaten glove side by Sergei Zubov and stick side by Jussi Jokinen to lose his second straight shootout.
``They made good shots,'' Budaj said. ``Maybe I should have stopped at least one. Right now I'm 0-and-5 and that's pretty bad for a shootout.''
The game started off like a shootout before slowing to a grind by the third period.
Dallas had all kinds of scoring chances in the second period, tying it on Antti Miettinen's power-play goal with two minutes left, but had trouble with Colorado's defense in the final period, getting six shots. Dallas' Philippe Boucher nearly won it with five minutes left in regulation, when his shot from the right circle climbed Budaj's stick and landed on top of the goal, and Stu Barnes hit the post with 1 1/2 minutes left in overtime.
The Avalanche spent most of the second period chipping pucks out of their zone and mustered four shots in the third, leading to shouts of ``Go!'' and ``Shoot!'' from the fans.
``I think we were working in the third period and we kept ourselves in the play and in the game,'' Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville said. ``We were there in the overtime too. They might have been the better team tonight.''
Colorado had scored at least four goals in seven straight games and had 53 goals in the first 12 games. Dallas struggled a bit early, but was coming off its highest scoring game in nine years, getting nine goals against Chicago the night before.
No surprise then that the first period included 23 shots and three goals.
Colorado's Andrew Brunette started it off six minutes in, gathering Pierre Turgeon's pass just outside the crease before spinning around and flipping it in.
Mike Modano tied it less than two minutes later, punching in a rebound for his sixth of the season after Budaj stopped Barnes' redirected shot.
Steve Konowalchuk put the Avalanche back up with eight minutes left in the first, getting a short-handed goal on a breakaway after Dallas forward Brenden Morrow mishandled a puck at the Stars' blue line.
The Stars picked up the pressure even more in the second period, thanks in part to Colorado's five penalties.
Budaj did his best to keep Dallas out of the net, turning away a flurry of shots on the third power play, but the Stars just had too many chances. Miettinen scored on Dallas' 13th of 16 shots in the period, raking in rebound on a power play with two minutes left.
``We went to the penalty box too much to really give them the momentum,'' Colorado's Joe Sakic said.
Notes: A fight between Colorado's Ian Laperriere and Steve Ott broke out early in the second period. Laperriere clearly got the better end of it, landing about a dozen punches to the top of Ott's head. ... Tanguay had his 10-game points streak end.
|PPG - Andrew Brunette (3) ASST: Pierre Turgeon (8), Brett Clark (4)|
1 - 0 COL
|Mike Modano (6) ASST: Stu Barnes (4), Antti Miettinen (5)|
1 - 1 Tie
|SHG - Steve Konowalchuk (5) ASST: Patrice Brisebois (5)|
2 - 1 COL
|PPG - Antti Miettinen (2) ASST: Brenden Morrow (10), Jon Klemm (3)|
2 - 2 Tie
|1||S. Zubov||M. Hejduk|
|2||J. Jokinen||A. Tanguay|
|Stu Barnes Holding against Steve Konowalchuk|
|Jason Arnott Interference on goalkeeper against Peter Budaj|
|Mike Modano Hooking against Ian Laperriere|
|Alex Tanguay Tripping against Stephane Robidas|
|Ian Laperriere Fighting (maj) against Steve Ott|
|Steve Ott Fighting (maj) against Ian Laperriere|
|Peter Budaj Delaying Game-Ill. play goalie|
|Rob Blake Hooking against Stu Barnes|
|Rob Blake Interference against Brenden Morrow|
|Mike Modano Hooking against Ian Laperriere|
|Pierre Turgeon Tripping|
|Ossi Vaananen Holding against Mathias Tjarnqvist|
|Antti Miettinen Interference|
|Brad May Interference on goalkeeper against Marty Turco|
|Jere Lehtinen Hooking against Alex Tanguay|