DALLAS (AP) _ The Dallas Stars are getting their players back, just in time
for the playoffs.
Marty Turco made 24 saves in his return from a four-game suspension and Jere
Lehtinen had a goal and an assist after missing six games with a back injury,
leading the Stars to a 5-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.
Shayne Corson had two goals for Dallas, which finished fifth in the Western
Conference. The Stars will face fourth-seeded Colorado in the opening round.
Dallas got back three other injured regulars: Stu Barnes, Sergei Zubov and
``It seemed like we had more rhythm in our lineup,'' Stars coach Dave
Tippett said. ``Adding those key members of our team made a significant
Bill Guerin and Val Bure also scored for Dallas, which will start the
Colorado series on the road.
The Stars lost three of four games against Colorado this season. The
Avalanche outscored the Stars 11-3 in Colorado's three victories, but Dallas
won the finale 5-1.
``We're playing one of the top teams in the league,'' Guerin said. ``You're
going to have to play them sooner or later. We get them first. They've got
great individual players so we're going to have to do the job defensively,
Turco had been suspended for high-sticking Edmonton's Ryan Smyth on March
24. Ron Tugnutt started in place of Turco, and the Stars lost all four games,
including two in overtime.
``It's a different game when he's out there,'' Stars center Mike Modano said
of Turco, who set a career high with his 37th victory.
Klemm and Brenden Morrow missed the third period due to what the Stars
called lower body injuries. The players' condition will be evaluated on Monday,
although Tippett said both were ``probable'' for the Colorado series.
Ryan VandenBussche had two goals and Jocelyn Thibault stopped 22 shots for
the Blackhawks, who ended the season on a nine game winless streak (0-5-2-2).
Chicago coach Brian Sutter's contract is up, and team management has made no
decision on his status for next season. Sutter wants to come back and he was
upbeat about the Blackhawks' future.
``There are a lot of good things going on here and it's up to us to add to
it,'' Sutter said. ``As coaches, we've done everything we can in this situation
to see how good we can be. We played younger guys and unfortunately we weren't
good enough as a team often enough.''
Dallas took a 1-0 lead on Corson's deflection 5:26 in. Lehtinen's power-play
goal from the slot at 9:02 of the first period gave the Stars a 2-0 lead.
Guerin added his 34th goal of the season at 6:37 of the second period on a
power play. His centering pass banked off the skate of Chicago defenseman Deron
Quint and past Thibault to make it 3-0.
VandenBussche scored at 13:03 of the second period, but Bure scored on a
rebound for his 22nd goal with 56.9 seconds left in the second to make it 4-1.
Corson's breakaway with 10:08 remaining extended Dallas' lead to 5-1.