COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- It's taken 37 games for the Dallas Stars to top the
.500 mark. Now they're shooting a lot higher.
Brenden Morrow and Mike Modano each had a goal and an assist to lead the way
to a 4-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night, the Stars'
fourth win in a row.
"We've had a lot of pressure on us," Morrow said after the Stars improved
to 17-16-4-0. "We've not met expectations. But now we're getting some effort
back. We weren't getting any breaks, but now we are."
Modano, who scored eight seconds into the game, and Morrow each have at
least one point in those last four wins. Morrow has goals in the last four.
Defensemen Richard Matvichuk and Teppo Numminen also had goals for the
Stars, who won despite not having a shot on goal in the third period. Columbus
had just four, setting a franchise record for fewest shots by both teams in a
Rick Nash scored his league-leading 23rd goal for the Blue Jackets, coming
off their first road win of the season at Chicago on Friday. Nikolai Zherdev
and Lasse Pirjeta added goals.
The Stars -- and goaltender Marty Turco -- had their streak of allowing one
goal or less stopped at seven games, one off the team record.
"The type of streak he's on is tough to keep up," Modano said of Turco.
"He's done more than enough to help us win some games. It's time we did
something for him."
After the opening puck was dropped, the Stars made three routine passes
before Modano netted his eighth goal of the season. The goal was the
second-fastest in Dallas history, a second off the record set five years ago by
Joe Nieuwendyk -- and tied for the ninth-fastest ever in the NHL. It was also
the quickest goal ever surrendered by the Blue Jackets.
Modano's shot came from just inside the blue line on the left wing and
clanked in off the far post, beating Blue Jackets goaltender Fred Brathwaite on
the glove side.
"It was a bit of a knuckler," Modano said. "I don't know if it moved a
little. I caught it on the edge and I caught a pretty good piece of it."
Morrow then redirected Philippe Boucher's slap shot for his ninth on the
power play. The Stars were 1-for-3 on the power play after coming in ranked
27th in the NHL in converting man-advantage opportunities on the road.
Columbus pulled to 2-1 on a highlight-reel goal by Zherdev. The Russian
rookie, still dealing with possible problems regarding military obligations in
his home country, skated from the left dot through the high slot and whipped a
wrister past Turco.
Just over a minute later the Stars made it 3-1. Numminen scored on a soft
goal, his unobstructed slap shot from the point trickling between Brathwaite's
leg pads. It was the defenseman's first goal in a Stars uniform since being
acquired in an offseason trade with Phoenix.
Modano's goal "should not happen," a disgusted Brathwaite said. "From
there they kept coming at us and made it 2-0. Then we get back in the game and
their third one, that puck can't go in. We're starting to work hard and take it
to them and they get a weak goal like that."
Marc Denis replaced Brathwaite in goal to start the second period.
"We battled back, but I'm getting sick and tired of pulling goaltenders,"
Blue Jackets coach Doug MacLean said.
After Rob DiMaio fed Matvichuk on a backdoor jam shot to make it 4-1, Nash
scored in his third game in a row when he wristed it in from the right dot
through heavy traffic.
"He was drafted where he was for a reason," Turco said of Nash, the No. 1
overall draft pick in 2002. "It was a good shot. I've not been beaten clean in
a long time."
Pirjeta's second goal pulled the Blue Jackets within a goal with 6:44 left,
but the Stars and Turco sealed off the defensive end.