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Dallas' Turco puts reigning champs Anaheim on brink of elimination @NHLdotcom

DALLAS - Stu Barnes and Steve Ott scored third-period goals and Marty Turco came within 7.6 seconds of a shutout, sending the Dallas Stars past the Anaheim Ducks 3-1 Thursday night and putting the reigning Stanley Cup champions on the brink of elimination.

Dallas leads the first-round series 3-1 going into Game 5 in Anaheim on Friday night.

Turco and the Stars are seeking their first post-season series win since a first-rounder in 2003, having dropped four straight. Anaheim, meanwhile, is a loss away from continuing a dismal streak for defending champs - none has reached the second round since Colorado in 2002.

A big reason Dallas hasn't gotten out of the first round lately is an inability to win at home in the playoffs. This was only the second time the Stars have done so in their last nine tries. It also marked the first time this series the home team has won.

The last time Dallas won a home playoff game, Turco had a shutout. He appeared headed to another until Mathieu Schneider beat him in the waning moments. It was Anaheim's first third-period goal this series.

Turco made 28 saves. He didn't have too many spectacular stops, but there were several tough ones. He also endured a third-period collision with Anaheim's Teemu Selanne; Selanne skated stick-first into Turco's head, then conked the goalie's helmet with an elbow. Turco fell backward into the net, but was just fine. Selanne wound up in the penalty box.

Dallas won this with defence, despite having three rookies among its six defencemen. The Stars had dominated the series with offence, taking at least 30 shots and scoring at least two power-play goals in each of the first three games.

They put much less heat on Jean-Sebastien Giguere this time, taking only five shots in each of the first two periods before unloading 10 in the final period. The Stars also were 0-for-6 on the power play, not even recording a shot with the man advantage until their final chance - and that was in the final minute.

Lundqvist put Dallas ahead 1-0 late in the first period off a steal by Loui Eriksson. Anaheim thought it tied it midway through the second period, but a lengthy video review determined that Brian Sutherby kicked in the puck.

The Stars got some breathing room when Barnes scored off a long pass from Modano. Then Barnes stole the puck and set up Ott for the 3-0 lead with 2:43 left.

Giguere finished with 17 saves.

Anaheim got Corey Perry, its top goal scorer this season, back from a six-week injury absence. He took three shots in 12:13.

Notes: Dallas also had a goal called off. Trevor Daley scored in the first period, but Niklas Hagman bumped Giguere at the lip of the crease before the shot and interference was called before Daley connected. ... Anaheim's defenceman had a combined 570 games of playoff experience. Dallas' group had 90. ... Officials had to separate players at the end of each of the first two periods. ... Ducks RW Rob Niedermayer (concussion) remained out.

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