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Niemi-Turco By the Numbers

by John Kreiser
The Chicago Blackhawks have opted to let Stanley Cup-winning goaltender Antti Niemi leave by walking away from an arbitrator's decision that awarded him a salary of $2.75 million for 2010-11. Instead, they've signed veteran Marty Turco, who turns 35 this month and has spent his entire career with the Dallas Stars.

Here's a look at some of the key numbers for both players:

0 -- Trips to the Stanley Cup Final for Turco. The closest he came with the Stars was in 2008, when Dallas lost the Western Conference Finals to Detroit in six games.

1 -- Games won by Dallas last season on the 15 occasions when Turco allowed four or more goals. Niemi allowed four or more goals eight times, but the Blackhawks were 5-3 in those games.

-- Seasons since play resumed after the work stoppage in 2005 that Turco has had a save percentage of less than .900. He had .898 percentages in 2005-06 and 2008-09; his .913 save percentage in 2009-10 was his best since 2003-04.

2 -- Career meetings between the two goaltenders, both of which took place last season. Turco and the Stars won 5-4 on Dec. 29, a game in which Niemi lost despite stopping 13 of 14 shots in relief of Cristobal Huet. Niemi and the Hawks beat Turco and the Stars 4-3 in a shootout on Feb. 9.

2.31 -- Turco's career goals-against average, the second-best among active goaltenders who've played 250 or more games. However, he posted a GAA of 2.81 in 2008-09 and improved only slightly to 2.72 last season. Niemi's career mark is 2.32, but in only 42 games.
3 -- Seasons in which Turco posted a goals-against average of less than 2.00. He had a GAA of 1.90 in 2000-01 (26 appearances), 1.72 in 2002-03 (55 appearances) and 1.98 in 2003-04 (73 appearances).

6 -- Consecutive seasons in which Turco won 30 or more games. He was a 30-game winner in every season from 2002-03 through 2008-09, with a high of 41 wins in 2005-06.

7 -- Shutouts by Niemi as a rookie for the Hawks last season, matching Turco's total for the past two seasons combined. The last time Turco had seven or more shutouts was 2003-04, when he had nine.

12 -- Games played by Niemi on Sundays in 2009-10, twice as many as any other day of the week. He went 7-3-2 in those games. Turco played on five Sundays, going 0-3-2 -- he'd better improve this season, because the Hawks have 15 games on Sunday.

14 -- Road victories by Niemi in his 21 starts away from the United Center last season. Niemi was 14-3-2 with a 1.91 GAA away from home; Turco was 8-12-5 in 25 decisions on the road with a 3.04 GAA.

16 -- Career playoff victories by Niemi, who matched the NHL single-season record for wins by a goaltender while leading the Hawks to the Stanley Cup last spring. His 16 victories in 22 games as a rookie are only five short of Turco's career total of 21 -- in 47 games.

28 -- Career shootout victories by Turco, the fourth-highest total in the five seasons since the NHL adopted the breakaway competition to settle games tied after overtime. Turco is 28-22 in shootouts, but was just 4-8 in 2009-10.

.812 -- Niemi's save percentage in shootouts last season, the best of any goaltender who took part in five or more. Niemi had a 6-2 record -- including a 3-0 mark at the United Center, where he did not give up a goal on the 10 attempts he faced. One of those shootout wins was a 4-3 decision over Turco and the Stars on Feb. 9.

.926 -- Turco's save percentage at even strength last season, well ahead of Niemi's mark of .914. However, Niemi had a much better save percentage during power plays (.899 to .855) and allowed just one shorthanded goal (on 21 shots) to four for Turco (50 shots).

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