DALLAS (AP) _ The Dallas Stars moved two points closer in their season-long
pursuit of the San Jose Sharks.
Marty Turco made 22 saves for his 19th career shutout, and the Stars set a
franchise record with a 14-game home unbeaten streak in a 4-0 victory over the
Sharks on Sunday.
The Stars, who in late February trailed the first-place Sharks by eight
points in the Pacific Division, have 81 points, two behind San Jose.
``This was a fun game to be a part of,'' said Turco, who has won all seven
career starts against the Sharks. ``The ramifications were obvious for both
teams. This game was important and we're showing up at the right time.''
Dallas improved to 13-4-2 in its last 19 games against San Jose. The Stars
completed a 7-0-1 homestand, the longest in franchise history.
The teams have two more regular-season meetings: March 16 in Dallas and
March 28 in San Jose.
``I think it shows that we're right there with the win,'' said Stars left
wing Shayne Corson, who had a goal and an assist. ``We've been chasing this
team for a couple of months now and they're still ahead of us. We need to keep
fighting and hopefully catch them.''
Turco established a career high with his 32nd victory, preserving his
seventh shutout of the season by stopping Nils Ekman on a breakaway with two
minutes left in the second period.
Jon Klemm and Pierre Turgeon set the tone when they scored in the first six
minutes, and Stu Barnes added three assists.
Rob DiMaio had a second-period goal and Corson scored his first of the
season with 5:47 left.
The Stars are 10-0-4 in their last 14 at home, tying the Philadelphia Flyers
for the NHL's longest home unbeaten streak this season.
Dallas came out aggressively, getting the first nine shots on goal to build
a 2-0 first-period advantage.
``We wanted to have a good first couple of shifts,'' Turgeon said. ``When
you get up two goals in this building, you can play a lot different than being
down by two goals.''
Klemm gave the Stars the lead 1:54 after the opening faceoff when his shot
from the point got past screened goalie Evgeni Nabokov.
Turgeon followed with his 11th of the season, scoring from close range off a
setup by Corson.
``Today I think emotions maybe got the better of us,'' said Sharks left wing
Scott Thornton. ``We were a little tentative early ... but once we regrouped
after the first period, I thought we played a pretty solid game.''
DiMaio stretched the lead to 3-0 midway in the second period, converting a
pass from Jere Lehtinen on a two-on-one.
The Sharks were upset over a third-period play resulting in a minor knee
injury to defenseman Tom Preissing. He was racing Dallas' Brenden Morrow in an
effort to touch the puck behind San Jose's net for an icing call. Preissing
slid skate-first into the end boards, and the Sharks claimed Morrow used his
stick to knock Preissing off-balance.
``I think it's a cheap play to try and put your stick through the guy's
feet,'' Thornton said. ``I think it's dangerous whenever you're taking guys
off-balance in that situation.''
No penalty was called. Three fights ensued, including one with Morrow
initiated by Mark Smith seconds after Preissing's fall.
Morrow said there was no intent to injure.
``I don't think I got him,'' Morrow said. ``I think I may have gotten his
stick. It looked to me like he just lost an edge.''
Preissing was holding an icebag on his left knee after the game, but said
the injury was not serious.
The Sharks were still reeling from Friday night's injury to their
second-leading scorer, Marco Sturm, on a similar play against Colorado. Sturm
slid skate-first into the end boards, resulting in a season-ending ankle
San Jose coach Ron Wilson said the two plays could be a message to the
league to adopt no-touch icing.
``If there's anything positive, it's that the higher-ups in the league will
understand that automatic icing ... you'd have a unanimous vote from the
coaches and players,'' Wilson said.