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Stars survive, beat Avs in shootout

by Brian Hunter
There's still a long way to go before the Dallas Stars can say they've turned their season around, but getting out of last place in the Western Conference is a step in the right direction.

Mike Ribeiro extended the shootout on a do-or-die attempt and Mike Modano won it in the fourth round as the Stars bounced back after allowing the tying goal late in regulation to defeat the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 on Friday night at American Airlines Center.

Marty Turco finished regulation and overtime with 26 saves for Dallas, then stopped the final three Colorado shooters in the penalty-shot tiebreaker. Wojtek Wolski beat Turco in the first round, but after the first two Stars came up empty on their attempts, Ribeiro solved Peter Budaj and kept it going. Modano then skated in and went top shelf with a wrister, and Turco denied Ryan Smyth to earn the second point and move the Stars out of last place in the Western Conference.

"It's very much needed, obviously," Modano said. "Our situation, and fighting and clawing for every point we can get out there, we're battling, we're playing smart, we're just kind of hanging ourselves around the game long enough and we're getting some breaks here and there, which helps."

Dallas played the third of at least six games without forward Sean Avery, whose six-game suspension for disparaging remarks made earlier in the week was announced earlier Friday.

Toby Petersen, who didn't have a goal in two seasons prior to this past week, scored for the third time in four games to put the Stars ahead in the second period. Turco made that slim lead hold up until the final minute, when the Avalanche pulled Budaj and Marek Svatos lit the lamp with 55.5 seconds remaining.

"We've been getting better and tighter over the last couple weeks," Turco said. "Things we've been talking about doing, we're starting to do them. Even a crazy bounce that went in with 50-some seconds left, it could have been devastating but this group is all about pushing forward and we saw that in overtime and the shootout."

Colorado became the last NHL team this season to lose in a shootout and saw its eight-game winning streak in the event -- the third-longest in League history -- come to an end.

"When you win, you love them. When you lose, you say you don't," Avalanche coach Tony Granato said. "We had the opportunity, we were up one, and we had two good shooters in (Svatos) and (Milan Hejduk). (They) are very reliable and very good in that situation, but Turco made one big save and forced another shot wide. Marty Turco was very good tonight."

Petersen snapped a scoreless tie 7:57 into the second by deflecting Modano's centering pass past Budaj. Prior to scoring Sunday against Edmonton, Petersen didn't have an NHL goal since playing for the Oilers during the 2006-07 campaign.

"It seemed like a harmless play when Mo had it up near the blue line, but you just try to get to the net and either get a tip, screen or rebound, and it turned out to work in our favor," Petersen said.

The Avalanche thought they might have tied the game with 1:31 left in the third when Paul Stastny's wraparound got in past Turco, but the officials had blown play dead after losing sight of the puck and disallowed the goal immediately. Stastny came back to assist on the Svatos goal that earned the Avalanche a point.

Flames 4, Blues 3, OT | Video

Calgary came up with a character win away from home when Mike Cammalleri scored 2:21 into overtime to complete a rally from a 3-1 third-period deficit.

Cammalleri notched his 10th goal of the season by taking Jarome Iginla's pass on a rush into the St. Louis zone and wristing a shot past Chris Mason for the winning goal, silencing the Scottrade Center crowd.

"I don't think I'm the game hero by any means," Cammalleri said. "I just think I was the guy that scored the last goal."

Other heroes for the Flames included Iginla and David Moss, who scored power-play goals 3:36 apart early in the third to force the extra period, and Dion Phaneuf, who assisted on all four goals. Rene Bourque also scored for the Flames and Miikka Kiprusoff turned aside 26 shots for Calgary, which has won 11 of 12 against St. Louis.

"It's definitely a positive and you want to be able to contribute," Phaneuf said. "It was a huge win for our team. We didn't get off to the start we wanted. We were down 3-1 and to come back, it's a huge win."

David Backes, Patrik Berglund and Brad Boyes scored for the Blues, who couldn't hold leads of 2-0 and 3-1 and lost a second straight home game in which they led by two goals.

"I refuse to let them talk about the negatives because we know there are some things we can correct, but right now we need every single point we can get," Blues coach Andy Murray said. "We can sit and whine about being up 2-0 and letting it slide or taking unnecessary penalties. A penalty-killing group that has been very good for us up to this point this season hasn't gotten the job done the last few games."

Backes and Berglund had goals 2:21 apart in the first to get St. Louis off to a fast start. Bourque got the Flames within one 7:12 into the middle period, but Boyes restored the Blues' two-goal advantage at 16:11 with their second power-play goal of the night.

But penalties by St. Louis paved the way for Calgary to get all the way back into the game in the third, as Iginla notched his team-leading 13th goal at 1:43 and Moss deflected a Phaneuf shot from the left point to tie the score.

"We found a way to come back, and our power play was a significant factor in tonight's victory," Flames coach Mike Keenan said.

Oilers 5, Kings 4, SO | Video

Edmonton chased goalie Erik Ersberg with a three-goal first period. Los Angeles rallied against Mathieu Garon with four goals in the second. But Garon held firm, as the Oilers tied the score in the third and went on to win in a shootout at Staples Center.

"I wasn't all that unhappy with the second period, outside of the fact that we lost some critical battles in critical areas," Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said. "We needed to go back and get some composure and go back at them. We came out and stormed them in the third period. We had a terrific first half of the third period till we tied it, then it got pretty even."

Marc-Antoine Pouliot and Ales Hemsky scored in the breakaway competition, with Hemsky's goal in the third round against Jason LaBarbera ending the game. Garon made stops on Alexander Frolov and Anze Kopitar before Patrick O'Sullivan temporarily kept the shootout going with a goal.

Garon improved to 11-0 in shootouts over the past two seasons. He has stopped 32 of 35 shots.

"I was pretty happy the way he handled the first one. I thought they were going to have to put a real good shot on him to get a goal," Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said. "O'Sullivan did on the third one, but Pouliot and Hemmer made pretty good moves."

Ethan Moreau, Pouliot and Andrew Cogliano staked the Oilers to a 3-0 lead, but Kings coach Terry Murray replaced Ersberg with LaBarbera to start the second and the team responded.

Michal Handzus, Kopitar, Jarret Stoll and Frolov needed less than 11 minutes to turn the deficit into a 4-3 lead and LaBarbera made half of his 30 saves in the period. Dustin Penner finally solved him in the third, as his redirection of a Shawn Horcoff pass at 8:23 forced the extra period.

"Definitely not the start we wanted, being down 3-0, it's very tough to come back from that," said Stoll, a former Oiler. "We did, we showed a lot of character to do that and take the lead, and just let it slip away again. So that's a disappointing part. We got a point out of it. After the first period we were nowhere near in this game, so you can take something out of it, but we got to finish and seal the deal on those in the third period when we have the lead."

Material from wire services and team broadcast media was used in this report.

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