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Turco stops 33 shots as Dallas beats Calgary 3-1

by Todd Kimberley

CALGARY - - The Dallas Stars finally showed a little twinkle outside of Texas.

After winning just one road game in the past two months, the Stars finally broke through Thursday night by beating the Calgary Flames 3-1 at the Pengrowth Saddledome.

Marty Turco stopped 33 shots and Mike Ribeiro tallied twice, his second into an empty net, for the Stars (27-21-12), who moved within one point of the final playoff berth in the Western Conference after winning twice in three games -- and earning only their second victory in 15 road games.

"We've had a lot of games on the road where we've probably played better than we did tonight, and didn't get anything to show for it," coach Marc Crawford said. "But we stuck around tonight. Marty allowed us to stick around.

Jamie Benn scored the third-period winner for the Stars. Jarome Iginla's 25th of the season was the only goal for the Flames (29-23-9), who have dropped three straight and are clinging to eighth place in the West.

Iginla thought he had his second of the game with 29.3 seconds remaining when his pass from the left circle banked off the inside of Turco's left skate before the goaltender fell on the puck. The horns sound, the 19,289 fans erupted and the Flames celebrated -- but after a lengthy video review, the officials that the puck had not crossed the goal line.

"I thought we scored. The linesman said the puck was in the net by an inch," Flames coach Brent Sutter said. "But if (the war room in) Toronto says it's no goal, it doesn't matter what the linesman says."

Ribeiro put the game away when he won a faceoff outside the Dallas blue line by slapping the puck all the way into the empty net.

The Stars, who lost 10 in a row away from the AmericanAirlinesCenter through a stretch of December and January, are now 2-10-3 on the road since Dec. 11.

Benn broke a 1-1 tie at 3:01 of the third, taking a pass in the slot from Brenden Morrow and zipping a shot from the slot that beat Miikka Kiprusoff through the five-hole.

"He made a great pass. I didn't even have to say anything; he knew where I was," said Benn, who very nearly scored a goal off his face later in the third period. "(Turco) played great tonight. He came up with the big saves when we needed them. We took advantage of our scoring opportunities and got a big win."

Kiprusoff stopped 20 shots.

Iginla scored his first goal in six games to open the scoring on a first-period power play, stepping out beside the left post, shooting the puck off Trevor Daley, collecting the rebound and sliding the puck inside the far post at 15:34.

Turco stood tall in the early going, making a stick save on a shorthanded chance by Jay Bouwmeester and executing a diving poke-check on Curtis Glencross, sent into the clear with a cross-ice feed from Ales Kotalik.

"I know I have the most fun when we're winning and I'm playing well and giving these guys a chance to win," said Turco, whose future with the Stars isn't clear after the team acquired Kari Lehtonen from Atlanta earlier this week. "Tonight was a lot of fun."

The Stars tied it with 5:00 left in the second period. Brad Richards' power-play blast skipped wide of the right post, but Ribeiro collected the puck and, while starting to skate behind the net, banked it off Kiprusoff's pad and into the net.

"We got through the (first) period only down one goal, because of good goaltending from Marty. Sometimes you have to do that, especially on the road when you're tired," Crawford said. "And in the third period, we got the better of the chances and were rewarded."

Calgary fell to 2-3-1 since pulling the trigger on two trades that brought in Matt Stajan, Nik Hagman, Christopher Higgins and Ales Kotalik and were intended to boost the club's firepower. So far, it hasn't happened -- they've scored just 10 goals in the six games since the deals and have two goals or less in five of the six.

"This is getting old, but we've got to find a way to score," Sutter said. "Tonight, I thought the game was right there for us again, but we didn't take advantage of it."

Calgary is averaging 2.51 goals a game - the most feeble offence in the West, save for the last-place Edmonton Oilers. It's no coincidence they are 4-11-4 since early January.

"If we had the answer, they'd be going in the net," said forward Eric Nystrom, whose personal goal drought has now hit 43 games. "It's very frustrating."

The Stars conclude their three-game road trip on Saturday in Phoenix before breaking for the Winter Olympics. The Flames host Anaheim on Saturday in their final pre-Olympic game.

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