Turco-led Stars beat Red Wings 2-1, force Game 6
DETROIT – Marty Turco was surrounded by teammates in front of the net at Joe Louis Arena. For the first time in his NHL career at the Joe, they weren’t there to console him.Turco made 38 saves to lift Dallas to a 2-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday in Game 5, extending the Western Conference finals after losing the first three games of the series.”It’s probably the best I’ve felt in this building ever,” he said.His timing was perfect.Turco had been 0-9-2 as a pro at The Joe after starring in college at Michigan, going 18-5 in the storied venue along the Detroit River.”He was going to turn it around at some point,” teammate Mike Ribeiro said. “And, he picked the right time to do it.”Trevor Daley scored in the first period and Joel Lundqvist had a go-ahead goal on an assist from Turco in the second to help the Stars pull to 3-2 in the suddenly tight series.Game 6 is Monday night in Dallas. If necessary, the final game will be Wednesday night in Detroit.”We’ve proven that we belong in this series – and this building as well,” Stars center Steve Ott said.The top-seeded Red Wings insist pressure is not mounting on them after a 3-0 lead made them look like a lock to reach the Stanley Cup finals for the first time since winning a title in 2002.”If you told us we’d be up 3-2 going back to Dallas before we started playing, we’d probably take it,” Detroit goaltender Chris Osgood said.The Stars have a shot at making history as the third team to win an NHL playoff series after trailing 3-0. The New York Islanders did it 33 years ago – 33 years after the Toronto Maple Leafs pulled off the feat.”It doesn’t really matter what history is,” Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. “You can’t think of what’s gone on in the past.”That worked for Turco.He seemed to build confidence in his arena of horrors after turning away Dan Cleary’s shot about a minute into the game.”It was Marty’s night,” Daley said. “He was a special player and basically won that game for us.”Detroit’s Jiri Hudler scored late in the first period, but that was the only shot the Red Wings got past Turco in its 27 shots through two periods.”We had lots of shots on net and we missed the net 19 more times,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “And we had three quality chances that we didn’t even get a shot on net.”Osgood made 19 saves for the Red Wings after helping them win a franchise-record nine straight playoff games before losing 3-1 Wednesday night in Dallas.The Western Conference finals are starting to look like the Stars’ previous matchup in the playoffs, but they hope to stop the similarities soon.Dallas won the first three games in the second round against the San Jose Sharks before losing two in a row. The Stars put San Jose away in the fourth overtime of Game 6 at home.”With our experience going through that in our building, it’s going to be tough for them,” Brenden Morrow said.Detroit was 7-0 at home in the playoffs, outscoring opponents 24-10.The Red Wings were without center Johan Franzen for the fourth straight game because of concussion-like symptoms. Franzen, who has been cleared for light workouts off the ice, leads the NHL with 12 playoff goals, a team record.Dallas scratched four players because of injuries, including forward Jere Lehtinen.Turco, a seven-year veteran, helped the Stars get off to a good start at both ends of the rink.After making a key stop early in the game, Turco skated away from the net to play a puck in the left circle midway through the first period.”He’s the best in the game at it,” Daley said. “He’s like a third defenseman because he passes it better than most of us.”Turco got the puck up the ice to Niklas Hagman, who passed it to Brad Richards. His drop pass between his legs set up Daley for his first goal of the playoffs.The Red Wings tied the game with 4 1/2 minutes left in the first period, snapping an 0-for-14 skid with an extra skater. Hudler scored off his own rebound, shooting the puck off the inside of the left post with 4 seconds left on the power play.The Stars took the lead shortly after Detroit defenseman Chris Chelios went off the ice for a line change. Lundqvist got into open ice off a pass from Turco and beat Osgood at 6:04 of the second period.Detroit struggled on offense in the third period. Its comeback chances were hurt when Tomas Holmstrom was called for a roughing penalty as he skated by Dallas’ bench with more than 7 minutes left.”To call that undisciplined play would be an understatement,” Ott said. “You don’t punch somebody on the bench as you’re skating by.”Notes: The Stars scratched Lehtinen (leg), Stu Barnes (concussion-like symptoms), Philippe Boucher (hip) and Mark Fistric (mononucleosis). … Before the game, former Red Wing Vladimir Konstantinov was walking briskly with the help of a walker near Detroit’s dressing room. Konstantinov almost lost his life in a limo crash in 1997, six days after the star defenseman helped the franchise win the Stanley Cup for the first time in 42 years. … Among those in the crowd was former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason.
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