ANAHEIM, Calif. – Marty Turco made 19 saves in a period for the second time in two nights. Only this time, the Dallas Stars came away with a victory.
Turco bounced back from one of his toughest losses this season to make 36 saves altogether, Loui Eriksson scored two goals, and the Stars beat the rebuilt Anaheim Ducks 3-2 on Friday night.
Turco, who stopped 19 of 21 shots in the third period of Dallas’ 5-4 overtime loss up the freeway in Los Angeles, stopped all 19 shots by the Ducks in the second period en route to his 30th victory – the sixth straight season he has reached that figure.
“It was a great effort from everybody and something we needed,” Turco said. “Mentally, I felt bad after the meltdown last night. But to this group’s credit, we rallied around it and showed the type of mentality we need to have to collect points and stay in the playoff picture.”
Dallas and Anaheim came in tied with Edmonton in the race for the eighth and final Western Conference berth at 68 points apiece. The Stars are now tied with Nashville and Columbus for sixth place in the conference, four points behind fifth-place Vancouver.
“You can’t overstate the importance of getting points and playing well,” Turco said. “For us, our belief is that if we keep playing the way we have on this road trip, good things will happen.”
Mike Ribeiro had a power-play goal and an assist for the Stars, who won for the second time in their last eight games despite taking a season-low 16 shots on net. Steve Ott had two assists to reach the 100-point mark in the NHL.
James Wisniewski scored in his first game with Anaheim after being acquired from Chicago, and Bobby Ryan added his 23rd of the season. Ryan is the only NHL rookie with at least 20 goals and 20 assists.
The Ducks began a five-game homestand after going 3-2-1 on their longest trip of the season, and the crowd of 17,380 had to get acquainted with a host of unfamiliar faces. Since their previous home game on Feb. 18, they team traded away four players from the 2006-07 Stanley Cup championship roster – Chris Kunitz, Samuel Pahlsson, Travis Moen and Kent Huskins.
In return, Anaheim received Petri Kontiola from the Blackhawks along with Wisniewski, Nick Bonino and Timo Pielmeier from San Jose, and Ryan Whitney from Pittsburgh. General manager Bob Murray, who replaced Brian Burke as general manager on Nov. 12, also acquired Petteri Nokelainen from Boston and Erik Christensen from Atlanta just before the trade deadline.
Two other former Ducks returned to Anaheim with the Stars for the fifth game of this six-game season series – Brian Sutherby, who was traded for David McIntyre on Dec. 14; and Brendan Morrison, whom Dallas claimed off waivers on Wednesday. Morrison had 10 goals and 12 assists in 62 games with the Ducks after playing the previous eight seasons with Vancouver.
Anaheim didn’t score until its 34th shot on net, as Wisniewski beat Turco with a wrist shot from 35 feet with 12:29 to play.
Eriksson, who inadvertently screened Turco on that goal, made up for it by beating Jean-Sebastien Giguere high to the glove side with a wrist shot from the left circle just 77 seconds later for his 31st this season.
Ryan scored with 2:32 left, carrying the puck into the zone, stickhandling past Mike Modano and then defenceman Stephane Robidas before stuffing the puck under Turco’s glove.
“They were sitting here waiting and rested for us, so we knew we were going to have to play a hard hockey game,” Dallas coach Dave Tippett said. “We knew they were going to put a lot of pucks at the net, so we had to defend well. I thought that when we got under siege there, we did a good job of battling around the front of the net and not giving them second opportunities.”
Only 29 seconds into his first game with the Ducks, Christensen was sent off for hooking Robidas – and the team with the league’s second-worst percentage on the power play capitalized with the man advantage at 1:45 of the first period when Ribeiro scored his 17th goal and fourth in five games.
“I was nervous for sure. You try to make a good first impression, and on the first shift you take a penalty and they score. It’s not the best feeling,” Christensen said.
Eriksson made it 2-0 at 14:39 of the second period, converting Ott’s cross-ice pass about seven feet from the net.
Dallas right wing Jere Lehtinen missed his second straight game because of an undisclosed upper-body injury, after getting hit by San Jose’s Rob Blake in Wednesday’s 4-1 win. Lehtinen missed the first 14 games of the season with an upper body injury, then returned for three games before sitting out the next 14 due to a groin injury. Dallas is 13-13-4 in his absence.
Notes: Stars RW Landon Wilson played for the first time since Jan. 3 after missing 27 games with injured ribs. … Dallas RW Mark Parrish – who received two minor penalties in the third period of Thursday’s loss at Los Angeles with his team holding a two-goal lead – was a healthy scratch. The next time he plays, it will be his 700th NHL regular-season game. … Dallas was 4-for-42 on the power play over its previous 10 games. … Darryl Sydor’s assist on Ribeiro’s goal was his 400th in the NHL during the regular season. … Nokelainen also played his first game with Anaheim. Nokelainen had been sidelined since Feb. 10 due to an eye injury.