CALGARY – Niklas Hagman notched the winner, but it was Marty Turco who stole the show.
Turco made 31 saves, several of the spectacular variety, as the Dallas Stars (31-20-5) edged the Calgary Flames 2-1 on Saturday night.
“Certainly he was part of the difference for them tonight,” said Calgary coach Mike Keenan, who credited Turco and the Dallas penalty killers for keeping the Flames off the scoresheet during their seven power-play opportunities. “He was certainly part of their penalty killing and he had a big night for them.”
Turco’s best save came in the second period with the Stars trailing 1-0 after Daymond Langkow scored his 21st of the season for the Flames (26-18-8). After hitting the post, Langkow nearly scored his second of the game during a Calgary power play, but Turco made a jaw-dropping acrobatic save.
“I think I went from down, to more down, laying down, trying to get up and another shot coming,” recalled Turco, who somehow got his arm up to block Langkow’s shot from the slot. “I got a piece of it. I knew it was falling right back on me and I knew where I was in relation to the goal line.”
Much to Langkow’s chagrin, the puck somehow managed to stay out of the net.
“It initially looked like it might have gone in,” Langkow said. “Obviously they reviewed it and it didn’t cross the line.”
Shortly afterwards, Brenden Morrow deflected a shot by Mike Ribeiro past Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff to tie the contest before the second intermission.
At 2:28 of the final frame, Hagman skated out from behind the Calgary net before turning and firing a perfect shot into the top corner, short side over Kiprusoff’s glove hand.
With the win, the Stars maintained their two-point lead over the San Jose Sharks for top spot in the Pacific Division. It was the fourth straight road win for Dallas to improve its record away from the American Airlines Center to 16-11-3.
Calgary’s winning streak was halted at four games.
In search of his first goal in nine games, Calgary captain Jarome Iginla fired four shots on goal in the first period, all of which were turned aside by Turco.
“I thought on our power plays, a lot of them we created some really good scoring chances, created a lot of chaos in front of their net and (hit) some posts and had some real chances,” said Iginla, who finished the contest with a team-leading six shots. “Unfortunately tonight it didn’t go in.”
Matthew Lombardi and Kristian Huselius were also stymied twice each by Turco in the first period. His best stop of the opening frame came when he kicked out his left pad to deny a wraparound attempt by Huselius.
The Flames finally put one past Turco at 5:37 of the second when Langkow drove to the net and banged home a rebound.
With back-to-back power-play chances in the third, Calgary had a great chance to tie the game but Turco and the Dallas penalty killers held the Flames off the score sheet.
“We just kind of hung on there at the end,” said Dallas defenceman Matt Niskanen. “We had to survive a little bit of their surge and we got a win.”
Notes: After being checked hard into the boards by Dallas defenceman Nicklas Grossman in the first period, Huselius returned the favour on the same shift to record just his fifth hit of the season. Dallas defenceman Sergei Zubov missed his seventh straight contest with a groin/foot injury, while blue-liner Philippe Boucher sat out his 28th consecutive game with a shoulder injury. Kiprusoff has now gone 62 straight games without recording a shutout.