By John Tranchina
PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
DALLAS (Ticker) — With all the negative attention swirling
around them the last few days, the Dallas Stars deserve credit
for blocking out the distractions and doing their talking on the
In Dallas’ first game since learning left wing Sean Avery would
be suspended for four more games for inappropriate comments made
three days earlier, Mike Modano scored the decisive goal in the
fourth round of the shootout Friday, leading the Stars to a 2-1
victory over the Colorado Avalanche.
Toby Petersen tallied in regulation and Marty Turco made 26
saves for Dallas, which has won four of its last six games.
“We had a lot of guys compete very hard, and Marty was excellent
tonight,” Stars coach Dave Tippett said. “Toby’s speed and
tenacity are big assets, and he is very valuable in what we’re
“(Turco) made some huge saves to keep us in it and obviously
came up huge in the shootout,” Petersen said. “We’re turning a
corner here. We’re starting to play as a team and make things
happen. Shootouts haven’t been our strongest suit this year, so
it was good to get a win in the shootout.”
The win was Dallas’ first in three tries in the bonus format
Marek Svatos scored with 56 seconds remaining in the third
period to earn a point for the Avalanche, who had won three of
“It was a big tying goal,” Svatos said. “We needed a point.
Too bad we didn’t get the other. It was a big game. We played
well. Too bad we didn’t bury the chances that we had.”
“We had to work for 60 minutes to get a point,” Colorado coach
Tony Granato added. “Turco was very good. They’ve said he’s
been struggling. We didn’t see that tonight. (But) to find a
way to get a point shows a lot of resolve.”
The injury-depleted Stars improved to 2-1-0 since Avery’s
deplorable remarks as they try to rebound from a sub-par start
to the season that had them last overall in the Western
Conference entering Friday.
“It’s very much needed right now,” Modano said. “We’re fighting
and clawing for every point, so this was big. (The incident)
has been a strong rallying point for us. We knew we needed to
play solid hockey and try and build some momentum.”
Turco was less than a minute away from posting his first shutout
since blanking Colorado on March 9, a span of 33 games. But
with goaltender Peter Budaj pulled for an extra attacker,
Colorado tied it with just 55.5 seconds left in regulation.
After a scoreless overtime, Wojtek Wolski gave Colorado a 1-0
edge in the shootout by making a nifty move and stuffing the
puck around a sprawled Turco in the first round. Mike Ribeiro
kept alive Dallas’ chances by beating Budaj to the stick side in
the third round, and Modano ripped a scorching wrist shot over
the netminder’s glove on the Stars’ fourth attempt for a 2-1
Turco then denied Ryan Smyth’s backhander to clinch the triumph.
“The focus is there and has been growing over the last week,”
Turco said. “It’s an awesome sign, even despite a late goal.
In the short term, if you get on a streak or start collecting
points with regularity, it certainly helps.”
After going 49 NHL games – including the playoffs – without a
goal, Petersen netted his third in the last four contests less
than eight minutes into the second period to snap a scoreless
tie. Two minutes after Svatos fired a shot over Turco’s
shoulder and off the crossbar, Modano unleashed a wrister from
the top of the right circle that was deflected between Budaj’s
pads by Petersen at 7:57 for a 1-0 lead.
“When your linemate gets the puck, you just want to get in front
of the net and create some traffic, and that’s exactly what
happened when Mo put it on net,” Petersen said. “Anytime you
get on the ice with Mike Modano, it’s going to make your game
better. He’s got such great vision.”
With the Avalanche pressing late, they got the equalizer in the
final minute of the third. Just 36 seconds after an apparent
goal by Paul Stastny was waved off after a video review, he
collected the puck behind the and backhanded it in front to
Svatos, who chipped it over Turco’s right shoulder for his fifth
goal of the season.
“We showed a lot of fight,” Budaj said. “Dallas played pretty
well and Marty made some big saves. It’s a big point for us.
We battled against a great team. It’s a point we deserved to
Budaj made 23 saves.