DALLAS – The Dallas Stars talked about getting off to a fast start at their morning skate. Then they put that plan into action.
Brenden Morrow scored twice in the opening nine minutes of Dallas’ four-goal first period, and Marty Turco stopped 29 shots for his 37th career shutout in the Stars’ 6-0 victory over the Nashville Predators on Wednesday night.
Brad Richards added a goal and two assists, and Loui Eriksson had a goal and an assist during the first-period outburst to help the Stars win at home for the first time this season. James Neal and rookie Jamie Benn each had two assists in the period.
“We wanted to come out in short shifts,” Morrow said. “We wanted to come out with a lot of energy and get some momentum. That was a focus of ours coming in.”
Dallas (2-0-3) wanted to avoid another shootout loss. This time, the Stars didn’t wait around for overtime or the tiebreaker.
“Shootout losses are frustrating,” Eriksson said. “That’s three more points we could have had. That’s something we have to get better at.”
Turco made sure the Stars kept their early edge, stopping nine first-period shots.
“He had some really good saves in the first period,” Eriksson said. “He was big for us tonight.”
Eriksson completed a two-goal night on a second-period power play, and Toby Petersen added a third-period goal.
The Predators (2-3) came out flat following Monday night’s 6-1 home loss to Edmonton, losing their third straight.
“We’ve scored seven goals in five games now,” coach Barry Trotz said. “That’s not going to win you too many games. We’ve got to crash and bang, play stronger defence and play with urgency and a lot of focus.”
Nashville starter Dan Ellis gave up three goals on three shots before he was pulled less than seven minutes after the opening faceoff.
“It was the right decision,” Ellis said. “If your goalie is not making saves, you have to make a change.”
Morrow beat Ellis on a one-timer from the left circle at 3:17, and Richards converted Eriksson’s centring pass 40 seconds later. Eriksson’s deflection at 6:31 ended Ellis’ night as Trotz brought in backup Pekka Rinne.
“It really tears the heart out of your confidence and takes a little bit of your energy when they score on the first three shots,” Trotz said.
Rinne didn’t fare much better, with Morrow notching his second of the night on the power play at 8:48 of the first period to make it 4-0.
Dallas skated 5-on-3 when Eriksson’s rebound 1:27 into the second period stretched the lead to 5-0.
Ryan Suter had a chance to end Turco’s shutout bid with 11:22 left but Suter’s shot hit the right goal post. Turco also stopped a series of four quick shots with just over eight minutes remaining.
Petersen completed the scoring with 2:13 left.
NOTES: The teams met for the second time in 12 days, both in Dallas. Nashville took a 3-2 shootout victory Oct. 3 in the opener for both clubs. … The Stars got their four first-period goals on seven shots. … RW Jordin Tootoo (hip flexor) and LW J.P. Dumont (head) remain out for Nashville. … The Stars are without Cs Mike Modano (ribs) and Steve Ott (oblique). … Trotz pulled Rinne on Monday night against Edmonton after he gave up four goals on nine shots in the first period. … Dallas D Nicklas Grossman is plus-10 for the season, and defensive partner Stephane Robidas is plus-8.