Coming off his first career playoff shutout, Turco was headed toward another until allowing a tying goal in the third period, then getting beaten on a one-timer from the left circle by Taylor Pyatt 7:47 into overtime. That gave the Vancouver Canucks a 2-1 victory Sunday night and a 2-1 lead in this first-round Western Conference series.
Pyatt’s goal off a pass from Bryan Smolinski ended this game much more quickly than the last time these teams played extra periods: a four-overtime contest in the opener. Vancouver won that one, too.
Game 4 is Tuesday night in Dallas.
Turco, hoping to shed his reputation as a playoff underachiever, fell to 1-9 in post-season overtime games. This also was the fifth straight home playoff loss for him and the Stars, who’ve been bounced in the first round each of the last two seasons.
Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo made 29 saves to Turco’s 35, but had the more spectacular stops, including a pair from his back early on.
The goalies have been the dominant story this series and this night was no exception. About the only change was that, in the first period, things went from tactical to testy for the first time. There was a big pileup with lots of pushing and shoving, sticks and gloves dropped and helmets knocked off. Two players from each side wound up in the penalty box following that skirmish.
However, it didn’t last. Both teams stuck to their formulas, making for tight but crisp action.
The Stars went ahead 1-0 toward the end of the second period when Stu Barnes redirected a long shot by Stephane Robidas while on the power play. It was Dallas’ seventh goal of the series, all by different players. It also ended a string of 15 straight scoreless chances with the man advantage.
The Canucks tied it early in the third period. Jannik Hansen whacked a shot off Turco’s left shoulder, the rebound going right to Jan Bulis. He popped it past Turco for Vancouver’s first goal in 105:18, since the end of Game 1. From his knees, Turco turned to see the puck in the net, threw his head back, then dropped face-first to the ice in disgust.
Turco has gone a long way toward shedding his reputation as a playoff underachiever. He had three scoreless overtime periods in the opener before allowing the winner in quadruple overtime, then came back with five straight scoreless periods. The defence in front of him was a big part, too, but Turco always was where he needed to be when he needed to be.
Vancouver outshot Dallas 15-4 in the third period. The Canucks got a bit of a scare when Luongo was jarred by Ladislav Nagy while reaching for the puck. The goalie flopped backward and needed attention from a trainer.
Soon after, Dallas’ Darryl Sydor caught an elbow in the head from Vancouver’s Trevor Linden. Then Canucks defenceman Willie Mitchell skated to a hard stop in the crease, spraying snowy ice all over Turco. He needed a few minutes to get it out of his eyes.
Notes: For the first time this series, the team that scored first lost. . . . Mike Modano and Jere Lehtinen, Dallas’ top two goal-scorers in the regular season, are not among the team’s goal-scorers this postseason. . . . The game started on time, a notable feat considering the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs played an NBA game in the afternoon. The basketball-to-hockey changeover took about 1½ hours.