GLENDALE, Ariz. – Marty Turco has responded well to a challenge.
Turco made 40 saves for his fourth shutout of the season and 40th overall, and Brandon Segal and rookie Jamie Benn scored second-period goals in the Dallas Stars’ 3-0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday night. Turco has blanked the Coyotes twice in the last eight days, posting a 4-0 shutout in Dallas on Feb 6, when Benn had two goals. In between the shutout, Dallas acquired young goalie Kari Lehtonen from Atlanta.
“You guys know his history better than I do. It seems he responds to being pushed, and that’s good for us,” Dallas coach Marc Crawford said. “It’s amazing how good you can be when you get quality goaltending. It builds your belief.”
Dallas has won five of its last eight games as it fights for a playoff spot,
“We know what we can do,” Turco said. “Guys are stepping up. I said it earlier when we were struggling, and I think it applies now – it’s an attitude. Dealing with struggles, injuries, with our payroll. … We have a better attitude.”
The Coyotes lost for only the third time in their last 11 games.
“We outshot them 40 to 20, so they got timely goals and we didn’t. Sometimes it happens like that,” Coyotes winger Shane Doan said.
Segal, playing his first game with the Stars after being claimed off waivers from Los Angeles last week, also assisted on Toby Petersen’s third-period goal.
“Obviously it’s fun coming to a new team and seeing what it is all about,” Segal said. “You can’t ask for much better than that, but one game doesn’t make a season.”
Coyotes left-winger Petr Prucha was wheeled off the ice on a stretcher early in the first period after taking a hard hit from Dallas’ James Neal. The Coyotes said Prucha was conscious and taken to a hospital for evaluation.
Neal checked Prucha into the boards near the penalty box area and Prucha struck his head and crumpled to the ice at 4:01 of the opening period.
Prucha lay on his back for about seven minutes while emergency personnel strapped him to a gurney before rolling him off the ice. No penalty was called on the play.
“To me, really, it was nothing,” Crawford said. “Nobody likes to see anybody get hurt. It’s scary. (Neal) took him out. He didn’t even finish the check. It was all the head on the glass. Hopefully, Petr is OK. I thought that was a nothing, nothing play.”
Coyotes centre Martin Hanzal, Prucha’s Czech Republic countryman, picked a fight with Neal a few minutes later, landing several punches.
“It’s obviously frustrating when your teammate gets hurt like that,” Doan said.
Segal scored his second goal of the season at 5:54 of the second period to break a scoreless tie, deflecting Trevor Daley’s slapshot from the right point past goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.
Bryzgalov stopped a breakaway by Mike Ribeiro midway through the second period, when Ribeiro tried to jam the puck into the lower left corner, but Benn scored on a 3-on-1 break moments later. Again catching the Coyotes’ defence up ice, Ribeiro carried the puck down the right side toward goal before sending it across the ice to Benn, who slid it past Bryzgalov into an open side.
NOTES: Benn has four goals in his last four games and 15 overall. … Coyotes right-winger Scottie Upshall will miss the rest of the season because of a torn knee ligament.