DALLAS - Marty Turco drew some high praise from Dallas teammate Aaron Downey after his 16th career shutout.
“That’s the greatest goaltending performance I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Downey, who scored a goal in the Stars’ 2-0 victory over St. Louis on Friday night. “He was in a complete zone and he won that game for us.”
Turco stopped 33 shots to help the Stars open a key stretch of the season with a 2-0 victory over the St. Louis Blues.
Downey scored his first goal of the season late in the opening period, and Phillippe Boucher added a power-play goal with 3:35 remaining.
The Stars killed a two-man power play late in the second period and early in the third. Niko Kapanen was given a double-minor for high-sticking at 18:12 of the second and teammate Sergei Zubov was whistled for hooking 28 seconds later. Turco responded with a series of sharp saves to keep the Blues scoreless.
“Your goalie had to be your best penalty killer and tonight he was,” Stars coach Dave Tippett said. “They had some real quality chances. That performance has to rank right up there.”
Dallas, 9-4-4 in its last 17 games, killed all six St. Louis power plays.
Turco came up big with 8:07 left, denying Doug Weight, who had gone in alone, and then Turco stopped Eric Nickulas from close range with 7:05 remaining.
“We felt we were the better team,” Weight said. “We got chances. But (Turco) was playing with confidence. We deserved a better fate tonight.”
Turco stopped all 12 shots he faced in the first period, including a point-blank save against Keith Tkachuk with 50 seconds left in the period while Blues were on a power play. Pavol Demitra had two close-range shots at Turco that were snuffed a little over a minute after the opening faceoff.
“That’s a booster for everybody. It’s good to dodge one early,” Turco said of blocking Demitra’s two early opportunities. “They had some great chances. It was a passionate game for them and a desperate game for us. This has to be one of my better games.”
Dallas will play four of its next five games at home as it tries to gain ground on the first-place San Jose Sharks in the Pacific Division.
The Stars and Blues meet again in St. Louis on Saturday night.
Dallas missed a prime scoring opportunity midway through the second period when Mike Modano’s penalty shot hit the left goal post. Modano had broken in on the left side and was tripped by St. Louis defenseman Alexander Khavanov as Modano drove hard to the net, giving Modano the penalty shot.
Chris Osgood stopped 18 shots for the Blues, 5-9-4 in their last 18 games.
Dallas took a 1-0 lead at 16:40 of the first period on Downey’s deflection of Jon Klemm’s shot that went in off Osgood’s glove.
Downey has three career goals in 104 games.
Boucher added his fourth of the season on a shot from the left circle that got past a screened Osgood.
Notes: Tippett benched top goal-scorer Bill Guerin in the third period. “I thought Billy had some chances, but as a group we had far too many turnovers,” Tippett said. ... Stars RW Scott Young missed his third straight game because of back spasms. ... Modano has failed to convert all three of his career penalty shots. ... Dallas’ last penalty shot came on Nov. 6, 2002, when Brenden Morrow converted.
Live Extra: In an 0-2 hole, the Rangers face a must-win game at home against the Bruins in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semifinal.
PHT: After the Rangers and Bruins face off in Game 3 of their series (7:30 p.m. ET; Live Extra, NBCSN), the Kings and Sharks play (10 ET; Live Extra, NBCSN) Game 4 of theirs.
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