#1Jan 18th, 2007
Thu Jan 18, 12:43 AM
By Stephen Hawkins
DALLAS (AP) - Marty Turco began his NHL career as a backup for two seasons to Ed Belfour, the Stanley Cup-winning goalie for the Dallas Stars.
While Turco hasn't yet been able to match Belfour's postseason success in four seasons since taking over as the starter, the three-time all-star has caught his predecessor at the top of the Stars' franchise victory list. Turco stopped 18 shots and assisted on a goal Wednesday night as the Stars beat the Calgary Flames 4-2 for his 160th victory. Belfour won 160 games from 1997 to 2002.
"Just to be mentioned with him, the great career he had here, we all know what he represents to this organization, the one guy who brought us the Cup. It's not bad company," Turco said. "More than anything, I play to give our team a chance to win every night.
"But it certainly does feel good."
Next week, Turco will take part in his third all-star game. He will be a reserve for the Western Conference squad on the Stars' home ice.
Turco's assist came when he passed to Eric Lindros at centre ice. Lindros pushed the puck to Stu Barnes, whose slapshot from the middle of the right circle went over Miikka Kiprusoff's shoulder for his seventh goal and a crucial 3-1 lead.
It was Turco's fourth assist, one short of the Stars' season record for a goalie, set by Belfour five years ago.
"It's not something I'm looking for every game, but it keeps the other team on their toes and gives us an advantage," Turco said. "It was nice to see Stu come down and bury one."
The injury-riddled Stars, playing their final home game before the all-star game, got two goals from Jere Lehtinen - one in the first period and an empty-netter in the final minute of the game.
Joel Lundqvist, one of five rookies in the Dallas lineup and playing in his eighth NHL game, snapped a 1-1 tie in the second period. His first career goal, a rebound he pushed past Kiprusoff, came about two minutes before Barnes scored.
"I want to stay up here. If I have a bad game, I might be back in Iowa," Lundqvist said.
Kristian Huselius and Stephane Yelle had goals for Calgary, which lost its second straight after a five-game winning streak. Kiprusoff stopped 20 shots in his 200th NHL game.
"It was a terrible first two periods. This was a team missing a majority of their top players. There were a lot of minor league guys out there," Calgary defenceman Robyn Regehr said. "We didn't take advantage of that at all.
"You can't play just one period and expect to win. We got outhustled. It's pretty simple."
The only other all-star from Dallas is defenceman Philippe Boucher, scratched Wednesday night because of a facial injury sustained when he was struck by a puck during a game two days earlier.
The Stars were already without injured players Mike Modano, Sergei Zubov, Brenden Morrow, Matthew Barnaby and Jeff Halpern.
"Every time we get continuity, another guy goes down. Its a situation where people are thrust into minutes and different roles," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "Our young guys have filled the void.
"These guys are contributing quality minutes that determine outcomes of games."
Yelle got the Flames to within 3-2 with 8:18 left when he scored from the top of the left circle, getting the puck past the stretched-out Turco. Calgary had another chance, but couldn't take advantage of a power play in the final five minutes.
Huselius had a power-play goal, his 20th of the season, in the first period.
Notes: The Stars played their 999th regular season game since moving to Dallas in 1993. They are 528-320-151. The 1,000th comes Saturday night in Minnesota, where they moved from - and were the North Stars . . . The crowd was announced as a sellout of 18,532, but because of unusually icy conditions outside, the arena was only about half-full. A message flashed on the scoreboard during a timeout in the first period thanking "Faithful fans for braving 'Artic Blast 2007.' "