All those practice shootouts against former goalie Marty Turco paid off for the Dallas Stars. Brenden Morrow, Brad Richards and Mike Ribeiro converted in the shootout against Turco, and the Stars rallied from a three-goal first-period deficit for a 4-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night.
All three Dallas shooters beat Turco on wrist shots to the stick side and the Stars ended their season-worst four-game winless streak (0-3-1). Jonathan Toews beat Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen in the first round to match Morrow. Richards scored in the second round, and Chicago's Patrick Sharp missed the net in his second-round bid.
Ribeiro was mobbed by teammates after his third-round goal clinched the extra point. Coach Marc Crawford chose Morrow as his leadoff man despite the fact that Morrow hadn't had a shootout attempt this season. Morrow is a close friend of Turco, and they competed against each other in practice during their nine seasons as teammates.
"Marty knows all our shooters, but all our guys know Marty," Crawford said. Turco admitted he had a pretty good idea where Morrow would shoot, but he was guessing against Richards and Ribeiro. "Other than Morrow's, where I knew where he was shooting, the other ones, you get beat, you get beat," Turco said. "It's a little tougher to swallow this time, but I felt pretty good. But not to get two points and the win is disappointing."
Turco became a free agent in the offseason, and when the Stars opted to go with Lehtonen, Turco signed with Chicago and is currently the backup to rookie Corey Crawford. Coach Joel Quenneville gave Turco the start on the front end of a back-to-back. Crawford is expected to get the call Saturday night at Phoenix.
"This is the first time anything like this has happened in my career, and it was great," Turco said. "It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed most of it." Morrow notched the tying goal 47 seconds into the final period when he batted the puck out of the air and past Turco. Morrow appeared to score with a high stick, but after a video review, the goal stood.
Stephane Robidas and Richards scored second-period goals for the Stars, who had been 1-5-1 in their previous seven. Turco made 32 saves in his first game against his former team, and teammate Patrick Kane had a goal and two assists. Kane triggered his team's three-goal first-period flurry as Chicago scored on three of its first five shots against Lehtonen.
Brent Seabrook and Sharp also scored for Chicago, and Toews added two assists for the defending Stanley Cup champions, 2-5-0 in their last seven. Kane intercepted an up-the-middle breakout pass by Dallas defensemen Nicklas Grossman and beat Lehtonen from the slot at 3:39 of the first period.It took only 21 seconds before Seabrook's goal from almost the same spot as Kane's tally made it 2-0.
The Hawks bumped their lead to 3-0 at 12:56 of the first period when Sharp converted Toews' centering pass on the power play for his team-high 28th goal of the season.
Chicago nearly made it 4-0 during a 5-on-3 advantage with less than 5 minutes remaining in the first period. Seabrook shot from the right circle, Lehtonen made a flashy glove save near the goal line, and a video review proved inconclusive as to whether the puck crossed the line. Turco had a stress-free first period, having to make five easy saves, but the Stars stepped up the pressure with a 17-shot second period to grab the momentum.
"Every time we lose, it's the same thing that happens and we don't change it," said Toews. "We had a good first period, and we had a good effort, we were doing the right things and somehow it goes away in the second. I don't understand what's going on and the writing's on the wall. We get satisfied and we give teams a chance to come back ..."