Stars shine in Calgary without Avery
Turco outstanding in Stars net
Refusing to allow an off-ice controversy to distract them, the Dallas Stars defeated the Calgary Flames 3-1 Tuesday night.
Just hours after the NHL suspended Stars forward Sean Avery indefinitely for making an inappropriate comment, his team skated to victory at the Saddledome.
The loss ended the Flames' three-game winning streak.
"We weren't quite as sharp as we have been lately," said Flames captain Jarome Iginla, who saw his six-game point streak come to an end.
"Maybe that's part of not capitalizing on our scoring chances. I thought we could have had a few more. They played a good road game."
Toby Petersen opened the scoring for Dallas just over six minutes into the first period.
There was no more scoring until one minute and 44 seconds into the second period, when the Flames' David Moss put the puck past Marty Turco and in the Dallas net.
Fabian Brunnstrom put Dallas ahead a few minutes later. He picked up a long pass and headed for the net alone. After Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff stopped his first shot, the Stars rookie reach across and with one hand on his stick swatted the bouncing rebound into the net.
The Stars' Loui Eriksson added an empty-net insurance goal with 15 seconds remaining in the third period.
Turco made 36 saves in one of his best games of the season. It was the third time this season and second time since Oct. 20 that the veteran has held the opposition to less than two goals.
"He's a guy that cares deeply about this team," said Stars coach Dave Tippett of Turco. "There was some over-try in him for a long time. He was trying to find his game by over-trying. Now he's in there, doing what he does best, playing a strong game and giving our team a chance to win."
Calgary is sixth in the 15-team Western Conference while the Stars are in a three-way tie for last with Edmonton and St. Louis.
While talking to reporters earlier in the day, Avery made a crude reference to his former girlfriends, one of whom is now dating the Flames' Dion Phaneuf.
Turco applauded his teammates' ability to put the Avery episode behind them and earn a road victory.
"You have to really appreciate the effort and focus of this club with all that's gone on, nevermind today's unfortunate incident shining on our club," said Turco. "The way we did play, and focus, and played our game plan better than we have in a long time."
with files from Associated Press