Turco finally win in Detroit

Marty Turco’s drought in the regular season at Joe Louis Arena is over.

Turco made 22 saves, helping the Dallas Stars hold off the Detroit Red Wings for a 4-2 win Thursday night.

He was 0-8-2 at the storied venue in the regular season as a pro.

“I’ve had zero wins here this century,” joked the 33-year-old Turco, who had success at Joe Louis when he played at Michigan. “I don’t want to date myself at all, but it has been a long time.

“But the way our team is playing can’t really overshadow anything that I did or accomplished.”

Steve Ott, Jere Lehtinen, Chris Conner and Loui Eriksson put Dallas ahead 4-0 early in the second period.

Marian Hossa and Andreas Lilja scored for the Red Wings during a second period in which they almost scored two more goals, but video review and incidental contact prevented them from tying the game.

The Stars have won a season-high three straight and are 5-1-1 in their last seven games, continuing a surge up from the bottom of the Western Conference. Since Nov. 30, they are 15-7-3.

In Turco’s last 21 games, he is 13-5-3 after winning just eight of his first 23.

“He’s just like the rest of our team,” Dallas coach Dave Tippett said. “We started slow but he’s been coming on.

“I think the biggest difference was that we played better in front of him.”

Detroit, meanwhile, is 0-3-1 during its first four-game winless streak of the season following an 8-0-1 stretch that padded its lead in the Central Division.

“We’re slipping defensively,” six-time Norris Trophy winner Nicklas Lidstrom said. “In our zone, we’re not quick to pucks and we’re not getting them out of our zone.”

The Red Wings had won seven straight at home before a road trip that started with an overtime loss Jan. 12 at Dallas.

Detroit agreed with the video review that didn’t go its way, but didn’t think Tomas Holmstrom did enough to Turco to negate a goal.

“Obviously, we saw it a different way,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said.

Chris Osgood gave up two goals on the first five shots he faced and was benched after giving up three goals on 12 shots in the first period. Ty Conklin replaced him and finished with 10 saves.

“More than anything, you’re trying to just get a spark,” Babcock said.

The Red Wings were without Henrik Zetterberg because of a back injury, a day after he signed a 12-year, $73-million contract. He hopes to play Saturday at Washington.

Zetterberg’s presence was missing at both ends of the ice as Detroit fell behind 4-0 for the first time this season after a couple of trends were reversed.

Dallas entered the game 30th on the power play on the road and Detroit had the NHL’s best success rate at home on penalty killing.

“We won the special teams battle,” Stars center Brad Richards said.

On the game’s first two penalties, the Stars went ahead 2-0 on goals 1:17 apart.

Ott deflected Richards’ shot past Osgood for the first, and Richards set up Lehtinen on the second.

“Our penalty kill has been outstanding all year at home,” Babcock said. “It wasn’t outstanding tonight and it cost us.”

Conner beat Osgood on the short side late in the first period, leading to the goaltender getting pulled.

Conklin gave up a power-play goal to Eriksson on the second shot he faced, then didn’t allow another as the Stars held on to their big lead with a conservative style.

“You can’t give a good team like that such a head start,” Babcock said.

Dallas won the season series 3-1, dominating the team it lost to last year in the Western Conference finals.

“To take six out of eight points,” Turco said, “against this team that’s right there at the top of our conference, a measuring stick for all teams around the league, it’s a good sign.”


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