Stars come up short in goaltender battle, 1-0

Ilya Bryzgalov cooled off the Dallas Stars.

Bryzgalov stopped 33 shots for his eighth career shutout, Russian countryman Enver Lisin scored early in the second period, and the Phoenix Coyotes ended a six-game losing streak with a 1-0 victory over the streaking Stars on Wednesday night.

Bryzgalov has three shutouts this season, two against Dallas, including a 1-0 shootout win Jan. 10. He’s 3-1-1 against the Stars this season and has 71 saves in his last two appearances against Dallas.

“We beat a great team tonight,” said Bryzgalov, who performed an impromptu Russian dance for his teammates in the locker room after the game. “They’re playing great hockey right now. We beat them on the road and this is a huge win.”

Bryzgalov was tested in the second period when Dallas held a 15-8 shots advantage, robbing Joel Lundqvist from close range twice in the period, then denying James Neal and Mike Modano in the last minute of the second.

Modano also had a shot at a last-minute rebound, but the loose puck was smothered by Bryzgalov with 26 seconds to play.

A key stat for the Coyotes: 24 blocked shots to five for the Stars.

“Everybody worked hard today,” Lisin said. “We knew they would give (Bryzgalov) lots of shots. We needed to help him out and we needed the game.”

Luck was also on Bryzgalov’s side, with Neal ringing a shot off the post in the first period.

“He came up big,” Neal said. “It’s frustrating. But even if the goalie’s standing on his head, we’ve got to find a way to beat him.”

Marty Turco had 28 saves for the Stars, 11-1-1 in their previous 13 at home.

“I told (Bryzgalov) before the game that he was going to face one of the best goalies in hockey tonight,” Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said. “I’m proud of him. He answered the bell.”

Turco made his 24rd consecutive start, breaking Cesare Maniago’s franchise record set in 1968-69 when the team was based in Minnesota. Turco, 8-2 in his previous 10 starts, became the franchise leader in minutes played earlier this season.

Dallas was 7-1 in its previous eight games overall, 9-2-2 in its previous 13 to move up the Western Conference standings.

But the Stars were unable to solve the 6-foot-3, 208-pound Bryzgalov.

“He’s a big goalie who takes away a lot of space,” Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas said. “They block a lot of shots and take away the middle of the ice. We spent a lot of time in their zone but we couldn’t get enough scoring chances. They lost six in a row and they were a desperate team.”

Phoenix held an 11-8 edge in first-period shots.

Lisin broke the scoreless deadlock, getting around Stars defenseman Darryl Sydor, skating in alone and beating Turco on the forehand at 2:19 of the second period. Ken Klee and Daniel Winnik were credited with assists.

Otherwise, Turco was perfect, stopping Shane Doan’s prime scoring chance with 3:44 left in the second period.

“It’s disappointing,” Turco said. “We’re not in the business of looking good with no results.”


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