NHL Game Summary - Dallas at Calgary
(Monday, March 22nd)
Final Score: Dallas 4, Calgary 0
Calgary, AB (Sports Network) - Marty Turco made 29 saves for his ninth shutout of the season, leading the Dallas Stars to a 4-0 victory over the Calgary Flames in a critical Western Conference matchup at the Saddledome.
The Flames began the night just three points behind Dallas for fourth in the conference playoff race, but allowed three first-period goals and never recovered.
Shayne Corson, Brenden Morrow and Jason Arnott scored in the opening period for the Stars, who won their third straight game and improved to 4-0-1 in their last five. Dallas has allowed just four goals during that span and has posted three shutouts -- two by Turco.
"This is the best I've felt all year," said Turco, who has played a league- high 71 games despite being bothered by minor injuries.
The Stars now have 91 points and trail San Jose by one point for first place in the Pacific Division. Dallas also moved into sole possession of fourth in the Western Conference playoff chase, two points ahead of idle Vancouver and five in front of Calgary.
The Flames, who have lost two straight after a 5-0-2 streak, are alone in sixth place -- four points in front of Nashville.
"It was a poor effort all around," said Flames captain Jarome Iginla. "It's something we are going to change for the next game. It wasn't the effort like we have had recently. We have got ourselves into a funk and we will get out of it."
Calgary was shut out for the fifth time this season and for the first time since December 26. Miikka Kiprusoff made 20 saves in defeat.
One Calgary player did score, but did so into his own empty net in the closing minutes. The Flames pulled Kiprusoff for an extra attacker while on a power play for a 6-on-4 skating advantage and Chris Clark tried to feed the point from the corner, but the puck missed everyone and slid into the empty cage.
The Flames played without head coach Darryl Sutter, who began a two-game suspension for player selection and team conduct in the final seconds of Saturday night's loss to Nashville.
After the Predators sealed the 3-1 victory with an empty-net goal, Sutter sent Krzysztof Oliwa onto the ice and the enforcer tried to instigate fights with several Nashville players. Oliwa received a three-game suspension for his behavior after being assessed a penalty for physical abuse of officials.
The Flames came out flat and the Stars scored twice in a span of just 36 seconds early in the first period to grab a 2-0 lead.
Corson netted his second of the season at the 7:51 mark. He took a feed from Pierre Turgeon along the left wing, skated around the back of the net and beat Kiprusoff with a wraparound at the right post.
Sergei Zubov, who started the play with a pass at center ice, appeared to take a knee-on-knee hit and had to be helped off the ice.
Dallas came right back and scored on the very next shift when Morrow recorded his 23rd goal of the season, tipping home a shot from the left boards by Mike Modano.
The Flames appeared to pull within one a couple of minutes later when a pass from Shean Donovan caromed through Turco's pads off the skate of Marcus Nilson. The play was ruled a goal by the officials on the ice, but a video review determined Nilson directed the puck in with a kicking motion.
Dallas then scored again with one minute to play in the opening period. A Calgary giveaway resulted in a shot from the left circle by Bill Guerin. Kiprusoff made the save, but Arnott got to the rebound and backhanded a shot that was stopped again. Arnott, though, got another chance and banged the puck through the netminder's pads for his 21st goal of the season.
"It's really deflating when you give up a goal against like that," Clark said.
Calgary managed just four shots in the opening period, but came out strong in the second. Turco, however, was up to the task and turned aside all 12 shots he faced.
Turco then stopped 13 shots in the third period to preserve his 21st career shutout. The nine shutouts this year have him just one behind New Jersey's Martin Brodeur for the league lead.
Corson was awarded the final goal when Clark shot the puck into his own net with 1:21 to play.
The Flames were 0-for-5 on the power play, while Dallas failed to score on two chances with the extra skater...Dallas swept the four-game season series and is 5-1-3 in the last nine meetings with Calgary...The Stars improved to 26-0-5 when leading after two periods this season.
03/23 02:24:06 ET