Crawford hopes Auld can get on a roll

Updated: January 16, 2010, 9:14 PM ET
By Jeff Caplan | ESPNDallas.com

DALLAS -- If the Dallas Stars are going to make a playoff push in the final 34 games, backup goaltender Alex Auld, and not longtime starter Marty Turco, might be manning the pipes.

Stars coach Marc Crawford said he's prepared to give Auld an opportunity to get on a roll after Auld earned the Stars a 3-2 shootout victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday at American Airlines Center.

Auld gave up two goals in the first 9:30 of the game, but then shut down the Red Wings. He made 26 saves through overtime and stopped all six Detroit shootout attempts.

"You'd have to think we're going to come back with him," Crawford said.

Auld, 6-4-3 in his first season with the Stars, has mostly been a backup throughout his eight NHL seasons with pockets of success as a No. 1. Crawford sounded ready to see if Auld can enter one of those pockets.

"He is a guy that was hired to be a backup goaltender, but he'll be given an opportunity to get on a run now," Crawford said.

That would leave Turco, 14-13-8 and with a 90.5 save percentage on the season, on the bench for Monday night's home game against Minnesota, and possibly longer. Turco started the Stars' previous five games, allowing 18 goals as Dallas dropped four of the five and plummeted deeper into the Western Conference standings.

The Stars, occupying 11th place, needed Saturday's win to get within four points of the eighth playoff spot.

Auld had little chance on Todd Bertuzzi's goal 5:10 into the first period. Bertuzzi beat Stars defenseman Jeff Woywitka and got off a bang-bang backhanded shot at the crease. Brian Rafalski added a power-play goal at the 9:30 mark, but Auld shut it down from there.

"He played great. He gave us a chance to win," said center Brad Richards, who got the Stars on the board with a power-play goal less than three minutes into the second period. "At the end, he played unreal in the shootout. Throughout the game, we did some things and deserved that win."

In the shootout, Auld thwarted attempts by Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Bertuzzi, Valtteri Filppula and Dan Clearly.

Steve Ott, the Stars' sixth shooter, squirted his shot between Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard's legs. Howard lunged back with his glove and tried to keep the puck from going over the goal line. The on-ice official initially ruled that Howard made the save.

After a lengthy review, it was ruled a goal. Auld had to regroup to face Patrick Eaves for a last-ditch attempt. Eaves' shot missed the net, and Auld walked away the winner, and possibly the Stars' new starting goaltender.

"Really, they scored on probably their only two chances of that period," Auld said, "and when that happens I think you can take some confidence out of that and believe in what you're doing and believe it's going to come."

Jeff Caplan covers the Dallas Stars for ESPN Dallas. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.

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