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Stars remain unbeaten at home in regulation

12/5/2002

DALLAS (AP) -- Dave Tippett's decision to use Jason Arnott,
Pierre Turgeon and Scott Young on the Dallas Stars' second line is
producing impressive results.

Arnott scored three goals, two on setups by Turgeon, and the
Stars remained unbeaten at home in regulation with a 5-1 victory
over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night.

Arnott had his fourth career hat trick and the first by a Dallas
player since Brett Hull scored four times on March 21, 2001.

"We're really clicking right now,'' said Arnott after recording
the first hat trick at American Airlines Center, which opened
before last season. "We had chances before, but we were getting
some bad bounces. Tonight, we were chipping in our opportunities.''

Tippett started the season with Turgeon centering a line that
included Young, and both players struggled with a variety of left
wings. Tippett then moved Turgeon to left wing and put Arnott in
the middle with Young on the right side. Arnott missed nine games
early with an ankle injury, then broke a finger when he returned.
But the line continues to thrive.

In the last five games, Turgeon has 10 assists, Arnott has five
goals and an assist, and Young has four goals and an assist.

"I was rolling the dice and it worked out,'' Tippett said of
the line's success. "Give the players credit for making it work.
Jason's really starting to come around. He has that look in his
eye.''

Jere Lehtinen and Mike Modano added third-period goals for
Dallas, which is 10-0-0-1 at home this season.

Marty Turco made 25 saves, and the Stars killed off all seven
Montreal power plays.

Dallas got back on track after a tie and a loss in its previous
two games. The Stars were coming off a three-day break after
playing seven games in an 11-day span.

"It certainly helped us,'' Tippett said. "You could tell there
was more zip in practice. We're feeling good about ourselves again.
We're hungry to go after it again.''

Doug Gilmour scored a second-period goal, and Jose Theodore
stopped 29 shots for the Canadiens, who are 1-5 in their last six.

The Stars got off to another fast start, grabbing a 1-0 lead at
8:50 of the opening period when Turgeon, once the Canadiens
captain, directed a goal-mouth pass to Arnott, who fired into an
open net before Theodore could get to the right post.

Dallas has outscored opponents 34-13 in the first period this
season. The Stars held a 9-0 shots advantage over the first 10
minutes, 13-5 in the first period.

"They were a lot better than us the first 10 minutes,''
Montreal center Saku Koivu said. "Then we were able to match their
work ethic.''

Montreal tied it at 1 with Gilmour's third goal on a second
effort from in front of the net at 3:13 of the second period.

The Stars went back in front 2-1 at 12:10 of the second on
Arnott's close-in backhand off a feed from Turgeon.

Lehtinen scored his 10th off his own rebound with 16:02 left to
push the advantage to 3-1.

Arnott notched his third of the night and seventh of the season,
and Modano scored his 11th, in the third period to close out the
Canadiens.

"When opponents get a two-goal lead on us, we don't play the
whole 60 minutes,'' Koivu said. "That's what happened tonight.''

Game notes
Arnott's last hat trick was Feb. 10, 2002, for the New
Jersey Devils. ... The Canadiens last played in Dallas on Nov. 11,
2000, a 2-0 Stars victory. ... LW Chad Kilger and RW
Mariusz Czerkawski were healthy scratches for Montreal, Kilger for the
seventh time this season, Czerkawski for the sixth. Both players
have been the subject of trade rumors. ... Dallas is 5-0-2 in its
last seven against Montreal. ... Theodore, last season's NHL MVP,
is 0-5-1 against the Stars.