<
>

Dallas unbeaten in past 14 home games

3/7/2004

DALLAS (AP) -- The Dallas Stars moved two points closer in their
season-long pursuit of the San Jose Sharks.

Marty Turco made 22 saves for his 19th career shutout as the
Stars set a franchise record with a 14-game home unbeaten streak in
a 4-0 victory over the Sharks on Sunday.

The Stars, who in late February trailed the first-place Sharks
by eight points in the Pacific Division, have 81 points, two behind
San Jose.

"This was a fun game to be a part of," said Turco, who has won
all seven career starts against the Sharks. "The ramifications
were obvious for both teams. This game was important, and we're
showing up at the right time."

Dallas improved to 13-4-2 in its last 19 games against San Jose.
The Stars completed a 7-0-1 homestand, the longest in franchise
history.

The teams have two more regular-season meetings: March 16 in
Dallas and March 28 in San Jose.

"I think it shows that we're right there with the win," said
Stars left wing Shayne Corson, who had a goal and an assist.
"We've been chasing this team for a couple of months now, and
they're still ahead of us. We need to keep fighting and hopefully
catch them."

Turco established a career high with his 32nd victory,
helping preserve his seventh shutout of the season by stopping Nils Ekman
on a breakaway with two minutes left in the second period.

Jon Klemm and Pierre Turgeon set the tone when they scored in
the first six minutes, and Stu Barnes added three assists.

Rob DiMaio had a second-period goal, and Corson scored his first
of the season with 5:47 left.

The Stars are 10-0-4 in their last 14 at home, tying the
Philadelphia Flyers for the NHL's longest home unbeaten streak this
season.

Dallas came out aggressively, getting the first nine shots on
goal to build a 2-0 first-period advantage.

"We wanted to have a good first couple of shifts," Turgeon
said. "When you get up two goals in this building, you can play a
lot different than being down by two goals."

Klemm gave the Stars the lead 1:54 after the opening faceoff when his shot from the point got past screened goalie Evgeni Nabokov.

Turgeon followed with his 11th of the season, scoring from close
range off a setup by Corson.

"Today I think emotions maybe got the better of us," said
Sharks left wing Scott Thornton. "We were a little tentative early
... but once we regrouped after the first period, I thought we
played a pretty solid game."

DiMaio stretched the lead to 3-0 midway through the second period,
converting a pass from Jere Lehtinen on a two-on-one.

The Sharks were upset over a third-period play resulting in a
minor knee injury to defenseman Tom Preissing. He was racing
Dallas' Brenden Morrow in an effort to touch the puck behind San
Jose's net for an icing call. Preissing slid skate-first into the
end boards, and the Sharks claimed Morrow used his stick to knock
Preissing off-balance.

"I think it's a cheap play to try and put your stick through
the guy's feet," Thornton said. "I think it's dangerous whenever
you're taking guys off-balance in that situation."

No penalty was called. Three fights ensued, including one with
Morrow initiated by Mark Smith seconds after Preissing's fall.

Morrow said there was no intent to injure.

"I don't think I got him," Morrow said. "I think I may have
gotten his stick. It looked to me like he just lost an edge."

Preissing was holding an icebag on his left knee after the game but said the injury was not serious.

The Sharks were still reeling from Friday night's injury to
their second-leading scorer, Marco Sturm, on a similar play against
Colorado. Sturm slid skate-first into the end boards, resulting in
a season-ending ankle injury.

San Jose coach Ron Wilson said the two plays could be a message
to the league to adopt no-touch icing.

"If there's anything positive, it's that the higher-ups in the
league will understand that automatic icing ... you'd have a
unanimous vote from the coaches and players," Wilson said.

Game notes
The Stars had four 13-game home unbeaten stretches in their
history, three when the franchise was in Minnesota. ... Sharks C
Brad Boyes made his NHL debut. Boyes was called up from AHL Cleveland to replace Sturm, who was placed on injured reserve Saturday. ... Corson got his first points for the Stars. He was playing his fourth game after signing as a free agent with Dallas on Feb. 18.