DALLAS (AP) -- Marty Turco should have stayed on the bench.

Turco allowed four goals on six shots in an abbreviated stint,
and the Tampa Bay Lightning went on to beat the Dallas Stars 6-3 on
Friday night.

Brad Richards' short-handed tally triggered Tampa Bay's
four-goal, first-period flurry against Turco, who was pulled at
12:35 in favor of Johan Hedberg.

Turco missed the previous game due to a groin injury, and he was
removed on Friday night for the third time in six starts. Turco,
who has allowed eight goals in the last 21 shots he's faced, didn't
get much help from his teammates.

"We've had some bad starts, but that was our worst all
season," said Turco, who refused to use the injury as an excuse.
"To be unprepared like that, knowing what was coming, there's
absolutely no excuse. Soft, sloppy play has been the characteristic
of ourselves. We've just been getting by and pretending, and it's
finally catching up with us."

Darryl Sydor, Ruslan Fedotenko and Pavel Kubina also scored in
the first period for the Lightning, who handed the Stars a
season-worst third consecutive loss.

The Stars had a 20-minute team meeting after the game during
which coach Dave Tippett did most of the talking.

"You try to stop the bleeding," Tippett said. "You have to
recognize what's happening. You have to recognize the situation and
fix it. You don't fix things by talking about it. You fix things by
doing it."

Ryan Craig added a goal and two assists, Vaclav Prospal had two
assists, and Sean Burke stopped 26 shots for defending Stanley Cup
champion Tampa Bay.

"What we've been trying to do is be a tougher team to play
against," Lightning coach John Tortorella said. "I thought we
played a good, solid road game."

Burke came up with key third-period saves on prime scoring
chances by Trevor Daley, Bill Guerin and Stu Barnes.

"We all knew they would come after us hard," Burke said.

Dmitry Afanasenkov added an empty-net goal for Tampa Bay with
1:10 left.

Niko Kapanen, Jaroslav Svoboda and Jason Arnott scored for

The Stars recorded the game's first four shots and were on the
power play when a turnover by Dallas defenseman Janne Niinimaa led
to a 2-on-1 break for the Lightning. Richards' goal from the slot
on Tampa Bay's first shot on net gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead.

"We had to come out with a different mind-set tonight, and we
did that, and it really seemed to spark our confidence," Richards

Tampa Bay's second shot also found the back of the net as Sydor,
a member of Dallas' 1999 Stanley Cup-winning team, flipped the puck
toward the net from the blue line and past Turco at 7:56.

Dallas made it 2-1 at 10:15 of the opening period on Kapanen's
goal, but Tampa Bay restored its two-goal lead 27 seconds later
when Fedotenko scored from low in the left circle.

Kubina's power-play goal at 12:35 extended the Lightning's
advantage to 4-1 and ended Turco's night amid a chorus of boos.

Tampa Bay didn't let up in the second period, and Craig made it
5-1 at 2:28.

But Dallas pulled within 5-3 on second-period goals by Svoboda
and Arnott over a span of 2:08.

"When you get up 4-1 after one, it's actually tough to play
like that," Richards said. "You don't have that extra desperation
to get you through and they do."<
^Notes: Dallas has given up 15 goals in its last three games. ...
Tampa Bay matched its season high for goals in a period with four
in the first. ... The Lightning have won five of eight. ... Burke
is 10-13-3 against Dallas. ... The Stars honored Sergei Zubov
before the game with gifts and a video tribute. Zubov, the
highest-scoring Russian defenseman in NHL history, became the
franchise points leader at the position on Jan. 8. He surpassed
Craig Hartsburg, who had 413 points. ... Stars D Jon Klemm was back
in the lineup after sitting out a game with an upper body injury.