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Turco outduels Cujo; streaking Stars blank Coyotes

DALLAS (AP) -- With four of their injured top forwards in street clothes, the Dallas Stars needed a stingy effort from goalie Marty Turco and the rest of the defense.

The Stars shut out the Coyotes for the third time in as many tries this season with a 3-0 victory on Wednesday. Dallas became the first team to register a shutout in each of its first three games of a season against a particular opponent since the Blues did it against the Penguins in 1969-70.

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Turco delivered with a 25-save performance for his 27th NHL shutout and defenseman Sergei Zubov scored an early power-play goal in the Stars' 3-0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on
Wednesday night.

"There wasn't a lot of sustained pressure because of the guys in front of me," said Turco, who extended his scoreless streak to 143 minutes, 6 seconds. "We've tightened up with some players out of the lineup."

Mike Ribeiro and defenseman Philippe Boucher added goals for the Stars, who've won three straight.

Dallas had a two-man advantage less than a minute after the opening faceoff and Zubov scored at 2:03. Phoenix goalie Curtis Joseph was screened and he never reacted to the drive from just beyond the left circle, Zubov's fourth goal of the season.

Ribeiro made it 2-0 at 17:57 of the second period with his sixth goal, a one-timer from low in the left circle after a setup by Jere Lehtinen.

Boucher's one-timer from the left point while Dallas held a two-man advantage extended the lead to 3-0 with 2:30 remaining.

Turco preserved his second consecutive shutout and third of the season with a sliding stop on a rebound attempt by Shane Doan with 13:50 left.

"He's in a zone right now," Ribeiro said. "He's keeping us in games, coming up with the big save at the right time."

Dallas hadn't posted consecutive shutouts since Ed Belfour blanked Nashville and Columbus during the 2000-01 season.

Joseph stopped 14 shots for the Coyotes, who had a season-high three-game winning streak snapped.

It was the Stars' third shutout victory of the season against Phoenix. Dallas won 4-0 with backup Mike Smith in goal and 1-0 with Turco in the nets.

Phoenix hasn't scored against Dallas in 196 minutes, 13 seconds.

"There's no explanation for it," Turco said.

Returning from injuries for Dallas were defensemen Trevor Daley
(concussion) and Darryl Sydor (arm), strengthening the Stars at the blue line along with Zubov, Boucher and Stephane Robidas.

"We had our regular defensemen out there," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "That's the strength of our team. They had to give us a quality effort, and they did."

The Stars were without their top player, center Mike Modano (hip
flexor/groin injury), along with forwards Brenden Morrow (groin), Eric Lindros (bruised foot) and Antti Miettinen (lower body).

"It's kind of a weird game to analyze because they played the kind of game they had to play without having Modano, Morrow, guys of that caliber in the lineup," Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said. "When you don't have those guys, you have to play smart
defensively, and they're probably the best-coached team defensively in the league."

Loui Eriksson, Vojtech Polak -- playing in their second NHL game -- and fellow rookie Joel Lundqvist had to pick up some of the slack for the Stars.

Game notes
Dallas has allowed the second fewest goals in the league (58). ... Lindros missed his second straight game but isn't expected to be out much longer. Modano's injury is also not considered a long-term problem. ... The Stars improved to 9-1 against the Pacific Division. ... Coyotes center Mike Comrie, who has missed 13 games with a broken right foot, is skating in practice and expected back by the weekend. ... Dallas has won six straight home games and is 11-2 there overall, its second-best mark in club history after 13 games.