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Turco shines to lead Dallas to see another day in 3-1 win

Dallas forces Saturday's Game #5 in Detroit


Game #4– Dallas Stars 3 - Detroit Red Wings 1

Marty Turco finally came out to play in game #4 making 33 of 34 saves to allow Dallas to survive another day in this series. Detroit and Chris Osgood both lost for the first time in 10 games and also for the first time, the Wings could not score at will, especially on the power play. The Stars played with desperation, fear and intensity, but this is the style of play that lead the Stars this far in the playoffs. With the series now 3-1 in Detroit’s favor, Dallas still hopes to have 3 more games like this one.

There was a huge turning point in the game, when the Wings had an early goal disallowed as the referees claimed that the tiniest part of Tomas Holmstrom’s skate was apparently in the crease. I think the call was beyond awful. Being non-reviewable (which is also appalling), Coach Babcock nearly lost a lung in his argument that there was nothing illegal about it, which would have gave his team a 1-0 lead. It may be time to bring in the “challenge” rule, like in the NFL, to fix terrible calls like this.

After failing to score on 3 power plays in the 0-0 first period, Dallas’ Loui Eriksson scored the first allowed goal of the game with 23 seconds left in the second frame. The Stars had never held a lead in any game of this series until this point in Game #4. Well, it did not last very long as Henrik Zetterberg scored 49 seconds into the third period to tie the game with an assist from Pavel Datsyuk. But Brian Rafalski took a poorly-timed penalty at the 5:17 mark and Mike Modano rocketed a slapper on that power play from the slot to give the Stars a 2-1 lead they would hold. Turco has never played as well as he did in this game being up by one, making brilliant saves like those in prior playoff rounds.

Captain Brenden Morrow brought the entire arena to its feet when he hammered the third goal for the Stars to ultimately win the game. There was a lot of drama in the final minutes after Morrow was called for a penalty with 2:17 left in the game. With a pulled goalie, Detroit was on a 6-4 power play, until Modano was also called for a penalty, making it a 6 on 3 for 20 seconds. The Wings threw everything in the final minutes at Turco, but to no avail.

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Here are the key factors in this series as stated in our 2008 Western Conference finals preview:

  • Turco was the game breaker in game #4. His .971 save percentage says it all and it’s about time he came out to play. If he continues this play, the Stars may last another game, maybe. Osgood’s numbers do not look good but he played great, making many key saves. Let us all not forget, that this series goes back to Detroit, where Turco has not won in 11 games.

  • Dallas played hard, hit harder and their “refuse to lose” attitude really showed in this win. The Detroit finesse was still obvious, but was cancelled with Turco’s surprise showing. For the Stars to have any chance for the remainder of the series, this game plan must go on.

  • Mike Ribeiro did finish with an assist but more importantly, he finished with a +2 plus/minus. He is definitely not playing as good as he could and needs to be more productive. For the third straight game, Johan Franzen was out with a head injury. He is starting to be missed with Holmstrom taking a beating in front of the net game after game, with no legitimate replacement for the Wings.

The fourth game is always the hardest to win and this series should be over in Game #5. Turco is terrible in Joe Louis Arena where the Wings are awesome. This loss to Dallas hurts Detroit in no way at all, but it will give the Stars some hope and confidence. For all the fishermen out there, bring your rods to Michigan on Saturday afternoon, the octopi will be all over the ice in celebration.

Detroit leads series 3-1.


By Kevin Chaves
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer

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