Final

Series (Game 1 of 1)

Dallas leads 1-0

Game 1: Thursday, January 8th
Jets1Final
Stars2

Jets 1

(19-18-2, 43 pts)

Stars 2

(18-17-0, 44 pts)

8:30 PM ET, January 8, 2004

American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas

1 2 3 T
WPG 0 0 11
DAL 1 0 12

J. Arnott (Stars - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

S. Ott (Stars - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

R. Petrovicky (Jets - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Dallas avoids another defensive breakdown

DALLAS (AP) -- The Dallas Stars were tired of ties.

Steve Ott and Scott Young had goals and Jason Arnott two assists for the Stars, who beat the Atlanta Thrashers for the eighth time in as many all-time meetings, 2-1 Thursday night.

Dallas had settled for ties in four of its previous five games, allowing late goals on defensive breakdowns. This time, the Stars remained aggressive down the stretch, outshooting the Thrashers 11-3 in the third period.

"Everyone stayed poised," Arnott said. "The guys really pulled together at the end. The confidence has been a little down, knowing we've blown games late, but tonight was a positive. We can't accept ties. We've got to expect more out of ourselves."

Marty Turco, who learned earlier in the day that he had been voted the Western Conference's starting goaltender for the NHL All-Star game, had 15 saves as the Stars held on to improve to 7-2-5 in their last 14 games.

"We're finding ways to get points, which is what we're all about," Stars coach Dave Tippett said.

Ronald Petrovicky notched his 14th goal on a rebound with 2:36 to play as the Thrashers avoided the shutout. Atlanta has two or fewer goals in seven of its last 11 games.

But Turco and the Dallas defense were able to minimize Atlanta's scoring opportunities in the final two minutes.

"It was a great game from our guys from start to finish," Turco said. "It was a treat to watch for most of the night. The last two periods, they didn't have many scoring chances, and that's a good sign. This is a team that scores a lot of goals, and it turned out pretty good for us."

Dallas was able to keep high-scoring Thrashers left wing Ilya Kovalchuk in check. Kovalchuk, who started the night tied for the NHL scoring lead with 46 points and was second in goals with 22, had one assist.

"Turco was very good," Kovalchuk said. "We had our chances. We didn't play bad hockey. We're still in first place in our division so we're not worried. You can't win all 82 games."

Pasi Nurminen stopped 24 shots for the Thrashers, who lost their fourth straight.

"It's a long season, and we're a young team," Thrashers coach Bob Hartley said. "We have to keep learning from our mistakes. And this team [the Stars] is now playing up to their potential."

Ott got his second goal of the season in the first period, and Young's fourth came with 13:28 remaining for the Stars.

Ott knocked the rebound of Arnott's shot past Nurminen 1:49 after the opening faceoff.

"It's just a matter of being in the right place at the right time," Ott said. "I went to the net, and the puck was just sitting there."

Game notes


Atlanta was making the third stop of a five-game road trip. ...Stars C Mike Modano missed his third consecutive game because of a groin injury. LW Brenden Morrow (shoulder), D Philippe Boucher (flu) and D John Erskine (ankle) were the other Dallas scratches. ...Morrow and Modano had combined for 18 of Dallas' 83 goals entering Thursday night. ...C Marc Savard (concussion) was scratched for Atlanta.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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