St. Louis beats Dallas again in OT, evens series at 2
Posted: Thursday May 13, 1999 09:57 AM
Pierre Turgeon stole a clearing pass and scored at 5:52 of the extra period as the underdog Blues beat the Stars 3-2 to even the series at two games apiece Wednesday night.
"He made a great play getting through when the space was open," said right wing Scott Young, whose forechecking on defenseman Sergei Zubov forced the play. "Just to hear the crowd erupt is a great feeling."
It was the third straight overtime in the series and the Blues' sixth overtime in 11 playoff games. They've won four of them.
"We don't want to be in that situation too often," Turgeon said. "We'd like to be ahead a few goals, but this is going to happen in the playoffs. It's always tight and there aren't many scoring chances."
Turgeon picked off Zubov's clearing effort near the center line. He skated into the slot before beating Ed Belfour with a high wrist shot, his ninth shot of the game, for his fourth goal and 11th point of the playoffs.
Zubov wouldn't talk about the play, but his coach was critical.
"You can't have that," coach Ken Hitchcock said. "He knows it, we all know it. There was nobody there. The lane was up the wall. It was wide open. As a matter of fact, if we get it up the wall, it would have been a 3-on-2."
But fellow defenseman Richard Matvichuk defended Zubov.
"Everybody makes mistakes," Matvichuk said. "If there were no mistakes made, every game would be 0-0. You can't blame anybody."
Turgeon's overtime goal clinched the Blues' first-round series victory over Phoenix. This one gave them confidence heading into Game 5 Saturday night in Dallas.
"I'm tired, but I'm excited," Blues center Craig Conroy said. "It's like starting all over again."
Rookie Jochen Hecht and Geoff Courtnall also scored for the Blues, who have gone to overtime in six of their 11 playoff games and won four of them. St. Louis was only one game above .500 in the regular season at home, but has won both home games against the Stars, the NHL's regular-season champions.
Mike Modano and Jere Lehtinen each had a goal and an assist for the Stars, who had won all six of their playoff games before coming to St. Louis. Modano emerged from a two-game funk during which he totaled one shot and Lehtinen rebounded nicely after missing the last half of Game 3 with a knee injury.
Dallas continued to struggle on the power play, going 0-for-5 for a league-worst 3-for-43 overall in the playoffs.
"It's either a goal or it's not," Verbeek said. "We have to live with what the rules are now. Those are the breaks."
Hecht tied it with his second career NHL goal and second in two games, off Demitra's feed from behind the net at 5:02. Hecht and Demitra both were behind the net at one point and Hecht, scoreless in three regular-season games with the Blues, cleared some space for himself before converting the pass.
Courtnall put the Blues ahead with a power-play goal from an almost impossible angle. He was stopped on a break-in, but regained possession on the red line at the boards and flung the puck at the net. On the way it deflected off Modano, and Belfour waved helplessly as it entered the net.
"It was nice to see that one in the back of the net," said Courtnall, who said he had been trying to center the puck for an onrushing Young.
The Stars struck early again in the third, with Modano eluding a check and then pulling Fuhr out of the net. He fed the puck from behind the net to Lehtinen, who had only Turgeon to beat for his fourth playoff goal at 40 seconds.
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