Work in Sports
DALLAS (Ticker) -- Ed Belfour and the Dallas Stars against Tommy Salo and the Edmonton Oilers continues to be no contest.
Belfour stopped 17 shots for his eighth career postseason shutout as the Dallas Stars took a two games to none lead in their Western Conference quarterfinal series with a 3-0 victory.
Kirk Muller, Brett Hull and Scott Thornton scored for Dallas, which visits Edmonton for Game Three on Sunday night.
"Three goals for us is a pretty big night," Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We stayed on the same page as far as the offensive part of the game was concerned.
"All in all, I thought we played an excellent team game and all of us have a pretty good feeling how the sreries is going right now."
Belfour was hardly tested as he improved to 14-2 against Edmonton in playoff action and 25-4-6 vs. the Oilers in his career.
"It's definitely a real good feeling to get the shutout," he said. "Guys played great in front of me and did not give up many chances at all" Salo made 19 saves and dropped to 0-6 lifetime against Dallas in the playoffs. His career mark against the Stars is 0-13-1, including the postseason.
The Stars swept Edmonton in the first round last season en route to their first Stanley Cup title. They have won nine straight playoff meetings with the Oilers, their first-round opponent for the fourth consecutive postseason.
"I thought we played better physically tonight and I expect to see more of that in Edmonton for Game Three," Oilers coach Kevin Lowe said. "The onus is on us to get a win in Game Three. But we know our margin for error right now is about zero."
The teams had played six straight one-goal games in the playoffs before tonight.
Muller opened the scoring with 4:27 left in the first period when he took a feed from Mike Modano on the fly down the left side and put a wrist shot off Salo's left shoulder and inside the left goalpost.
Modano picked up his 80th career playoff point on the play, moving into second place in franchise history. Brian Bellows is first with 83.
"I thought we played a halfway decent first period," Oilers right wing Georges Laraque said. "The shots were only 6-3 in their favor, which tells you there were not a whole heck of a lot of scoring opportunities.
"Even though our shot total was down, I thought we played a better second period, but we missed a few chances from around the net. After they got the lead, it became real tough for us. They're one of the best, if not the best, team when they have the lead."
Hull made it 2-0 with 2:05 to play in the second, when he picked up a loose puck in front of the crease and beat Salo after a scramble at the right post.
The Stars had a 13-7 lead in shots by the end of the second period and finished with a 22-17 edge. They held Edmonton to only 14 shots in Wednesday night's 2-1 win.
"We take a lot of pride as far as our shots against are concerned," Modano said. "We also take pride in limiting scoring chances and not allowing second and third opportunities. We've certainly been very good in those areas so far."
Thornton capped the scoring with 13:38 remaining, poking the puck over a sprawled Salo off another scramble.
Belfour made his best save with six minutes left in the second period, when he smothered Jim Dowd's shot at the left post.
"We had a heck of a time trying to get through their defense," Oilers center Doug Weight said. "All we can do now is keep our heads up and continue to get a good effort. Hopefully going up for Game Three will energize us and make us feel a little more comfortable."