Dallas Stars coach Dave Tippett figured it was just a matter of time before his team would break out of its slump.
One night after stopping a seven-game winless streak, the Stars will look for another strong effort when they meet the St. Louis Blues at the Savvis Center.
Marty Turco bounced back from a shaky performance with 25 saves, and Brenden Morrow scored twice, leading the Stars to a 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Friday. The victory was Dallas’ first since beating Nashville 7-3 on Nov. 2.
The Stars were 0-5-2 in their previous seven games, their longest winless stretch since January 1996.
“We’ve had bad bounces go against us. We’ve been clanging pucks off goal posts,” Tippett said. “So it’s time we had some breaks come our way. This gives us some momentum and gets us out of a rut.”
“We haven’t been playing to our capabilities but we did tonight,” Turco said. “It’s important for us to get on a roll. L.A. is a tough team to play against, but tonight I thought we played a solid 60 minutes.”
Turco will look to turn in a similarly strong performance against the Blues.
St. Louis has lost its last two, the only time this season it has dropped consecutive games. Goalie Chris Osgood, who had won four straight starts, struggled Wednesday in a 5-4 loss to Phoenix.
The Blues had won five straight before their skid.
“The last three weeks we’ve been hard to play against,” St. Louis center Doug Weight said Wednesday. “Tonight we weren’t.”
Weight, playing for the first time in five games, tied his career high with four assists. He saw his first action since completing a suspension for cross-checking Vancouver forward Henrik Sedin in the head on Nov. 6.
STANDINGS (through Nov. 20): Stars - 17 points, 4th place, 3 PB, Pacific Division. Blues - 23 points, 1st place, Central Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Stars - Bill Guerin, 11 goals and 19 points; Jason Arnott, 12 assists; John Erskine, 44 PIM. Blues - Keith Tkachuk, 9 goals; Pavol Demitra, 12 assists and 18 points; Chris Pronger, 42 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 20): Stars - Power play: 18.2 percent (14 for 77), 8th in NHL. Penalty killing: 82.4 percent (61 for 74), 19th. Blues - Power play: 22.8 percent (18 for 79), 6th. Penalty killing: 83.7 percent (72 for 86), 13th.
2002-03 SEASON SERIES: Stars, 2-1-1.
LAST MEETING: March 23; Stars, 3-1. At Dallas, Morrow scored two first-period goals, and Turco only needed to make 12 saves to earn the win in his first game back after missing 18 with an ankle injury. Shjon Podein scored the Blues’ only goal.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Stars - 2-6-1-0 on the road; Blues - 5-1-0-0 at home.