Dallas (16-16-0) at Columbus (9-18-3)

Fair Currently: Columbus, OH
Temp: 60° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EST Sat Dec 27, 2003
  • TV: KDFI, FSOH
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Dallas Stars hope to continue riding the hot goaltending of Marty Turco as they shoot for their fourth straight win against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.

The Stars beat the Nashville Predators 2-1 on Friday, improving to 5-1-1 over their last seven games.

Brenden Morrow and Jason Arnott scored for Dallas, which reached the .500 mark for the first time since Nov. 30.

Turco, who turned away 23 shots against the Predators, has been a huge part of Dallas’ recent success. He has allowed one goal or fewer in his last seven games, helping the Stars win despite scoring two or fewer goals in five of those contests.

“Marty gave us another rock-solid game,” Stars coach Dave Tippett said. “When the goaltender is on top of his game, all the other things fall into place.”

Turco opened the season 6-8-3 with a 2.61 goals-against average, but has posted a 0.82 GAA over his last 439 minutes, 17 seconds.

“At the beginning of the season, some things didn’t go our way,” Turco said. “The guys have been really good in front of me and it’s certainly been a great team effort.”

The Stars, who are 8-0-1 when Arnott scores this season, shut out the Predators on all seven of their power-play opportunities, giving Dallas 35 straight successful penalty kills.

The Blue Jackets are coming off Friday’s 4-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks, their first road win of the season. The victory snapped a six-game losing streak and a nine-game winless streak (0-6-1-2) overall.

David Vyborny scored twice, finding the net for the first time in 11 games.

STANDINGS (through Dec. 25): Stars - 34 points, 3rd place (tied), 5 PB, Pacific Division. Blue Jackets - 23 points, 5th place, 25 PB, Central Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Stars - Bill Guerin, 17 goals and 30 points; Arnott and Sergei Zubov, 15 assists; John Erskine, 77 PIM. Blue Jackets - Rick Nash, 22 goals and 26 points; Todd Marchant, 14 assists; Jody Shelley, 100 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Dec. 25): Stars - Power play: 15.2 percent (22 for 145), 17th in NHL. Penalty killing: 87.2 percent (116 for 133), 3rd. Blue Jackets - Power play: 13.8 percent (24 for 174), 23rd. Penalty killing: 82.8 percent (111 for 134), 22nd.

GOALTENDERS: Stars - Turco (15-14-4, 2 SO, 2.04 GAA); Ron Tugnutt (1-2-0, 0, 2.11). Blue Jackets - Marc Denis (7-15-3, 2, 2.69); Fred Brathwaite (2-6-1, 0, 2.83).

SEASON SERIES: Stars, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Oct. 25; Stars, 3-2. At Columbus, Arnott, Philippe Boucher and Rob DiMaio all scored in the third period to give Dallas the win. Denis stopped 31 shots for the Blue Jackets.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Stars - 5-12-2-0 on the road; Blue Jackets - 8-7-3-1 at home.

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