Dallas will try to snap a five-game home playoff losing streak Tuesday and even up the tightly contested Western Conference series when it faces Vancouver in Game 4.
The Stars appeared to be on their way to ending that home slide Sunday, but Turco allowed a third-period goal to Jan Bulis and Taylor Pyatt scored in overtime to give Vancouver a 2-1 win and 2-1 series lead.
“It’s a matter of not getting frustrated and sticking with your game plan,” said Turco, who has lost his last three postseason series and is trying to shed the label of playoff underachiever.
“The overtime loss speaks for itself, but I believe in these guys. The next time we get in an overtime situation we’ll be playing to win again.”
That is something Dallas has not done since a 4-3 overtime victory over Colorado on April 12, 2004, its last playoff win at the American Airlines Center and last overall postseason overtime victory since 2001.
The Stars are 1-9 in their last 10 overtime playoff games, including six straight losses since the victory over the Avalanche. Turco was in goal for nine of the 10 games, although he got the win against Colorado.
“You need to play to win and find a way to win,” Stars coach Dave Tippett said. “We haven’t been able to find a way to make the play that counts.”
Dallas has failed to do that in two overtime defeats against the Canucks in this series, including a 5-4, four-OT loss Wednesday in the longest playoff game in NHL history.
The Stars did rebound from that defeat, winning 2-0 on Friday behind Turco’s 35 saves and first postseason shutout.
The Canucks, though, hope to continue capitalizing on Dallas’ uneven play at home in the playoffs. The Stars managed only four shots in the third period Sunday after totaling 21 in the first two.
“When we scored, we could tell they looked scared,” Bulis said of his tying goal at 5:18 of the third Sunday. “It was like they didn’t want to win it in regulation, they wanted to get it into overtime. They never found their rhythm and it was up to us to take it.”
Solving its overtime woes may require Dallas to find a way to fix its other major issue - lack of scoring from its top offensive players. The Stars badly need production from top goal scorers Mike Modano and Jere Lehtinen, who have not scored in the series after combining for 48 regular season goals. They each had only one against Vancouver in 2006-07.
“Some of those people, a timely goal by them would certainly help the cause,” Tippett said. “Even though our team is built around scoring by committee, we need those top players to contribute.”
The Stars have scored seven times in the series, each goal by a different player. The Canucks have done the very same as they also are struggling to find offense.
The Canucks have received consistent goaltending, though, with Roberto Luongo stopping 126 of 133 shots in his first three career playoff games. He had 72 in the Game 1 marathon.
The inexperience doesn’t appear to be bothering Luongo, who made 29 stops Sunday. He will try to shut down Dallas again and help Vancouver take a 3-1 series lead, which would set up a potential series-clinching Game 5 at GM Place on Thursday.