If playing three times in four days and tying a franchise record for consecutive starts didn’t affect Marty Turco, the woeful Phoenix Coyotes might not have much chance of solving the Dallas Stars goaltender.
A resurgent Turco has Dallas (26-19-7) looking for its eighth win in nine games Wednesday when it faces a Coyotes team that’s lost six in a row.
If he gets the call in this game, Turco will break Cesare Maniago’s franchise record of 23 straight starts, set in 1968-69 with the Minnesota North Stars. That seems likely to happen, as Turco’s outstanding play has sparked the Stars during their best stretch of the season.
“I feel energetic and sharp,” Turco said. “I need to be playing with confidence and poise, getting the opportunity to make and make saves.”
Turco is 8-2-0 with a 1.80 goals-against average in his last 10 games and hasn’t allowed more than three goals in any of those contests. He helped his team to its second straight win Sunday, 4-1 over Nashville, by making 25 saves.
“Marty was on tonight and that was huge,” forward Brad Richards said. “We weren’t at our best, but we found a way to get through it.”
Turco has allowed one goal in his past two starts versus the Coyotes, and earned his first shutout of the season in a 1-0 shootout loss at Phoenix on Jan. 10. He’s 16-11-1 with one tie and a 2.42 GAA in his career versus the Coyotes and 2-1-1 with a 1.70 GAA this season.
Dallas has backed Turco with 36 goals during its 7-1-0 run, which has pushed the Stars into a fifth-place tie in the West with Anaheim at 59 points.
Phoenix suffered yet another lopsided loss during its six-game skid Saturday, falling 7-2 to visiting Carolina. The Coyotes (24-25-5) gave up five unanswered goals over the final 24:50, allowed four power-play scores and yielded a short-handed goal with 2:23 left to match their worst defensive performance of the season.
The Coyotes have given up seven goals three times in 2008-09. Before Saturday, it happened most recently in a 7-3 loss to Anaheim on Jan. 27, a defeat that started Phoenix’s current skid.
“That was about as ugly and embarrassed as I’ve been,” forward Shane Doan said after the loss to the Hurricanes. “Tonight we were just embarrassing. In this locker room, a lot of guys have to look at themselves, myself included.”
Phoenix has given up 12 goals in the past two games, but it hasn’t been much better offensively during its slide. The Coyotes have scored 10 goals in their last six contests and were shut out twice in a row.
Phoenix hasn’t dropped seven straight since an 0-5-2 stretch from March 13-26, 2000. The Coyotes haven’t suffered seven consecutive regulation losses since a 10-game skid from Feb. 6-25, 1994, when they were the Winnipeg Jets.
Dallas broke a three-game home losing streak to Phoenix with a 2-1 overtime victory Dec. 16. The teams have split their last six overall meetings.