ST. LOUIS - Marty Turco and the Stars didn't have much luck with the St. Louis Blues last season. But this is a new Dallas team that's playing in front of a rejuvenated goalie, and that combination looked impressive once again on Saturday.
Losing three of four to St. Louis last season, the Stars took out some revenge in an impressive 4-1 win over the Blues at Scottrade Center. Turco made 27 saves, while James Neal, Loui Eriksson, Tom Wandell, and Brian Sutherby scored for the road-warrior Stars, who remain unbeaten in regulation away from American Airlines Center (4-0-3).
Coming in, Dallas had lost six of its last seven in St. Louis, while Turco was the owner of a bloated 5.99 goals-against average in his last three games against the Blues. But after a scoreless first period, the Stars started erasing some bad memories in the second by scoring twice in a span of 2:21.
"We made real good plays with the puck," coach Marc Crawford said. "That helped us get through the second period."
Turco, meanwhile, looked fresh and solid in the third period when he turned aside 12 shots. Turco, who played in a whopping 74 games last year, has already gotten three nights off, and the lighter workload seems to be agreeing with the nine-year veteran early on. He stoned Brad Boyes on a partial breakaway with almost seven minutes left in the third period, then denied David Backes' point-blank wrist shot from the slot less than a minute later.
Up 2-0 after 40 minutes, the Stars increased their edge when Wandell scored his second of the year almost five minutes into the third. Steve Ott, who was at his agitating best once again throughout the contest, had his shot from the right circle blocked by St. Louis goalie Ty Conklin. Fabian Brunnstrom swatted the rebound into Conklin's pads before it ricocheted out to Wandell in the slot. Wandell promptly shoveled it home.
Sutherby made it 4-0 with his second of the season, scoring on a breakaway after stealing the puck away from former Stars forward Brad Winchester just outside the St. Louis blue line.
Alex Pietrangelo spoiled Turco's shutout bid with 3:50 left when his shot from the left point went in off defenseman Jeff Woywitka's right skate for his first NHL goal.
Conklin finished with 27 saves for the Blues, who've lost two of their last three.
The Stars drew first blood when Neal popped in his sixth of the year with 12:04 left in the second period. After leaving a drop pass for Brad Richards at the top of the right circle, Neal got the puck right pack from Richards and whipped a wrist shot that squirted between Conklin's legs.
A minute later Ott helped the Stars up their lead without even being on the ice. The gritty forward leveled Carlo Colaiacovo with a hip check at the Blues blue line, which drew the ire of Colaiacovo's teammates while knocking Colaiacovo out of the game. After the ensuing scrum in which Keith Tkachuk and Pietrangelo both went after Ott, the Stars were awarded a four-minute power play after Pietrangelo was given an extra roughing penalty, and the Blues were caught for too many men on the ice.
Eriksson made St. Louis pay when he notched his fifth of the season at 10:17. Eriksson released a quick snap shot from the left circle that went in on the short side to give the Stars a 2-0 advantage.
Dallas, though, squandered a 50-second two-man power play after Blues forward B.J. Crombeen was whistled for slashing Ott on a faceoff.
"You always get a physical game when you play St. Louis," Crawford said. "We expect that. They can roll four lines and it's a difficult team to play."
The Stars had a couple of nice chances in the scoreless first period in which St. Louis outshot Dallas by a 10-8 margin. Ott nearly snuck the puck past Conklin midway through the frame while shorthanded when he cut to the front of the net from the outer portion of the left circle.
A couple of minutes later Brenden Morrow blistered a hard snap shot from the left circle that rang off the left post.
St. Louis' best opportunity came with 2:44 to go when Jay McClement went in alone on Turco from the blue line. McClement made a move to his right and tried slipping the puck in on the deke, but the puck popped up slightly at the last moment and McClement wound up hitting the side of the net.
The Stars will have some down time before beginning a short two-game homestand on Wednesday when they host Toronto (7 p.m., FSN). The Maple Leafs were still in search of their first win of the season heading into their game on Saturday night at Vancouver. Toronto will be in Anaheim on Monday before heading to Big D.
--Defenseman Matt Niskanen missed his second straight game because of a head injury.
--Richards had a pair of assists, boosting his team-leading points total to 13.
--Forward Krystofer Barch traded punches with Blues forward D.J. King early in the first period, and both players were forced to the locker room following the scrap. Barch was able to return, while King was not because of an upper body injury.
--Sutherby took on Winchester in another first-period fight, and Ott and Crombeen squared off late in the third.
--Woywitka, who played the past four seasons in St. Louis, recorded his first point of the season on Eriksson's goal.
--Former Stars defenseman Darryl Sydor signed with the Blues in late September, and played nearly 20 minutes.
--Crawford coached his 998th career NHL game.
--Dallas is averaging four goals in its seven road games, and has earned 11 of 14 points on the road.