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Stars Take 3-2 Series Lead Over Oilers

April 18, 2003

DALLAS (AP) _ Marty Turco was doing what he often does, roaming out of the net to play the puck. This time, it wasn’t as easy to get back.

Edmonton tough guy Georges Laraque capitalized on the Dallas goalie being out of his protected area and hit him hard. While it didn’t knock Turco out of the game or stop the Stars from winning 5-2 Thursday night, it could spice up the rest of the series.

So might Laraque’s reaction.

``I was going for the puck,″ he said, laughing, ``and I just missed it.″

Revenge will be secondary in Dallas’ mind going into Game 6 Saturday night in Edmonton. The top-seeded Stars lead 3-2 and another victory will send them into the second round. This is the first time they’ve led in the series, having lost the first and third games.

``We’re playing more consistent day in and day out,″ said Scott Young, who scored the first goal. ``The urgency is there. You can see it.″

Two series ended Thursday night, with Ottawa and New Jersey both winning in five games. The Senators beat the New York Islanders 4-1, and the Devils defeated Boston 3-0.

St. Louis can wrap up its series Friday night with a victory in Game 5 in Vancouver. Washington also was at Tampa Bay on Friday night, with that series tied 2-2.

Dallas was up 3-0 with 1:30 left in the second when Turco was whacked in the back of his right knee.

Turco, who missed 18 games in February and March with an injured right ankle, was shaken up but never left the ice. He lost feeling for more than a minute and was helped by a trainer.

``I would define that as an attempt to injure,″ Stars coach Dave Tippett said. ``The referee did not see it that way.″

Fans chanted Turco’s name as he returned to his position. He immediately showed the Oilers he was OK by skating hard out of the crease twice during an Edmonton power play.

``It stung,″ said Turco, who didn’t know what happened or who hit him because he was looking the other way. ``I got whacked good.″

Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said when Turco leaves the crease he’s viewed as any other player.

``When you’re out of the net that much, you’re subjected to that much checking,″ MacTavish said. ``We have to put pressure on him when he goes in and handles the puck. That’s the risk you take.″

After winning Game 4 with goals 23 seconds apart in the third period, the Stars opened Game 5 by scoring twice within 53 seconds. Young and Sergei Zubov did it, both on the power play. Mike Modano added a second-period goal to make it 3-0.

Zubov scored again in the third and Turco was working toward his first career playoff shutout. Then Mike Comrie scored and Eric Brewer followed with 1:52 left, giving the Oilers hope.

They went to an empty net soon after, but it backfired when Dallas’ Manny Malhotra scored from beyond the blue line with 27 seconds left.

``We’ve been fighting back, fighting back,″ Modano said. ``It’s nice to finally get the lead in the series.″

Although Edmonton hasn’t scored in the first or second period of the last three games, MacTavish is hoping the late spurt will get the offense going for Game 6.

He’s already talking about being back in Dallas for Game 7 on Monday night.

``I think the likelihood is good,″ he said. ``We have the composure to go home and have a heck of a game.″

Senators 4, Islanders 1

At Ottawa, Radek Bonk scored twice, and Todd White had his third goal in three games in Ottawa’s series-ending victory.

Patrick Lalime made 31 saves, and Martin Havlat also scored for Ottawa. After opening the series with a 3-0 loss, the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Senators reeled off four straight wins.

Mark Parrish scored for New York.

Devils 3, Bruins 0

At East Rutherford, N.J., Martin Brodeur rebounded from a rare bad performance with his second shutout of the series as New Jersey eliminated Boston in five games.

John Madden scored a goal and set up two by Jamie Langenbrunner as New Jersey made amends for its first-round exit last year. Brodeur made 28 saves for his 15th career playoff shutout.

Brodeur’s shutout came two nights after the Bruins chased him to the bench, scoring five times on 24 shots in two-plus periods of a 5-1 victory.

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