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Ducks Get Help With Their Tie

Times Staff Writer

For the second consecutive game, goaltending got the Mighty Ducks a point.

On Tuesday, it was Jean-Sebastien Giguere playing at his best in an overtime loss to Colorado.

On Wednesday, it was Dallas’ Marty Turco doing everything but slipping on a banana peel. The result was a 3-3 tie that a grateful bunch of Ducks were happy to get.

Turco assisted on all three Duck goals. The last being Andy McDonald’s dump-in from the red line, that skipped once, then went through Turco’s legs to tie the score 8:19 into the third period.

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“I work on that shot all the time,” said McDonald, who scored two goals off Turco gaffes.

That the Stars managed to get out of the building with a tie, surviving a Duck power play the final 1:24 of overtime, meant little to the announced 18,532 at the American Airlines Center, many of whom jeered Turco in the third period whenever he handled the puck.

Duck goalie Martin Gerber was also not sharp, letting in two soft goals, both times having pucks slip through his pads.

The Ducks gave up two power-play goals and a third goal on a delayed penalty.

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Yet all that seemed OK because of Turco, who set an NHL record with a 1.72 goals-against average last season but has given up three or more goals nine times this season.

“It wasn’t his best game,” Duck defenseman Ruslan Salei said. “We’ll take it. You always hope their goalie is not going to be as hot as his team wants him to be.”

Turco wasn’t even tepid. He apologized to his teammates afterward, asking them to “throw this one out the window.”

The Stars dominated much of the early going, but Turco gave back everything they gained, letting a 3-1 lead slip away and extending Dallas’ winless streak to seven games.

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“He’s not playing as well as we’d like him to,” said Star Coach Dave Tippett, back behind the bench after sitting out two games because of neck surgery. “But Marty’s shown that he’s a battler. He’s got to keep working to get his game where he wants it to be.”

Turco compounded his own turnover by allowing a lollipop shot by Petr Sykora to trickle between his legs, cutting the Dallas lead to 3-2 only 16:50 into the second period.

Turco had helped out on Anaheim’s first goal, coming far out from the net to play the puck, and, when pressured by the Ducks’ Lance Ward, making a sloppy outlet pass up the middle that was intercepted by McDonald, who scored into an open net.

“Lance and [Craig Johnson] did the work,” McDonald said.

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“I had the easy job.”

His chores got easier. With the Ducks killing a penalty, McDonald flipped the puck into the Star zone from center ice. He skated to the bench, then noticed the red light was on and the scoreboard read 3-3.

“It was the end of the penalty and I was just trying to get off the ice and let a defenseman on,” McDonald said. “I certainly didn’t think that was going to happen. That was a fortunate break to get.”

Very fortunate. The Ducks were sluggish at the start and made mistakes of their own. They had a five-on-three advantage for two minutes in the third period and came up empty.

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They also failed to get a shot on net during the power play at the end of overtime.


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