Yesterday's Newsmakers in the NHL: Marty Turco's Bad Dream Continues

There was a time when Dallas Stars goalie Marty Turco was among the best in the National Hockey League. It appears as if those days are over, at least for this year, as the 33-year old netminder was lifted for the third time this season, after giving up five goals on just 19 shots Friday night. In the end, the Stars fell to the runaway locomotive that is the San Jose Sharks, 6-2.

Honestly, San Jose may never lose again, as it now has a league-best 39 points.

Turco's save percentage is just about ready to drop below the .870 mark, which is pretty hard to comprehend for an NHL goalie, and Stars head coach Dave Tippettsort of agrees, saying "our goaltender has to be better." Indeed he does. And while he wouldn't announce anything after the game, Tippett left open the possibility that Tobias Stephan could start Sunday's game against Edmonton. I guess the question is: could he really be any worse?

San Jose received a pair of goals from Dan Boyle, while Joe Pavelski, Milan Michalek and Rob Blake slipped shots behind the struggling Turco before he was lifted following the second period.

Evgeni Nabokov, making his second start since returning to the lineup, turned aside 25 of 27 shots in the win.

Unlikely Goal-Scorers Lead Buffalo Comeback

Entering Friday's game with Pittsburgh, Drew Stafford and Paul Gaustad had combined for two goals on the season for the Buffalo Sabres. On Friday, the duo combined for all four Sabres goals as they defeated the Penguins, 4-3, in Buffalo.

Each player scored two goals in the win, while Gaustad stuffed in the game-winner with less than four-minutes to play in regulation. Penguins goalie John Curry, making his first NHL start, was solid for the first two periods, and fantastic during the third, making at least three highlight reel saves. The Sabres, however, refused to give in as they outworked the Penguins over the final 20 minutes, outshooting them by a 10-3 margin in the third period. Curry finished the game with 28 saves.

While Stafford and Gaustad provided the scoring, the Sabres penalty killers were the true stars of the game, as they completely shut down the Penguins power play unit, killing off all seven opportunities, including a 5-on-3 advantage early in the third period.

The Penguins have won seven games on the season when trailing after two periods, and on Friday, they received a taste of their own medicine as they watched a 3-2 lead slip away in the final 20 minutes. Pittsburgh entered the final period with a 2-man advantage for 1:14 of clock time, only to fail to register a shot on Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller. Just over a minute later, Stafford scored his second goal, tying the game at three.

Sidney Crosby scored twice in the loss, while Evgeni Malkin added two assists, pushing his league-leading point total to 37.

Islanders Collapse In Third Period Yet Again

I'm thinking the New York Islanders should just start petitioning the NHL to shorten games from 60 minutes to 40 minutes, because, well, they're not showing up for the third period anyway. After watching a 3-1 lead disappear on Wednesday, giving up four goals in the final 14 minutes to the Penguins, the Islanders watched the Boston Bruins erupt for five goals in the third period, as they cruised to a 7-2 win.

Islanders goalie Joey MacDonald gave way to rookie Peter Mannino in the third period, and the Bruins were able to score three times on eight shots, giving the 24-year old a rather unpleasant welcome to the NHL.

Over their past two games, the Islanders have been outscored 9-0 in the third period, while being outshot 30-12.

Odds and Ends

... Alex Ovechkin scored in his third consecutive game, while Jose Theodore turned aside all 28 shots he faced against his former team, as the shorthanded Capitals beat Montreal, 3-0.

... Ryan Getzlaf was responsible for the only goal in Anaheim's 1-0 win over Chicago, while goalie Jonas Hiller made 26 saves for his second career shutout.

... After Friday's 4-2 loss in Minnesota, the Tampa Bay Lightning have won just twice in their past 12 games. I'm guessing this isn't what Len Barrie and Oren Koules had in mind when they went on that offseason spending spree. Niklas Backstrom made 35 saves for the Wild in the win.

Yesterday's Newsmakers in the NHL: Marty Turco's Bad Dream Continues originally appeared on NHL FanHouse on Sat, 29 Nov 2008 01:30:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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