DALLAS — When you're fighting to stay alive in the playoffs, you need your goaltender to be great. You need him to be impenetrable, or as close to that as possible
On Wednesday, Marty Turco was.
Now, he needs to do that again. And he needs to do that in the belly of the beast known as Joe Louis Arena.
Turco stopped 33 of 34 shots, and Mike Modano scored the game-winner as the Dallas Stars claimed a 3-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings at American Airlines Center.
The Stars, down 3-1 in the Western Conference Finals, keep their postseason alive and head back to Detroit for Game 5 on Saturday.
Turco had his best game of the series, and was pivotal during the Wings' second-period flurry. He stopped all 14 in that period, and stayed strong when the Wings pulled their goaltender on power plays late in regulation.
"It's been one of the biggest," Turco said of this one. "We're going to have to continue to play like that just to have a chance. It was a night of resiliency all the way around.
"I've just got to do what I do out there."
Turco's performance gave the Stars confidence, much-needed because the Red Wings have been so dominant this series.
"I think it's no better time than now to prove to ourselves we can win," Stars center Steve Ott said. "For Marty, he sets it up for Game 5 in Detroit. We just proved to ourselves if we play together and play our way, we can beat these guys."
And in a series were breaks are so pivotal, the Stars got a big one. Pavel Datsyuk's power-play goal appeared to give the Red Wings a 1-0 advantage, but officials waved it off, saying Tomas Holmstrom was in the crease. Replays showed that Holmstrom was not in the no-no area.
The Stars then took their first lead of the series. Stephane Robidas' shot bounced off goalie Chris Osgood, and Loui Eriksson put it the rebound for a 1-0 lead with 23 seconds left in the second period.
But, only 49 seconds into the third, Toby Petersen's errant pass was grabbed by Pavel Datsyuk, starting a 3-on-2 break. Henrik Zetterberg finished it off, his shot going low on Turco's glove side, to tie it 1-1.
However, on their fourth power play, the Stars answered. Mike Modano took a pass from Sergei Zubov and sent a laser past Osgood to put the Stars up 2-1. Brenden Morrow, who fell awkwardly on his left arm in Game 3, also scored.
Now, the Stars are going back to the cauldron of bad outcomes. They need a good ending up there. They need to stay alive up there. So they need Turco to excel up there.
"It is hard, but what the heck," Zubov said. "We all know the history; we all know the way it usually goes.
"But, again, it comes down to battling. You go out there and try to do everything for your team and try to win the hockey game. You don't want to be the guys who gave up."