No more Stars for Weekes after shutout

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Maybe the last two games will help

jump-start Jeff O'Neill's season.


height=90 align=right alt="Kevin Weekes">



height=90 align=right alt="Jeff O'Neill">


O'Neill scored with 8:32 left and Kevin Weekes stopped 28 shots

for his second shutout of the season as the Carolina Hurricanes

beat the Dallas Stars 1-0 Sunday.

O'Neill's team-leading fifth game-winner came two days after he

tied the score from his knees in the final seconds at Atlanta -- a

game the Hurricanes went on to win 3-2 in overtime.

"I'm trying to put my game together,'' said O'Neill who has 11

goals after scoring 41 and 31 the last two years. "I've struggled

early on, and not a lot of good things have happened.

"But I've got a lot of pride. I know I have a carefree

attitude, but I really do care about what I'm doing on the ice, and

I'm just trying to make it work.''

Weekes recorded the 10th shutout of his career two games after

returning from a concussion that sidelined him for three weeks.

"I tried to work has hard as possible in the first two

practices when I first got back onto the ice, and once I was able

to use my mind a little bit more I was OK,'' Weekes said.

Ron Francis got his 1,200th career assist on O'Neill's goal.

Only Wayne Gretzky has more assists (1,963) than Francis.

The game was a defensive struggle and appeared to be headed to

overtime before Sami Kapanen got Marty Turco leaning the wrong way

in net and then fed O'Neill, who slipped the puck between the legs

of the Dallas goalie.

"He hasn't had a lot of breaks around the net,'' Carolina coach

Paul Maurice said of O'Neill. "That's exactly what you want him

doing, stepping into the puck and just shooting it and not looking

to make plays.''

The Hurricanes managed just six shots in 30 minutes as Dallas,

the top scoring team in the NHL, played a close checking game.

Bates Battaglia had Carolina's two best scoring chances before

O'Neill's goal. His wraparound attempt in the first period hit

Turco between the pads, dropped in the crease and was covered up.

Battaglia's slap shot from 20 feet with 6:53 left in the second was

gloved by Turco.

Dallas didn't generate much offense, either, coming off

Saturday's 5-3 loss at New Jersey. The Stars completed a five-game

road trip, and were without star Mike Modano for a third straight

game. Modano is out with a concussion, and his team went 0-2-1

without him.

"We made one mistake at the end, and the line between winning

and losing is a very thin line when both teams are playing this

way,'' Dallas coach Dave Tippett said.

O'Neill's apparent goal with 27.1 seconds left in the first was

waved off because Carolina defenseman Sean Hill was called for a

slashing penalty behind the play.

Game notes

Carolina started an all-Czech line of Josef Vasicek, Jan

Hlavac and Jaroslav Svoboda for the first time this season. ... The

Hurricanes have just 17 first-period goals in 35 games -- the worst

in the NHL. ... Turco and Weekes entered the game tied for second

in the league with a .931 save percentage. ... Francis extended his

point streak to five games.