Turco limits Bruins to power-play goal as Stars win home opener

DALLAS (AP) -- Brenden Morrow knows the Dallas Stars need to take advantage of their experienced players. The captain knows they can't play together forever.

Maybe the home opener was a good sign for a team that made few offseason changes even after being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs for the third straight season.

Mike Modano, the only remaining player who moved with the team from Minnesota to Dallas in 1993, assisted on Morrow's goal. Sergei Zubov, like Modano 37 years old, added a goal and an assist in a 4-1 victory over the Boston Bruins on Friday night.

"Year to year, it's just different, even with the same guys, the same team," goaltender Marty Turco said. "The mentality from being hungry, to being deep and physically strong, that's a key component."

Turco stopped 24 shots and allowed only a power-play goal. He had three shutouts in the playoff series Dallas lost to Vancouver.

While Modano got career point No. 1,227 to move within five of matching Phil Housley for the most by an American-born player, rookie defenseman Matt Niskanen assisted on the first two goals. Modano, in his 18th season, is top American-born goal-scorer with 507.

The Stars, who started the season with a 4-3 loss at Colorado on Wednesday night, won their fifth straight home opener -- they are 8-0-1 the last nine.

"A lot of positive things again," coach Dave Tippett said. "Like the other night, there are some positive things to build on. ... I thought Turco had a bounce-back game."

Boston played its season opener with Claude Julien, the third coach in a year, and Manny Fernandez, the latest to enter the Bruins' revolving door of goaltenders after being traded from Minnesota this summer.

Still, it was the same bad result for the Bruins. They finished last season with six straight losses and haven't won a season opener since 2001 (0-4-1 in that span).

The Bruins couldn't even turn the momentum with a pair of hard-slugging fights right after Nicklas Hagman got behind the Boston defense and scored on a backhander early in the second period to put Dallas up 2-0.

On the faceoff, Bruins winger Shawn Thornton got into it with Todd Fedoruk. Once they were in the penalty box, and the puck dropped again, Milan Lucic -- the Bruins' rookie in his first NHL game -- fought with Brad Winchester.

Boston missed on a power-play chance a couple of minutes after that.

"We started really well, but we made a couple of costly mistakes and we paid for it," Julien said. "Losing a game is one thing, but beating yourself is another thing. ... We need to get our noses dirty in those tough areas."

The Stars went ahead 3-0 when Morrow, who missed nearly three months last season after being stepped on with a skate and severing two tendons in his right wrist, scored from the middle of the right circle on a pass from Zubov on the break with Modano.

Zubov's power-play goal with 16:21 left made it 4-1.

A bench minor penalty against Dallas for having too many men on the ice led to Boston's only goal late in the second period. Peter Schaefer passed from the right side of the net to Patrice Bergeron, who poked the puck past the sprawling Turco.

Fernandez stopped 14 shots. He was in the Stars organization for six seasons and played 24 games as Eddie Belfour's backup for the 1999-2000 team that went to the Stanley Cup Finals, then was traded to Minnesota.

Dallas took a 1-0 lead late in the first on Joel Lundqvist's one-timer from the edge of the circle, on a pass from Niskanen.

"I saw Lundie going to the net and threw it at him. It was kind of a bad pass, bouncing all over the place, but he got a stick on it. Sometimes they're not always pretty," Niskanen said.

"He looks like a veteran out there. He's making all the good plays, keeping it simple," Philippe Boucher said. "I'm sure he had a few nerves. First couple of games in the NHL ... he handled it very well."

Game notes
The Bruins play their first five games on the road against Pacific Division teams. After that, they don't play another game this season outside the Eastern time zone. ... Both teams play again Saturday night, their first back-to-backs of the season. The Stars are at Nashville and the Bruins at Phoenix. ... A shot by Zubov late in the first period snapped Chuck Kobasew's stick.