Turco forces Game 6

Marty Turco, winless in Joe Louis Arena in his NHL career and with Dallas facing elimination in the Western Conference final, kept the Stars alive Saturday.

Dallas Stars goalie Marty Turco stops Detroit Red Wing Henrik Zetterberg in close during Game 5 of the Western Conference finals in Detroit on Saturday. Turco finally won in Detroit as the Stars downed the Red Wings 2-1 to force Game 6.

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DETROIT — Marty Turco, winless in Joe Louis Arena in his NHL career and with Dallas facing elimination in the Western Conference final, kept the Stars alive Saturday.

“There wasn’t any better time than now,” Turco said after his team’s 2-1 triumph and his first goaltending win in Detroit in his 12th try in seven years in the league. “It has been a long time but it’s something I never thought wouldn’t happen in my career.

“That’s probably the best I’ve felt in this building — ever. Your next game is always supposed to be your best and, for whatever reason, it just felt I was in total control. It usually works out like that when you have that feeling.”

Trevor Daley of the Stars and Jiri Hudler of the Red Wings scored in the first period and Joel Lundqvist, who got a long pass from Turco, put the winning shot behind Detroit goalie Chris Osgood at 6:04 of the second period.

Detroit outshot Dallas 39-21.

“There weren’t as many quality close chances as there has been,” said Turco. “That’s a credit to our guys.”

Now, with Dallas having won two in a row to shave Detroit’s series lead to 3-2, the teams return to Texas for Game 6 on Monday night (CBC, 8 p.m. ET).

“We’re excited to go back home and to continue to push this thing along,” Turco said.

The 32-year-old native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., played volleyball with teammates in an arena corridor before strapping on his pads.

“I saw it before the game even started — the focus he had,” said captain Brenden Morrow. “Once the game started, he was real comfortable back there playing pucks, reading plays, making passes . . .

“He’s giving us a chance to win every night. Unfortunately, it’s a team sport and we haven’t been there for him sometimes and he’s going to get the brunt of the blame. We’re all in it together and (Saturday) we pulled through.”

The Stars, in losing the opening three games, looked spent after their energy-sapping, four-overtime series against San Jose, but they’ve come alive.

The Red Wings are the ones looking droopy now. Maybe they’re missing injured right-winger Johan Franzen more than they’re letting on. Pavel Datsyuk showed little of the spark he had in the first three games and Henrik Zetterberg was merely ordinary Saturday. It’ll take more than ordinary efforts to sideline the determined Stars.