WASHINGTON – Marty Turco made 49 saves, Brad Richards had a goal and an assist, and the Dallas Stars scored three times early in the third period en route to a 4-3 shootout victory over the Capitals on Monday night, ending Washington’s club-record home winning streak at 13 games.

Washington’s Alex Ovechkin snapped a season-high, six-game goal drought by scoring twice to match Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby for the league lead with 44. Ovechkin’s second goal came with 3:16 left in the third period and tied the game.

But Turco stopped Ovechkin in the opening round of the shootout, and the Stars went on to take it 2-1, with Richards and Loui Eriksson beating Semyon Varlamov.


GM MEETINGS: Hits to the head that can cause concussions were the main topic as NHL general managers began their annual meetings in Boca Raton, Fla.

A discussion of a two-year independent medical study undertaken by the league included a video presentation showing footage of a number of well-known hits to the head during games. The league estimates there are 60,000 to 70,000 body hits during a season, and during the past 2½ years there have been 200 concussions reported among players.

In 21 games reviewed from this season, showing an average of 22 contacts to the head per game, 30 percent of those hits were shoulder to head. Most body checks with the shoulder are considered legal hits.

“We’re looking at can we reduce concussions that come from legal hits?” said Colin Campbell, the NHL’s director of hockey operations. “Our challenge today, tomorrow and Wednesday at this meeting is to see if we can arrive at some sort of conclusion that will make the game safer to play and reduce concussions.

“What we don’t want to do is damage one of the basic fibers of the game.”

The NHL is struggling to minimize concussions without damaging a sport that clearly relies on its physicality to enhance spectator entertainment.

“The hits are great until someone gets hurt,” Campbell said. “The question is, do we want to take shoulders to the head out of the game of hockey?”


BRUINS: Center Marc Savard has been diagnosed with a Grade 2 concussion after being leveled by a blindside hit by Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke in Sunday’s game.

General Manager Peter Chiarelli said team doctor Peter Asnis and a concussion specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital evaluated and diagnosed Savard.

The Bruins medical staff will continue to monitor and evaluate Savard for up to five days before they offer an update on his prognosis.


CAPITALS: Center Keith Aucoin has signed a two-year contract extension.

Aucoin is currently in the American Hockey League with the Hershey Bears, leading the AHL in scoring with 84 points — 31 goals and 53 assists.

He helped lead Hershey to the Calder Cup championship last season.


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