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Stars Shine Over Caps

Ed Belfour had good reason to remember one of his easiest games of the season.

Belfour made only 14 saves to become the 16th goalie in NHL history to reach 300 victories as the Dallas Stars beat the Washington Capitals 2-1 on Sunday night.

"It was tough to get into a rhythm and a groove," said Belfour, who had to stop only seven shots in the first two periods. "That's how it's been for my through my career, guys working hard in front of me, playing tough defense."

Belfour, a 12-year veteran, improved his career mark to 300-189-79 as he cooled off the Captials with the help of rookie Brenden Morrow's first multiple-goal game.

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  • "I feel good for Eddie," Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said. "That's a lot of wins and a lot of hockey. He's been winning for a long time. This is the best he's played since I've been here and he's had to play that way most nights."

    Washington began the night with a 14-3-2 record since Jan. 1, the NHL's best performance over that span. The Stars are 8-2 in their last 10 games.

    "They've been on a tear so this was a good test," said Stars center Mike Modano, who assisted on both goals.

    Morrow's second-period goal gave the Stars a 1-0 lead. But Richard Zednik tied it with his 14th goal at 1:40 of the third period.

    Morrow put the Stars in front for good with 9:55 remaining, skating up the slot to deflect Modano's pass. Morrow has 10 goals this season.

    "It's everyone's dream," said Morrow, who was expected to spend this season in the minors but was promoted because of injuries to key players from last season's Stanley Cup champs. "I didn't know I'd pla this well. It's just unfortunate it's happened because of injuries but I want to make the most of it."

    Dallas dominated play over the first 25 minutes with a 15-2 shots advantage, then Morrow scored the game's first goal at 6:07 of the second period during a Dallas power play off a goalmouth pass from Sergei Zubov.

    "He gift-wrapped it," Morrow said. "I could have scored with my eyes closed."

    The Stars are without Derian Hatcher, Joe Nieuwendyk, Jere Lehtinen, Brian Skrudland and Shawn Chambers, all sidelined by injuries. Brett Hull, who missed one game due to a broken nose, was back in the lineup against the Caps, using an elaborate faceguard to protect his nose.

    Hatcher and Lehtinen are expected to return this week.

    Joe Murphy, picked up off waivers last week, made his debut for the Caps, playing their fourth road game in six days.

    "They (the Stars) won the Stanley Cup for a reason," said Caps goalie Craig Billington, who made 22 saves. "They've got guys out and they still persevere. We were a little bit sluggish early but we battled through it."

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