Dallas Stars 3 - Ottawa Senators 2
Maybe this injury situation isn't as bad as everyone previously thought. Playing without five key players for the second straight game, the Stars made a fantastic comeback in the third period to beat the Ottawa Senators 3-2. The Stars stuck true to the nickname that they have given themselves lately, the PeskyStars, by just hanging around the whole game and playing tough.
Ottawa took the initial lead when Philip Larsen was run over near the team benches by Jared Cowen. The rest of the Stars were making a line change in anticipation of Larsen getting out of danger so that left Erik Condra wide open on the right side of the ice. Condra took a pass from Cowen, skated into the Stars zone and fired one over Raycroft's glovehand into the top corner.
The Stars would answer quickly, getting a power-play (power-play!!) goal for the first time in nine games as Steve Ott tipped in a Toby Petersen shot. With the injuries to important power-play guys like Alex Goligoski, Trevor Daley and Brenden Morrow, the Stars had gone 0 of 20 on the man advantage in their previous eight games so this power-play goal was a once in a blue moon kind of deal.
A boring second period followed the first (really, it was boring, I think I fell asleep). The team combined for only eight shots and both sides just got stuck in a bog.
Halfway through the third period it looked like this game would be heading to overtime until Andrew Raycroft made one of his few mistakes in the game. Raycroft blocked a saved a shot from Daniel Alfredsson and sent the rebound off to the right side of ice. The only problem was that Milan Michalek was the only player over there and he quickly pounced on the mistake, sending his shot over Raycroft's stickside to put the Senator's ahead.
The PeskyStars showed up again though, this time with Mike Ribeiro (on his own bobblehead night) sticking along the boards and finding Radek Dvorak sitting right in front of the net. Dvorak tipped the puck into the netm tying the game. Ribeiro did a great job keeping the puck along the boards, getting by a couple of Senator players and still somehow finding a way to get the puck to Dvorak. Tomas Vincour also got himself an assist on this goal. He had passed the puck to Ribeiro and then gone to bench for a change, so he got a point even though he was on the bench when the goal was scored.
Dallas would find a gamewinner just three minutes later as the face of the PeskyStars, Eric Nystrom, got his ninth goal of the season. Nystrom took the puck behind Craig Anderson's net, moved to the front, stickhandled by a defender and put the puck into the net. Dallas had to last through a nervous final two minutes of the game to put this one away. Raycroft made a fantastic glove save with one second left to ensure that Dallas would get the two points.
The Stars next game is on Saturday, when they have a home game against the New York Islanders. The game is at 7:30 CT.
Notes and Thoughts:
- Dallas has been absolutely fantastic this season in close games. They have a 8-1-1 record in one-goal games. If this team is able to stay close, they have a great chance of winning.
- Andrew Raycroft had a lot of doubters (myself included) but he's proving that he's up to the task of being the number one goalie while Lehtonen is hurt. He stopped 33 of 35 in this game and made more point-blank saves. He's still having some trouble controlling rebounds but it's up to the defensive players to help out Raycroft on those.
- Eric Nystrom. Man is he a big addition or what? Since his arrival, he's been the leading goalscorer on the team and is making this team's third line (Nystrom-Fiddler-Dvorak) one of the most dangerous on the ice every time this team plays a game. He might want to keep his mustache though, it might have superpowers.
- Dallas stayed out of penalty trouble today, which was crucial against the powerful Senators special teams. They only took one penalty, which they subsequently stopped. In the last three games, they've only been on the PK five times so they've been stepping up their discipline.
Game Stats and Scoring Summary
|Power Plays||1 of 3
||0 of 1
- 7:07 Erik Condra (3) Dallas 0 - Ottawa 1
Assist: Jared Cowen
- 9:38 Steve Ott (5) (Power Play) Dallas 1 - Ottawa 1
Assists: Toby Petersen, Stephane Robidas
- 11:42 Milan Michalek (15) Dallas 1 - Ottawa 2
Assists: Daniel Alfredsson, Nick Foligno
- 14:26 Radek Dvorak (3) Dallas 2 - Ottawa 2
Assists: Mike Ribeiro, Tomas Vincour
- 17:40 Eric Nystrom (9) Dallas 3 - Ottawa 2
Assists: Vernon Fiddler, Radek Dvorak