Dallas Stars 4 - Edmonton Oilers 1
As far as beginnings go, the Dallas Stars and brand new owner Tom Gaglardi couldn't have asked for a better start. Gaglardi was introduced as the new owner in the morning and the Stars gave him a look at what he was buying.
Dallas had, unequivocally, their best game in two weeks in their 4-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers. The infusion of Tomas Vincour and Philip Larsen helped this team control the puck and stay aggressive throughout the game. Dallas played one of their most physical games of the season, with Mark Fistric just destroying guys left and right.
Jamie Benn. Loui Eriksson and Michael Ryder were linemates once again after a one game experiment by Glen Gulutzan and they got back on track. Ryder had a goal, Loui had an assist and Benn was all over the ice making plays and delivering hits. Benn didn't record a point, but his impact was definitely felt. Aside from Eriksson, the Stars also got goals from Steve Ott, Toby Peterson and an empty netter from Radek Dvorak.
Dallas was able to hold the Oilers to only 18 shots in this game. Opponents have been getting that many shots in just one period lately against the Stars so this was a wonderful change for Dallas, especially against a speedy team like the Oilers. For all intensive purposes, the Stars controlled the Oilers youngsters. Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle were held to 5 shots combined and both were getting hit all over the ice. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was able to score the Oilers lone goal, but that was the only shot that he got on Kari Lehtonen all night.
The Oilers were never able to use their speed to provide trouble to the Stars backline. Dallas was much too physical in the game and the Oilers attempted to play the way Dallas did. They dumped the in and tried to forecheck their way to a goal, but they just weren't able to do that.
Philip Larsen showed what he could do by repeatedly getting the puck out of the Stars zone through his skating and his puck movement. Tomas Vincour also had a fine game despite just getting eight minutes of ice time. He was aggressive with the puck and drove the net when he didn't have it.
The only problem that Dallas had was, once again, their penalty situation. They were on the PK six times in this game, but were able to hold the Oilers to only six shots total for those power-plays. Brenden Morrow had a meltdown game, taking 3 very bad, easily avoidable, penalties and had just bad play all-around. He did manage an assist, but the work was mostly done by Mike Ribeiro and Ott. Morrow just managed a secondary assist. He needs to step up his game and start acting like a captain or that designation should go to another player (Ott or Benn in my opinion).
Kari Lehtonen didn't have a whole lot to do last night. The Oilers probably should have scored two goals, but Ryan Smythe missed an open net with one of his shots. That missed shot was turned into the Ott goal.
Notes and Thoughts:
- Morrow's secondary assist on the Ott goal gave him 500 points for his career, only the 4th Dallas Star to ever do that.
- Morrow has taken at least one penalty in 10 of his last 12 games. I don't know what's wrong with him, but he needs to be more disciplined.
- The Oilers have been terrible in Dallas. They haven't had a regulation win here since 2006 and have only 5 wins here since the Stars moved from Minnesota. Home ice advantage being put to good use against Edmonton.
- I loved the way that Mark Fistric played tonight. He had some devastating hits and helped to hold the speedy Oilers at bay. He and Larsen were paired together and they each played well.
- Nick Grossman also had a great night, though he did it quietly. He had an assist, blocked three shots and was +2 on the night. He had the most shorthanded ice time on the team in this game and helped to hold the Oilers to nothing with their man-advantage.
- Ribeiro hasn't had a great offensive season, but he's been a solid defender. He showed it again last night going up against Nugent-Hopkins and holding the young guy to only one shot.
Game Stats and Scoring Summary
|Power Plays||0 of 3
||0 of 6
- 8:30 Toby Petersen (1) Dallas 1 - Edmonton 0
Assists: Tom Wandell, Eric Nystrom
- 8:58 Steve Ott (3) Dallas 2 - Edmonton 0
Assists: Mike Ribeiro, Brenden Morrow
- 15:24 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (8) Dallas 2 - Edmonton 1
Assists: Jordan Eberle, Ryan Smyth
- 16:14 Michael Ryder (7) Dallas 3 - Edmonton 1
Assists: Nicklas Grossman, Loui Eriksson
- 18:36 Radek Dvorak (1) (Shorthanded) Dallas 4 - Edmonton 1
Assist: Vernon Fiddler