Dallas Stars 3 - Colorado Avalanche 1
For one game at least, the Stars injury woes didn't come back to haunt them as they put away the Colorado Avalanche 3-1. Andrew Raycroft put in a Kari Lehtonen-like performance, stopping 35 of 36 shots (many of them at point-blank range), and Michael Ryder played through a nagging leg injury to score two big goals.
Stars fan couldn't have asked for much more than what they saw last night. They saw what Raycroft could be when he's on his game. They saw just how pesky the Stars could be despite playing without two of their top four defensemen and two important forwards (including the captain). They saw the Ryder-Benn-Eriksson line return to form and take over a game. In their first game dealing with all these major injuries, this was about as good as anyone could hope for.
Jamie Benn played a monster game last night. He didn't register a point but he was all over the ice. He had about three or four great scoring chances that either got foiled by a great save from Semyon Varlamov or by the post.
Eric Nystrom continued his recent scoring binge and put in a big goal for the Stars in the first period. Neither team would score again until the third period despite great chance after great chance. Michael Ryder finally put in the game winner when he got a full ice-length pass from Loui Eriksson that put him on a breakaway. Ryder was able to fire it over Varlamov for the critical goal that gave Dallas some breathing room. He put in an empty netter at the end of the game as well.
The Avs would get a goal from Kevin Porter. Porter scored on a rebound off a David Jones shot.
The biggest night belonged to Raycroft though. For two and a half periods, he kept this team afloat with monster save after monster save. In the second period, he had a four minute time frame where he stopped five point blank shots. He had great movement in net and was just seeing every shot coming his way. The only problem he had in this game was his rebound control. He wasn't able to parry a couple of shots far enough and they ended up in great scoring chances for the Avs. Luckily, he was able to stop those as well.
The Stars return to the ice on Thursday night when take on the Ottawa Senators at home.
Notes and Thoughts:
- The Stars got some early emotion in this game as Krys Barch got into a fight just three minutes into the game. The fight set a tone that the Stars would follow throughout the game.
- Two guys who quietly had great games: Steve Ott and Nick Grossman. Ott was a monster in the face-off circle, winning 12 of 18 face-offs. Grossman did a great job in front of Raycroft in clearing out the Avs. He kept the lane clear so Raycroft had a clear line of sight to shots.
- Vernon Fiddler was dealing with a groin issue in this game but it didn't seem to bother him much. He won 9 of 15 face-offs and had an assist on Ryder's second goal. His minutes were limited though as he only got 14:30 of ice time.
- The Dallas power-play continues to just suck. Since losing Goligoski to a hand injury in the Pittsburgh game, the Stars have gone 1 for 22 on the PP. It might be time to give Nystrom a little time on the PP to see if he can provide a spark.
Game Stats and Scoring Summary
|Power Plays||0 of 4
||0 of 3
- 15:56 Eric Nystrom (8) Dallas 1 - Colorado 0
Assists: Vernon Fiddler, Stephane Robidas
- 14:36 Michael Ryder (8) Dallas 2 - Colorado 0
Assists: Loui Eriksson, Philip Larsen
- 16:24 Kevin Porter (1) Dallas 2 - Colorado 1
Assists: David Jones, Ryan Wilson
- 19:32 Michael Ryder (9) (empty netter) Dallas 3 - Colorado 1
Assists: Loui Eriksson, Adam Pardy