Dallas 6 - Anaheim 2
Boy, I'm not sure the Stars could have asked for a much better start after the game last night. The Stars had one of their most complete games of the season as six different players scored a goal and Kari Lehtonen flashed his number one goalie skills again. Eric Nystrom, Sheldon Souray and Michael Ryder got themselves back onto the goalsheet, Stephane Robidas scored a power-play (POWER-PLAY!!) goal and Jamie Benn had an absolutely filthy goal as he turned Jonas Hiller inside out.
There were initial signs of rust for Dallas when the game started but that faded away after the first ten minutes of the game. The freshly healthy team looked spry and energetic, the first and third lines especially. Super accurate Jamie Benn had a grown-man's goal when he got in behind the defense, deked Hiller out of his pads and then roofed the puck with considerable force. His return had an immediate impact on the team.
Dallas had a bit of trouble on the defensive end as the Ducks forwards had some wide open point blank shots but Lehtonen was more than up to the task. He stoned Corey Perry three times in the third period as the Ducks were trying to mount a comeback and he was incredible in the second. Overall, Lehtonen stopped 33 of 35 shots. If Dallas can play anywhere close to this for the rest of the season, they'll be in the playoffs.
About the only really questionable thing about this game was the choice of the three stars. The first and third were understandable (Benn and Souray, though Kari should have been in this somewhere) but the second star of the game was Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano, who had no goal or assist and only one shot in the game. I'm not sure how the hell that could happen, but it did.
Dallas has had the Duck's (and specifically Hiller's) number this year. Dallas has won four out of the five matchups this season. They shut out the Ducks in one game and scored 5+ goals in two of the others. The only game that the Stars have lost this season to Anaheim was a game in which fourth-string goalie Jeff Deslauriers started.
more after the jump
- The second line for Dallas wasn't very good in this game. Morrow-Ribeiro-Eriksson combined for only two shots in the game, one point (a Ribeiro assist) and a -1 rating for each of them. It didn't hurt them in this game, but that line has to show up.
- Mark Fistric was a bulldozer in this game. He had two or three crushing hits and was the biggest physical presence in the game, even if Robidas has two hits than he did (8 to 6).
- In his first regular game back from his appendectomy, Benn had a goal and two assists. He was able to take it easy this game as he only had 17:01 minutes of ice time. He had been averaging over 20 minutes a game before the break.
- Jonas Hiller has been terrible against the Stars this season. He's 0-4-0 against the Stars this season with a 3.80 GAA and a horrendous .840 save percentage. He's allowed 5+ goals twice in the four matchups.
- One power-play goal and a perfect penalty kill? Special teams couldn't get much better for the Stars in this game.
- For a couple of the power-plays, Dallas changed it up and kept Souray on the bench in favor of puck movers. Souray hadn't been able to do a whole lot in the past couple of months while he was on the PP. It had grown too predictable as he just sat back and waited to blast pucks at the net.
- Through five games this season between these two teams, the big four players for the Ducks haven't been able to do much. Bobby Ryan and Ryan Getzlaf are both scoreless against the Stars while Corey Perry has only 1 goal and 1 assist. The only guy who has been able to do anything is Teemu Selanne (1 goal and 4 assists). Noted Stars killer Lubomir Vishnovsky only has three points against Dallas this season.
Game Stats and Scoring Summary:
|Power Plays||1 of 3
||0 of 4
- 5:14 - Matt Beleskey (3) Dallas 0 - Anaheim 1
Assist: Sheldon Brookbank
- 13:56 - Eric Nystrom (15) Dallas 1 - Anaheim 1
Assists: Alex Goligoski, Philip Larsen
- 16:41 - Vernon Fiddler (7) Dallas 2 - Anaheim 1
- 17:50 - Jamie Benn (14) Dallas 3 - Anaheim 1
Assists: Steve Ott, Michael Ryder
- 7:14 - Stephane Robidas (3) (Power Play) Dallas 4 - Anaheim 1
Assists: Mike Ribeiro, Alex Goligoski
- 8:36 - Luca Sbisa (3) Dallas 4 - Anaheim 2
Assist: Teemu Selanne
- 0:36 - Sheldon Souray (5) Dallas 5 - Anaheim 2
Assists: Michael Ryder, Jamie Benn
- 17:34 - Michael Ryder (18) Dallas 6 - Anaheim 2
Assists: Steve Ott, Jamie Benn