Dallas 1 - Vancouver 2
Damn that Cory Schneider. At the end of the game, that's all I could think. The Canucks nominal backup goalie played an incredible game last night as the Stars lost to the Vancouver Canucks. The loss, combined with wins by the LA Kings and Phoenix Coyotes, dropped the Stars third down to the eighth spot in the Western Conference. The Stars now sit one point behind the red-hot Kings (they've won six in a row) for the division lead.
The game last night came down to one guy, Schneider. He played a game that was very Kari Lehtonen-like with the way he was stopping shots. Michael Ryder, Loui Eriksson and Alex Goligoski each had wide open slap shots from the face-off circles that Schneider easily parried away. Mike Ribeiro, he of dazzling and twirling skills, had a penalty shot 13 minutes into the second period and tried one of his patented moves, but Schneider literally did nothing and stopped the puck. He just sat there and waited for Ribeiro to finish his spin and calmly stopped the shot. That would prove to be huge as Stars weren't able to fully mount the comeback.
The Canucks got goals from Mason Raymond (in the first) and Kevin Bieksa (in the third). The Raymond goal was made entirely by Henrik Sedin. He was along the right hand boards and made a cross-ice pass through about five sticks to a wide open Mason Raymond on the backdoor. Lehtonen had absolutely no shot at making the save and could only hope that Raymond would send the shot ten feet too high, but no dice. The nearest defender was Stephane Robidas, but he was entangled with Zack Kassian right in front of Lehtonen.
The Canucks second goal was on Lehtonen. Lehtonen saved one shot from Bieksa but gave up a fat rebound that Bieksa pounced on. With Lehtonen face-down on the ice, it was an easy goal for Bieksa to just flip it over his body.
Dallas played, in all honesty, a bit of an odd game. They were physical but started to take things a bit too far. Players were throwing punches and shoving after almost every whistle and seemed to lose focus on the game. They just got caught up in all of the extracurricular activities instead of just playing the game. The only goal that they scored was due to a flub from Schneider, his only one of the night.
Vernon Fiddler had sent the puck behind the net and went to get it at the same time that Schneider went to get it. Only problem was that Schneider just flat out missed the puck, fell over and watched as the puck rolled out in front of the net. Fiddler was right there with Schneider and lept over him, tapping the puck in.
more after the jump
- No Mark Fistric in this game. He's out with an abdominal injury.
- For the first time in the season series, Ribeiro, Ryder and Eriksson were held scoreless.
- Also for the first time in the series, Henrik Sedin recorded a point. He had two assists in this game.
- It was tough finding a guy more invisible than Brenden Morrow last night. He had 15:46 of ice time but I couldn't tell you one thing that he did.
- The Stars leader in shots on goal last night? Adam Pardy. With four shots on goal. Really, it was Adam Pardy.
- The one Stars goal was a confluence of rarities. Vernon Fiddler scored only his eighth goal of the season off of Eric Nystrom's fifth assist and Kari Lehtonen's second assist of the year.
Game Stats and Scoring Summary:
|Power Plays||0 of 4
||0 of 4
- 4:46 - Mason Raymond (9)
Assists: Dan Hamhuis (29), Henrik Sedin (58)
2nd Period: No Goals
- 4:18 - Kevin Bieksa (8)
Assists: Mason Raymond (9), Henrik Sedin (59)
- 7:44 - Vernon Fiddler (8)
Assists: Eric Nystrom (5), Kari Lehtonen (2)