The Dallas Stars came back from the All-Star break with a vengeance.
With their regular lineup largely reunited, they rolled to a 6-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. This team used its time away from the rink to heal and gear up for the stretch run.
A year ago Dallas staggered out of the break and went 1-8-1 in its first 10 games down the stretch. Since the Stars came out of this break in 10th place in the Western Conference, it couldn’t afford to follow that unhappy pattern.
The Stars failed to score more than two goals in their last six games before the break. So Wednesday night’s offensive breakout was notable.
Here were the highlights:
- Back after missing five games due to an appendectomy, Jamie Benn led the assault with a goal and two assists. Linemate Steve Ott had two assists.
- Their linemate Michael Ryder had a goal and two assists after failing to register a point in his previous six games. He had not scored a goal in his previous 10 games.
- Center Mike Ribeiro had an assist in his second game since coming off the injured list.
- Captain Brenden Morrow returned from his upper body injury to add size and depth to the attack.
- Defenseman Stephane Robidas scored for the first time in 29 games and fellow defenseman Sheldon Souray scored for the first time in 30 games.
“Well, I thought that we were a little more in offensive mode,” Souray told reporters. “We were thinking a little bit more about scoring. Tonight I think we came in, we got an early goal there to tie it up, then we took the lead, got a big power-play goal and just kind of started rolling. We worked hard and we got a few bounces as well.”
As for the Ducks, Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau offered this dour assessment: "We played bad tonight. It wasn't fun to watch. ... I thought we played 12 really good games in a row. Tonight, we didn't. We stunk."