Dallas Stars 3 - Colorado Avalanche 2
It wasn't the prettiest or most convincing of wins, but the Stars were able to get it done last night. Jamie Benn carried the team with his two goals and Kari Lehtonen was just good enough as Dallas put Friday's ugly effort behind them.
The obvious one here would be Jamie Benn. His first goal was a work of art as he deftly stole the puck away from Matt Hunwick just outside the offensive zone, raced in all alone and easily slid it by Varlomov for the Stars first goal just two minutes into the game. His second goal was a wonderful snipe from about 40 feet away that was the end result of great patience from Dallas on a delayed penalty call.
Stars fans have been waiting for this from Benn ever since he came back and it's good to see him producing again. He's been playing very well but just had not been able to find his scoring touch.
The line shuffling by Gulutzan worked well last night (for a change). His top line of Morrow-Benn-Jagr scored all three goals for Dallas and his other lines showed some fire and signs of life that had been missing all season. For the first time I can remember this season, Eric Nystrom crashed the net and was a factor in the game.
Brenden Dillon is just 11 games into his NHL career and he might already be the best defenseman on the Stars current roster. He's been the most consistent and sound defenseman on the team this season and is one of the few guys that you worry about on the ice. He did get caught pinching in at one point during the first period though and that led to a three-on-two situation for the Avalanche but that luckily didn't lead to a goal.
What's up with Philip Larsen? Poor guy has been scratched in four straight games in favor of Aaron Rome (why), Jordie Benn (now gone) and Jamie Oleksiak (understandable). Rome had some really bad moments last night and I feel Larsen should be ahead of him on the depth chart, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Gulutzan seems to prefer the more physical presence of Rome over Larsen.
Dallas continues to lose the shots battle as well as in the face-off circle. The Stars have still be outshot in every game this season (the only team to do so) and has won the face-off battle only twice this year. It's tough to win games without possession of the puck and it's been a thorn in the Stars side lately.
It's the same old situation with penalties. Dallas found themselves on the kill five more times last night and gave up one power play goal. They had three consecutive penalties in the second period that allowed Colorado to tie the game before Benn was able to score the eventual game winner. It's seriously quite incredible how it's unable to be fixed.
The power play has hit a rough patch. Dallas is 0-13 in the last four games and isn't really getting much pressure on net. They only looked good during a five-on-three but that's a five-on-three; it's tough not to look good with a two man advantage. The loss of Ray Whitney is really going to hurt here so the Stars need to figure something out.
02:21 - Jamie Benn (1) Dal 1 - Col 0
11:18 - Brenden Morrow (1) Dal 2 - Col 0
Assists: Jaromir Jagr (4), Jamie Benn (2)
18:12 - Milan Hejduk (1) Dal 2 - Col 1
Assists: John Mitchell (3), Paul Stastny (2)
11:33 - P.A. Parenteau (7) (Power Play) Dal 2 - Col 2
Assists: Paul Stastny (3), Jamie McGinn (5)
15:29 - Jamie Benn (2) Dal 3 - Col 2
Assists: Derek Roy (3), Aaron Rome (1)
3rd Period: None
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