Dallas 4 - Minnesota 1
Three straight wins. A win on the second night of a back-to-back. Two points clear of ninth place in the playoff race and three points out of the third spot. Unless I'm terribly mistaken, the Stars are actually one of the hotter teams in the NHL right now.
Dallas just took the game to the Minnesota Wild last night with an effort that finally looked like they were not a dead tired team working two days in a row. In a welcome change, it was the opposing team that looked lost and confused (Minnesota playing two days in a row helped that undoubtedly).
The Stars got off to a quick start against what must have been a tired Niklas Backstrom. Backstrom had faced 91 shots in his last two games and he didn't last too long in this one. Goals from Tom Wandell and Loui Eriksson put the Wild down 2-0 going into the first intermission. The Eriksson goal was a thing of beauty. He received a pass from Michael Ryder near the slot and skated to his left, cutting across the crease. He waited patiently as Backstrom went to the ice expecting a shot and calmly roofed the shot for the second goal for Dallas.
Backstrom would only play four minutes of the second period as an Eric Nystrom goal chased him from the game. It was mostly smooth sailing for the rest of the game after that. Things did get a little rocky in the middle of the third period as the refs went whistle crazy and called three penalties in three minutes against the Stars. Dallas would end up allowing one goal on a 5-on-3 powerplay, killing Kari Lehtonen's chances of a deserved second straight shutout.
Dallas did what they had to do in this game, protect home ice against a team that was depleted from injuries and tired from a tough game. The Stars actually looked like a team that didn't miss Jamie Benn too much (though that can't last). Dallas gets a day of rest before taking on the Western Conference leading Vancouver Canucks.
more after the jump
- Philip Larsen had a scary moment in the second period when he took a puck to the top of the head. The slapshot from Matt Cullen cracked Larsen's helmet and opened up a gash on the top of his head. Larsen would miss the rest of the game and is listed as day-to-day. He had concussion problems earlier this season so hopefully that doesn't pop up again.
- This was the second multi-goal game of Tom Wandell's career. His other one was early last year against the Florida Panthers.
- The daily Ryan Garbutt watch: He had 8:13 of ice time and was tied with three other guys for the team lead in hits for this game (with 3 hits). He also had a couple of shots that missed the net.
- Mark Fistric was busy last night, blocking a team leading seven shots while dishing out three hits.
- The goal for Eric Nystrom was his first point in 12 games.
- With his assist last night, Mike Ribeiro has at least one point in six straight games.
- Michael Ryder had an assist last night. He has at least a point in nine of the last ten games.
Game Stats and Scoring Summary:
Score 4 1 Shots 25 29 Penalty Minutes 10 4
Power Plays 0 of 2
1 of 6
Blocked Shots 22 18 Hits 20 22
Faceoff Wins 27 36
- 8:48 - Tom Wandell (5)
Assists: Adam Burish, Trevor Daley
- 17:40 - Loui Eriksson (20)
Assists: Michael Ryder, Mike Ribeiro
- 3:53 - Eric Nystrom (16)
Assists: Radek Dvorak, Vernon Fiddler
- 12:43 - Devin Setoguchi (15) (Power Play)
Assists: Dany Heatley, Jared Spurgeon
- 19:07 - Tom Wandell (6) (empty-net)
Assists: Steve Ott, Stephane Robidas
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