Found March 04, 2012 on
Fox Sports Southwest:
The Dallas Stars march on. On Sunday, the Stars beat the Flames 3-2 in a shootout, giving them back-to-back wins to start their three-game swing through Western Canada. Glen Gulutzan's club has now won four straight road games and continues to rack up points using a pretty simple formula.
For one, the Stars continue to be carried by their top two lines, but they are also getting solid contributions from all four trios. In Friday's win at Edmonton, the Stars got goals from their third and fourth lines before first-line winger Michael Ryder added an empty netter in a 3-1 win over the Oilers.
And in Sunday's win over the Flames, it was the Stars' top line that delivered yet again as Loui Eriksson scored Dallas' first shorthanded goal since November and Michael Ryder netted is team-leading 28th of the season. Eriksson also scored in the shootout, along with second-line center Jamie Benn, who only recently returned from a leg injury.
But the formula for this club remains a simple one-get pucks on net, kill penalties, get solid goaltending and the rest should take care of itself. It was the same recipe that served this club so well during an 11-4-0 start that had the Stars being the toast of the National Hockey League under their rookie head coach in Gulutzan.
The players admit they went away from that simple formula during their November losing streak and that they didn't seriously recommit themselves to adhering to that approach again until not all that long ago.
However, it's clear the results speak for themselves. Dallas continues to get a healthy amount of pucks on net and the Stars' PK, a unit which is led by assistant coach Paul Jerrard, continues to get the job done and is quickly ascending the ranks as the top penalty killing unit in the entire NHL.
As for their goaltending, starter Kari Lehtonen has been rock solid between the pipes and could definitely earn some serious consideration as the team's MVP should they end their three-year playoff draught. Lehtonen has kept the Stars in a lot of games throughout the season and hasn't let in too many soft goals.
The Finnish-born netminder has always seemed to be there to deliver a top-notch save whenever his team needed it the most. And he's also been pretty decent in the shootout, a tall order for any NHL netminder. Lehtonen played 33 of the Stars' final 34 games last year and for good reason-then head coach Marc Crawford had little faith in backup Andrew Raycroft.
Well, Raycroft is now in Cedar Park with the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League after rookie Richard Bachman showed he was more than capable of being an able lieutenant to Lehtonen back in late November and early December while the affable Finn was recovering from a groin injury.
Dallas will complete their current three-game Western Canada road trip on Tuesday night in Vancouver. And with a full day off until their big game with the Canucks, there isn't any reason to think it won't be Lehtonen between the posts come Tuesday, if the talented Euro does want a breather, Bachman has already shown he's more than capable of stepping in and delivering a pretty stellar performance in his own right.
And no matter how Tuesday's game with the Canucks turns out, the Stars could have a familiar face waiting on them in captain Brenden Morrow, who resumed skating on Monday after a three-week absence. Morrow could be back on the ice for Thursday's game with the Sharks, a contest that figures to loom large in the playoff race.
While it is only two straight wins to start March, it's definitely a step in the right direction for this group. Last season, the Stars dropped five in a row to end February and did get it together early in March but everyone remembers how they fell short, one point to be exact by falling to the Wild in the regular season finale last April.
But if this group can get at least a point on Tuesday and head back to Big D with some serious momentum, especially with a two-game homestand against San Jose and Anaheim on the horizon, then this could be a team local fans could really get behind. After all, the Stars have just 16 games left, an even split of eight at home and eight on the road and it's clear their playoff push is well underway.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Loui Eriksson had a short-handed goal and added an assist in regulation, then scored in a shootout in the Dallas Stars' 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames on Sunday night.
Jamie Benn scored on Dallas' first attempt in the shootout, and Eriksson connected on the second.
Michael Ryder added a power-play goal, and Kari Lehtonen made 36 saves and assisted on Eriksson's...
via Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News, Defenseman Stephane Robidas broke five sticks Sunday in a 3-2 shootout win over Calgary. Robidas tapes three sticks for every game, and went through all three of them quickly. He then used the two practice sticks he has in the practice bag, and also broke those. He finished the game using Philip Larsen’s stick _ one of the few right-handed...
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -- Loui Eriksson had a short-handed goal and added an assist in regulation, then scored in a shootout in the Dallas Stars' 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames on Sunday night.
Jamie Benn scored on Dallas' first attempt in the shootout, and Eriksson connected on the second.
Michael Ryder added a power-play goal, and Kari Lehtonen made 36 saves and assisted...
Theres still a month left in the NHLs regular season, but Dallas Stars coach Glen Gulutzan wont be fooled by those semantics.
"Its a playoff atmosphere," he said after the Stars beat Calgary 3-2 in a shootout on Sunday for their sixth win in seven games.
Nowhere is that atmosphere more apparent than in the Pacific Division. One week ago, the Phoenix Coyotes and San Jose...
The Dallas Stars' performance in yesterday's game in Calgary was exactly the sort of effort the team will need to continue churning out over the balance of the stretch run. The Stars are now 6-0-1 in their last seven games, and have begun to strengthen their precarious grip on a playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Once again, Kari Lehtonen came up huge for the Stars...
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, • The Bruins and Blackhawks made a pitch to Dallas for D Sheldon Souray, while Colorado and Vancouver made offers for Stars W Steve Ott. The deals didn’t go down because GM Joe Nieuwendyk wanted players who could step into the lineup right away with Dallas still battling for a playoff spot.
• The Flyers were close on a deal that would...
Dallas 3 - Calgary 2
The Stars continued to move up the standings with a fantastic 3-2 shootout win over the Calgary Flames last night. For much of the game, Dallas didn't look so great, but the Stars managed to hang on and then win the game in a shootout. Dallas would have liked if this game didn't go into a three point situation but the Stars didn't compound...
Dallas 3 - Edmonton 1
It wasn't pretty, but the Stars did what they had to do last night. They beat an inferior Edmonton Oilers squad despite not playing their most efficient game. Dallas got depth line scoring in this game through hard work, a little luck and sheer force of will.
This was a pretty sleepy game all-around. Dallas never recorded more than six shots in...
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The Vancouver Canucks will host the Dallas Stars tonight in the third game of their seven game home stand. The last game didn't go as planned, as the Sabres jumped on Vancouver early for a 3-0 lead and never looked back. Dallas comes into this one as the...
MINI-PREVIEW 4:45 AM CST
Although they were idle last night, the Dallas Stars (35-26-5, 17-14-2 in away games) surged from the seventh seed to third in the Western Conference by virtue of the Phoenix Coyotes losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Now it will be up to the Stars to try to hang onto their extremely shaky grip on the Pacific Division lead.
Tonight, Dallas will complete...
Dallas Stars (35-26-5, 75 pts) @ Vancouver Canucks (41-17-8, 90 pts)
9:00 PM CT, March 6, 2012
Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
The Stars woke up to a little gift today as they suddenly find themselves sitting in the third seed in the Western Conference. A Pittsburgh Penguins win over the Phoenix Coyotes yesterday put a tiebreaker into effect between the...
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MINI-PREVIEW 10:15 AM CST
Looking to further solidify their playoff standing in the Western Conference, the Dallas Stars (34-26-5) face a crucial test tonight as they take on the Calgary Flames (29-25-11) in the second segment of the Stars' current three-game road trip through western Canada. The game starts at 5 PM CST and will be broadcast locally on Fox Sports Southwest...
Canucks host the playoff hopeful Stars
The Vancouver Canucks were overdue for a dud performance and that is just what happened in their 5-3 loss on Saturday night to the Buffalo Sabres. Now the Canucks will try to get back in the win column against another desperate team fighting for a playoff position – the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night.
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Before the Dallas Stars and Calgary Flames met last month, Calgary held a three-point edge over the Stars in the standings.
The Flames are in a much less enviable position now.
Dallas seeks its sixth victory in seven games Sunday when it visits the fading Flames, who have lost five of six.
The Stars had lost four straight to Calgary and three in a row overall to slip to 11th place...