Dallas Stars win 3-2 at Colorado Avalanche
Shots: Dallas 26, Colorado 31
PP: Dallas 0-5, Colorado 1-5
Jamie Benn- He’s finally back! It was only a matter of time before the beast woke up. We saw him getting better with every gamer. His skating and puck handling slowly getting back to where it was and his shot was getting back to where it needed to be. He managed possession of the puck very well and was especially effective entering the Colorado zone. His forechecking was strong and it led directly to his first goal as he stripped Hunwick of the puck at the blue line and scored on a breakaway. He was less physical, but that’s a good tradeoff to have if it means he plays calmer, more focused and get on the scoreboard more often. He ended with 2 goals, 1 assist, 3 shots, 3 takeaways, a hit and was +2 on the night.
This is when Jamie Benn stole the puck from Hunwick and scored his first goal of the season.
Benn's first goal of the season.
Benn's second goal of the season. Left wide open up the middle to rip a wrister.
Brenden Morrow- After fearing he may not have a place on this team and being moved down to the 4th line, Morrow has really fit in well on the Stars’ top line. Especially when you consider that he’s playing with speedy skilled forwards Benn and Jagr. He got in the ugly places, fighting in front of the net and on the boards. His hard-nose drive to the net got him his first goal of the season. Benn lost the faceoff, jagr skated behind Duchene and won the puck battle, skated the puck toward the net and took a shot. It was blocked in front but Morrow was heading to the crease and put it in the net. Morrow ended with a goal on his only shot, a hit, a block and a takeaway. Morrow scored a goal with 11:29 left in the 2nd period, but it was waved off and he was sent straight to the box for goalie interference.
Jagr drew two Avalanche and threw the puck at the net, Morrow was there to bury it.
Stars’ first line- First line again dominated. Didn’t need the little guys to step up tonight because the top line tallied 3 goals, 2 assists, 7 shots and 4 takeaways. Jagr can still obviously work magic with the puck and his chemistry with Benn is increasing every game and Morrow still plays his style which balances out the line.
Forecheck- The Stars had a strong, aggressive forecheck and it led to a goal and many chances. The Stars seemed to have either two players deep or had one high and one low in the Colorado zone. Either way it worked well and on then the centers’ tended to cover the man with the puck up the middle and push them to the boards. Very effective work tonight.
Stars forwards pressured on forecheck then dropped back and most of the time centers pushed the puck handlers to the boards.
I loved seeing this forecheck. big fan of this style.
Outmuscled- The Stars built their team to be fast, Colorado was faster. And the big difference between this season and last is that the Stars got rid of their toughness for speed and skill. It was evident tonight. Colorado isn’t the most physical team but they seemed to be dominating the physical game against the Stars. Their hits were harder and more effective. They pushed the Stars around several times and their physicality on the forecheck wreaked havoc when trying to get the puck out of the zone. I can only remember a couple of times the Stars finished their checks or went in hard for a hit, and almost every time it was Dillon.
Penalties- Still taking too many penalties every game, but at least (if you’re wanting some positive out of this) the Stars didn’t take many dumb offensive-zone penalties. Morrow’s goalie interference penalty was the only one in the offensive zone. Jagr and Ryder were called for semi-questionable slashing calls. Yes the sticks were knocked out, but that was a weak grip in both cases.
Morrow scored on this play, but it was waved off and he was sent to the box for goalie interference.
Power play- As good as the PK is, the Stars can’t get their power play going. And whitney being out doesn’t help. Benn’s unit did well moving the puck, being patient and taking good shots on goal. Jagr was clearly the one running the power play. I really didn’t like Roy at the point on the power play. He did well down low or cycling with Eriksson, but when Roy was at the point almost every shot he took went right into the shin guards of the Colorado player standing right in front of him.
Jagr did good on the Benn PP unit. held the puck and got three Avs trying to block his pass across then he'd pass it to the point for a one-timer.
Faceoffs- This category continues to stay in the bad.Stars won 25 of 59. top two didn't do too good at all: Benn won 7 of 21 and Roy won 7 of 20. Bottom two did pretty well: Eakin won 5 of 8 and Fiddler won 6 of 9.
Lines seen tonight:
Healthy scratches: Larsen, Garbutt, Wandell
Injuries: Whitney (Nilstorp was cleared and sent down to the AHL along with Jordie Benn)
MIlan Hejduk was honored before the game for playing in his 1,000th game for Colorado.
Hejduk's 1000th game.
Ref got hit by an Oleksiak slapshot from the point that ricocheted off of an Avs' leg and hit him in the neck. Being a hockey guy, a few minutes later he was up and walking around fine.
Look at that beard! way to go Zanon.
Hejduk's goal. Goligoski didn't clear the puck or turn around in time and Benn followed but didn't hassle or stop Hejduk.
Colorado's second goal. puck came from Stastny on the left, hit off Lehtonen, popped up, Mcginn in the middle swung at it, but in the end Parenteau on the right knocked it in.
So close to an empty netter but Duchene skated back and stopped it before it crossed the line.