Sunday, March 24, 2013

Dallas Stars Game 31: The Good and the Bad

Getty Images

Dallas Stars beat the Colorado Avalance 5-2
Shots: Dallas 31, Colorado 35
PP: Dallas 1/4, Colorado 1/3

The Good:

Quick, strong starts- The Stars scored on their first rush, their first shot, just 34 seconds into the game. That’s how you start a game, and probably the most critical stretch of games so far this season. This 5-game home stand might dictate the Stars’ fate this season, and it was great to jump out quick with a goal against a team that stole two points from them Wednesday night. They were up 2-0 after the first, but it was a “we’ve seen this before, let’s see how the second period goes.” And the Stars didn’t succumb to their typical second period falter. Instead, they jumped out quick again. Nystrom scored 58 seconds in, and Eakin scored nearly four minutes later. So the Stars had a 4-0 five minutes into the second period. That’s a pretty good statement from a team that struggled at home this season and has had trouble really putting away games.

Dallas goal #1- Roy intercepts a centerign feed in the defensive zone and passes to Eriksson out of the zone. Eriksson then dishes the puck into open ice in the offensive zone. Roy had room to skate in a wrist the puck past O'Byrne and Varlamov.

A closer angle of the Roy goal.

Dallas goal #3- Benn was kicked out of the faceoff circle. Nystrom came in, won the puck back to the point.  Jagr and Nystrom work the puck along the boards and Benn gets the puck down low. He makes a spin move that put him right on the crease, but Varlamov stops his shot. Nystrom crashes the net and pops in the rebound.

Keeping new lines- Gulutzan changed his lines up for the third period against the Los Angeles Kings Thursday night. They turned around and offensively-inept first two periods with two goals and a win. Keeping those same lines paid off against the Avalanche. Members of the top 3 lines contributed on the scoreboard. Jagr, Roy and Nystrom recorded two points each. Nystrom’s goal came off Jagr’s possession skills and Benn’s skill moves, and Nystrom was there in the ugly area of the ice putting home a gritty goal. Whitney, Roy and Eriksson were strong in their own zone and countered quickly with some good passing that led to the game’s opening goal. The lines really seem to working well right now. They tallied 7 goals for and two goals against over four periods. We can expect to see these lines again Monday night.  

Dallas goal #2- On the power play, a shot from the point hits off Varlamov and bounces to his right. Jordie Benn heads to the net and backhands the puck in.

A different angle of the Benn goal.

An aggressive forecheck by Nystrom and Benn forced a turnover behind the net that led to a goal.

Dallas goal #4- Benn gets the puck on the turnover and tries a backhanded wraparound. The puck slipped off his stick and went to the slot. Eakin skated at the puck unchecked and wristed the puck past Varlamov, who was then pulled for Giguere.

The Bad:

Clearing the zone- Not many negative things from the Stars this game. They had a few moments when they bunched up too much in the defensive zone. They were outworked along the boards several times, but the thing that bothered me the most was their inability to clear the zone. It happened a handful of times, starting on a penalty kill. Fiddler and Nystrom were stuck out on the ice for too long on the PK.

Fortunate disallowed goal- The Stars got a break when a Colorado goal with about 3 minutes left in the first period was disallowed. It was called off for goalie interference because David Jones collided with Lehtonen near the top of the crease. Seems like a small play, but a Colorado goal with about three minutes left in the period could’ve resulted in a typical Stars second period flop.

This was the interference by Jones on Lehtonen that disallowed the goal. 

Lines seen tonight:

PP-Eakin-Roy-Cole-Goligoski-Jo. Benn
PK-Eakin-Cole-Goligoski- daley

Notable Notes:
  • Faceoffs- Benn won 4 of 10, Roy won 12 of 21, Eakin won 10 of 16, Fiddler won 4 of 11.
Dallas goal #5- Jagr took the puck behind the net and took a wraparound shot. It bounced off of Elliott's skates and went between Giguere's legs into the net.

Another angle of the Jagr goal.

Colorado goal #1- A shot by Stastny from the point hits the crowd in front. The puck bounces to O'Rilley to Lehtonen's left. Lehtonen dropped expecting a shot, but O'Reilly sends a cross-ice pass to Parenteau instead. He buried the puck before Lehtonen could get in position.

Another angle of how out of position Lehtonen was on the Colorado goal.

Colorado goal #2- Stastny received a pass from center ice and skated into the Stars' zone. He takes a wrist shot from the right circle that goes right through Lehtonen. 

Lehtonen definitely wanted this one back. 

My favorite save by Lehtonen this game.

Late in the game, Mcleod and Dillon stirred it up. They were exchanging words and then Mcleod threw a punch. Then...

A major scrum ensued and a few more punches were thrown, even with the refs in between. This punch was thrown by O'Brien after Mcleod was sent to the box.

Dillon ended the scrum by pointing to the scoreboard reminding O'Brien that the score was 5-2 with 1:24 left in the game.

Robidas received a standing ovation for being voted onto the 20th Anniversary team.

He doesn't smile much during the game, but a standing ovation, a face wash by Lehtonen and pats on the head and back will get a smile going.

Craig Ludwig was also honored as a member of the Stars' 20th Anniversary team.


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