The Dallas Stars redeemed themselves after an embarrassing loss to Chicago Saturday night by hanging on to defeat the Calgary Flames 4-3 Monday night.
In the last match of their 4-game home stand, they finally managed to pull out a win. Led by Loui Eriksson and a full team effort on defense, the Stars dominated most of the game and earned two crucial points. They moved back to .500 on home ice, and are back to being on the playoff bubble rather than the bottom of the standings.
Eriksson scored two goals, including the game winner, to earn the first star of the game. Erik Cole and Eric Nystrom also scored for the Stars. Jiri Hudler, Jay Bouwmeester and Alex Tanguay provided the scoring for the Flames.
Dallas opened the scoring 13:07 into the first period when an intended pass by Cole bounced off the left skate of Flames defenseman Derek Smith and went between goalie Joey Macdonald’s legs into the net. Nearly three minutes later, Nystrom was the first to a loose puck to the right of Macdonald, and he put it in the goal for a 2-0 lead.
Calgary’s captain, Jarome Iginla, fought Cody Eakin less than a minute later in an apparent attempt to jolt his team. Instead, the momentum seemed to go in Dallas’ favor as the Eriksson netted his first goal of the game with 1:49 left in the first period. Trevor Daley hustled to keep the puck in the offensive zone and he sent the puck deep for Derek Roy. Roy skated up the boards and eventually sent a pass behind the net to Ray Whitney. Whitney skated out to the side of the net and sent a pass to a wide open Eriksson in the slot.
A couple of Stars penalties gave Calgary momentum in the second period, and the Flames fought their way back into the game. 11:17 into the period, Eakin attempted an open ice hit along the Stars’ blue line and was called for interference. On the ensuing faceoff, TJ Brodie shot the puck from the blue line and Hudler redirected it over Lehtonen and into the net.
Jordie Benn was called for a hooking penalty less than a couple of minutes of later and Bouwmeester ended up backhanding a puck over Lehtonen’s right shoulder to bring the Flames to within a goal.
Nearly 8 minutes into the third period, Eriksson pounced on a puck that had been blocked in front of the Flames net and put the Stars ahead 4-2. Three minutes later, Tanguay gained possession of the puck behind the Dallas defense on an off-the-boards pass by Mike Cammalleri. He skated in on Lehtonen, deked to his right and tucked in a goal to make it 4-3.
The Stars had trouble clearing the puck out of their zone when the Flames pulled their goalie with little over one minute remaining in the third period. After a series of blocked shots and puck battles, the Stars cleared the zone and held on for the win.
Lehtonen wasn’t very busy. He stopped 16 of 19 shots, but the Stars blocked 20 shots to help him get the win. The power play ended up 0-for-3 and the penalty kill was 2-for-4.
The Stars fly out to face the Colorado Avalanche Wednesday night followed by the Los Angeles Kings Thursday night.