Stars 5, Senators 4
Yet again, the Dallas Stars defense has an ugly effort at times. But this proved to be one of the times where they got a hold of another team with somewhat sloppy defense themselves, and down the Ottawa Senators 5-4. The Stars suffered from lapses of focus and judgment in their own zone, and looked like the lesser team early in the 2nd when the Sens took a 3-2 lead on Jason Spezza’s 2nd goal of the afternoon. But Dallas stayed in the game, and Brad Richards added his 2nd of the game to make it 3-3 before Neal and Benn converted a 2 on 1 with less then a minute left in the 2nd to take a lead. From there Daley decided to score on the opposing goal and gave the Stars a 5-3 lead early in the 3rd.
It was good to see the boys respond to the play, and although it was far from a complete effort, be able to get better in the 2nd half of the game and take home a win. Richards continues shining offensively for Dallas this year, who adds a couple goals to put him at 79 points through 69 games. Richards now has 35 points on the power-play this season, which is the most in the league. Besides Richards, it was a very even offensive day. Many different players chipped in, and unlike the defensive effort it seemed like once they were able to move the puck out of their own zone everyone was trying to help or add something.
Quick turn around as the team hosts division foes Phoenix tomorrow night at the AAC. Although Lehtonen did make a few great saves today, he was again not great. He did not have a lot of help though on some of the goals, as 2 of the goals were re-directs in front and another the defense had two guys in front but could not stop a pass right into the crease. Who starts tomorrow is still up in the air. My guess is we will see Turco make one of his last starts in a Stars uniform, as Kari has played 3 straight and is still getting to 100% with his back. Coach Crawford did not say that it will be Turco, but if for some reason Lehtonen does start he may not have a long leash and Turco will start Tuesday night. But I think about everyone expects Lehtonen to have the day off. The quick turn around could be good for the teams offense, which has been playing better late and can carry momentum over into the game. But it does not give the defense much time to adjust and plan for the Coyotes. Woywitka, who has been playing better recently, sat out the game and could jump back into the line-up tomorrow for maybe Niskanen, Skrastins, or Fistric to have a night off to rest and watch.
We shall see, 6PM CST tomorrow night. The game is on FSN-SW and 1310AM, and you can still get tickets for the game. Go Stars!