The Stars special teams finally kicked in into gear on Saturday night, and as a result the Dallas Stars got a 4-0 home win over the Buffalo Sabres at the AAC. The Stars have been at the bottom of the rankings for both PK and PP percentages since the season started, but last night the Stars looked solid on both and got a great effort in net. The Stars also played disciplined play from the whole team, as they only committed two penalties and killed off both of them. The Stars scored on a 1st period 5-on-3 PP with good passing ending up with a nice shot by James Neal, and then in the second period captain Brenden Morrow redirected a puck in front on another PP chance. The Stars went 2 for 7 for the night, and Brad Richards assisted both of the PP goals as he continues to be the key when this team’s powerplay is clicking.
The Stars also got a shorthanded goal from Steve Ott as he gets a loose puck in front of the net after Jamie Benn makes an excellent play to create a chance for himself. Add in a somewhat weak goal by Daley to make it 4-0, and the Stars did plenty to win. The special teams play on both sides was excellent and for the first time this season, both sides performed on the same night.
Dallas also got a superb effort in net by backup Andrew Raycroft. He makes 34 saves on 34 shots and secures the Stars first shutout of the season. He didn’t look rusty at all after not playing for a few weeks, and had great movement and positioning for most of the night. The Sabres got plenty of shots at him, but the Stars defense did their best to help and he looked great. It will really help the Stars if they can put him in when needed this season and not have to worry about the effort in net. As the season moves on and gets more active, he will get plenty more Stars as I bet the Stars don’t want to overuse and wear down Lehtonen before the stretch.
Next game for the Stars is game 5 of their 6 games stretch at home, and they host the up and down Penguins. Should be a fun affair Wednesday night at the AAC. And of course, go Texas Rangers tonight! For those that don’t know yet, I have taken over writing for the Fansided Texas Rangers blog. Give it a read and some support over at Nolanwritin.com!