Not a bad way to start off a 3 game stretch at home. Some punches and hits all night, flashy saves in the net, and just enough offense to win. The Anaheim Ducks came in with the intention to start a new winning streak after having their streak snapped over the weekend, but the Dallas Stars played strong and physical right off the opening faceoff. A couple of penalties for physical play, but it is better then watching them look half asleep like the did Thursday night. The stupid penalties really need to stop, as they took 2 more in this game, but the penalty kill and Kari Lehtonen held the Ducks top scorers at bay.
One of the biggest keys going into the game was how would the Stars do on both sides of their special teams, as they have been constant areas that have struggled and hurt the Stars all season so far. Last night the stats did look overly great, but on both sides the Stars did better. The Stars took multiple bad penalties ( a pair of delay-of-game penalties in the first period alone), but killed 5-of-6 PP chances the Ducks got in the game. Corey Perry scored on one of the delay-of-game calls, and has been on fire for the Ducks. But after that the Stars locked it down for the rest of the game and when the did have lapses Lehtonen made a few highlight saves. The Stars also got a PP goal from Steve Ott on a nice long pass from Brad Richards, and Ott got between the defensemen and slipped one past Hiller. Just seconds early Lehtonen made a gorgeous glove save on a Ducks shorthanded breakaway, and the Stars then got a breakaway and pocketed a goal. It was still upsetting to see the Stars get a couple of powerplay chances after going up 2-1 in the third and not be able to grab another goal to put the game away. But 1-for-5 is better then nothing.
Brad Richards again stole the spotlight from everyone but Lehtonen when the Stars needed a good effort. He made the pass to break Ott into the zone for the breakaway goal on the PP that put the Stars up 1-0 in the first. And then in the third he puts a quick wrist shot up high and gets a shot past Hiller. Off the post and then off Hiller, and just gets across the goal-line. It took a few minutes of reviewing it, but it was called a goal and it was the right call. After some bad bounces and a few posts clanked over the three game losing streak, it was sweet to see Dallas get something like that go their way. Also it was a big moment for Brad, as it was his 200th career goal. Not too shabby to be around long enough as a playmaker to hit 200 career goals.
Dallas now continues play at home, hosting the rival San Jose Sharks on Thursday night at the AAC. More on that later tonight or tomorrow morning. As always, you should follow BlackoutDallas on twitter (Twitter.com/blackoutdallas) and you can check out Too Many Men on the Site for daily NHL and hockey blogging from the top hockey bloggers for Fansided and a few free agents or guests we bring in.