Not the effort that the Stars or their fans would have hoped for last night in downtown Dallas, but the Stars are lucky to get a point out of it. The San Jose Sharks bullied around the Stars for most of the night and won the game in overtime 4-3, but Dallas walked away with a point and between the two games of this home-and-home set both teams got 3 points. While it sucks to give up points to a divisional rival who is close on your tail, the Stars are continuing to get points and woke up this morning sitting in the 2nd spot in the Western conference. The only problem is, the spread between the 2nd and 12th spot in the west is only four points. It may still be December, but every game against conference teams is starting to be important. Dallas now is on the road, heading Columbus tomorrow and Detroit on Sunday afternoon before coming home for three games.
The return of Kari Lehtonen did not go completely well either. Well at least overall. He looked good and did about as much as he could, but he was under fire all night. He stopped 39 of the 43 shots he faced and was a huge part of why Dallas got one point last night. With Dallas now about to play back-to-back games on the road, the Stars will probably have Raycroft in the crease again for one of the games and Lehtonen for the other. It was not revealed this morning who yet, but I am guessing after just coming back and facing a lot of work, Lehtonen gets Saturday off and plays the game against the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.
Another big key last night that is good to see from the Stars is that their special teams showed up on both sides. The powerplay continues to magically be good at home despite struggling severely on the road.The powerplay only got two chances all night, and only got two shots, but both of those were goals as the PP went 2-f0r-2. Combine that withe Stars going 6-for-7 on the PK and those numbers look like numbers that will win you 8 or 9 out of 10 games. But Dallas was outscored 3-1 when the play was even and the Sharks were in control of the play a lot more then the Stars. But it is good to see the special teams have a good game and hopefully they can carry some of that over into the two games this weekend.
Dallas plays at the Columbus Blue Jackets tomorrow (Saturday night) at 6PM CT and the last time the two teams met on Dec 6th in Columbus, the Blue Jackets won 3-2 in OT. Here is hoping Dallas pays the Blue Jackets back this time. More on that matchup tomorrow.