What Happened: The Dallas Stars finally put an end to their recent woes and came out with their best game in the last few weeks. The Stars came out right away with more energy and jump, and scored first against the Edmonton Oilers as Toby Peterson scored for the first time this season. From then on, the game just felt and looked great. The Stars for a long time led by only one goal, but were controlling the play. Mark Fistric and Nicklas Grossman were both very physical and dominating tonight in the defensive end, and the Stars constantly laid strong but clean hits on the Oilers. By the time the 2nd period had ended, the Stars top two lines both finally busted through as Mike Ribeiro fed a quick pass to Steve Ott right outside the crease to make it 2-0 and later Michael Ryder ended a 4-on-1 chance by putting a quick shot off the crossbar and in to make it 3-1. Kari Lehtonen was good in the net again tonight, but unlike most games this season he did not have to face a lot of shots. The Stars outshot the Oilers 35-18 and delivered 47 hits tonight. Other than again taking a few too many penalties (courtesy of Brenden Morrow and he just looks bad), just about everything looked great tonight. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored the lone goal for Edmonton and looked very impressive tonight, but overall the Dallas defense not only kept the young Oilers in check but besides 3-4 chances made them look mediocre tonight.
What It Means: The biggest thing is that it means the Stars ended that dreaded losing streak. While almost everything seemed off over the last five games, the boys seemed to just snap back into their winning ways tonight. This team looked more like the team we saw in Washington or Carolina and finally not only won again but looked like a strong team again. They went from being severely outshot to almost doubling-up the Oilers tonight and it started right away. The came out right away taking the body and forcing the play, and they got shots and players close to the net for the first time since their last win. The penalty kill again was strong as they killed off all six chances tonight that they gave Edmonton and something to take from the game is that they and Lehtonen picked up a good win without having to put in a big night. It was good to see the offense show back up and for the Stars to have one of their best games of the season right when they desperately needed it. The one thing to watch moving forward is the captain. Brenden Morrow has not started the season off well and tonight it just continued to show. He had a good first shift but then missed some time in the first after a hit and once he returned he just looked off. He took three penalties tonight and a couple of them were just bad plays. While he did pickup an assist, he has been non-existent or harmful to the team more times than he has been a big positive so far this season.
What’s Next: The Stars will continue their three game homestand this Thanksgiving weekend as the Los Angeles Kings will be in town Wednesday night and the Toronto Maple Leafs will be at the AAC on Friday night. The Stars are 0-2 so far this season against the Kings and a big divisional win could mean a lot. Stringing together three successful games here at home could help the Stars bounce right back into the top of the West and quickly help fans forget their recent woes.
You can follow myself (Austin) at Twitter.com/BlackoutDallas online for updates and chatter, and follow BlackoutDallas contributors Melissa at Twitter.com/DalStarsWriter and Andrew Monrreal at Twitter.com/_Ammon.