What Happened: What happened? A hockey miracle! The Dallas Stars were the better team for most of the game but went into the 3rd period trailing 2-0 to the visiting Los Angeles Kings. The game was frustrating. The Stars were getting some shots on net and were defensively playing a solid game, but a bad few minutes in the 2nd period changed the score from 0-0 to 2-0 in the Kings favor. But Jonathan Quick was again stopping anything the Stars were throwing towards him, and a lot of the shots early were not great chances. The third period changed the game though. The Stars kept trying and slowly you could see the Kings starting to tire after playing last night as well. After the Kings hit a post at the other end, great work in the offensive zone by Eric Nystrom led to a goal for Jamie Benn in tight as he got a chance and waited out Quick. With the score the Stars started to really push in. With a late powerplay again resulting in nothing, the Stars had a faceoff right outside of the offensive zone with less than a minute to go. After a timeout and a chat with Glen Gulutzan and assistant coach Willie Desjardins, the Stars took to the ice with the net empty. Steve Ott forced the faceoff forward into the Kings zone and sent Benn and Loui Eriksson on a 2-on-1 with Eriksson finishing the play off by scoring past a sprawling Quick with 21 seconds to go. Then the Stars pulled out even more magic in overtime. After visibly having the Kings on their heels, the Stars took off on another fast break after Mike Ribeiro payed the price and took a heavy high check to send the puck forward. This time Ott finished things off as the end result looked almost identical with Stephane Robidas feeding him the puck on a 2-on-1 to win the game.
What It Means: The Stars now have a two game winning streak and will go into Friday night’s contest with the Toronto Maple Leafs with a chance to win all their of their home games in this little holiday homestand. While the game was frustrating for most of the night, the team kept fighting and sticking with their attack and it payed off. While the Kings early on were very even with the Stars, it showed late in the game that they were coming off of another road contest last night. The Stars again were not perfect as they were ineffective with their powerplay chances and had a five minute window in the 2nd were they turned over the puck and it cost them, they did again find a way to win a close game like they started the season doing. After their horrid five-game losing streak, we have now seen two straight efforts that have looked a lot more like the team that started the year off shocking everyone. They outshot the Kings, had more takeaways, and even threw more hits than one of the tougher teams in the league. Short of losing faceoffs and doing nothing with their powerplay, it was an excellent night for the Stars. The boys now have bounced back and are right back into the mix of things in the West and Pacific. Without their captain (Brenden Morrow sat out with an “upper-body” injury) tonight, the big names stepped forward and Benn & Ott were huge. That says a lot about both of those guys.
What’s Next: Next the Stars will host the Maple Leafs at the AAC on Friday night as they end their homestand with a chance to go 3-0 on Black Friday. The Leafs have been one of the other surprise stories of the season so far and have been scoring in bunches with Phil Kessel leading the league in scoring. But the Leafs also have been prone to giving up goals as well. There is a good chance we could see a high-scoring affair in downtown Dallas on Friday night.
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.
Tags: Brenden Morrow Dallas Stars Eric Nystrom Glen Gulutzan Jamie Benn Jonathan Quick Los Angeles Kings Loui Eriksson Mike Ribeiro Phil Kessel Stephane Robidas Steve Ott Toronto Maple Leafs Willie Desjardins