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Rapid Reaction: Nystrom Caps Furious Comeback, Stars Beat Sens 3-2

What Happened: The Stars earned themselves a quick power play early in the first period, but the woes continued, and then some. Erik Condra, who took the minor, came out of the box unchecked and unchallenged and took advantage of a break away, sneaking behind a changing Stars defense to wrist a shot high glove side over Andrew Raycroft. Fortunately for Dallas, the Senators must have missed being in the box as they took another penalty just two minutes after scoring. This time, the Stars cashed in, ending a 0 for 22 drought. Toby Petersen, who’s play as a point man on the power play had been unimpressive, redeemed himself a bit as he shot a wrister at the net that was deflected by Steve Ott, tying the game at 1-1. The second period featured a third power play chance for the Stars, but nothing came of it. The shot count was a measly 4 to 4 tie for the entire period, and not much was generated in the form of scoring chances. A forgettable period overall. Shooting picked up in the third period but it was Ottawa who struck first, when the team’s leading scorer Milan Michalek continued his scoring frenzy to put the Sens up 2-1 with nine minutes to play. The lead didn’t last long as Mike Ribeiro, on his own bobblehead night, bought time and space in the offensive zone to put the puck in front of the net where Radek Dvorak tipped the puck in, evening up the score at 2-2. Following an extended attack in the offensive zone, the scoring sensation known as Eric Nystrom netted his ninth goal of the season with just over two minutes remaining. The Stars survived the six-man Senators onslaught, and Raycroft nabbed the final shot as the buzzer sounded, giving the Stars an improbable victory.

What It Means: What a game. After that snoozer of a second period, the Stars and Senators made the third period a shooting gallery. There were three goals in the final ten minutes, but fortunately it was the Stars that came out on top. Eric Nystrom’s improbable rise as one of the Stars’ most lethal goal scorers continued tonight when he scored the game winning goal in the final minutes. The goal puts him just one behind Loui Eriksson for the team lead. Speaking of Eriksson, his line with Jamie Benn and Michael Ryder continues to under perform. They have not been producing and tonight had trouble passing and getting pucks to the net. They’re in a slump, but with a third line as dependable as the one in Dallas, the Stars can still pull out wins using their depth. Andrew Raycroft probably wants the goals he let in back, but he came up big in the end, extending his record to 2-0 as the starter while Lehtonen is injured. Another exciting win for the Pesky Stars with multiple key injuries shows what this team is really made of, and how lethal they can be when all the parts are in place.

What’s Next: Another Easter Conference match up awaits the Stars when the New York Islanders come to town on Saturday, December 3rd. They’re a struggling team as of late but full of young talent. They’ll be hungry, but a streaking Eric Nystrom and Andrew Raycroft are hungrier, and they will want to continue their respective successes. Should be an exciting game, tune in, or better yet, get out to Dallas and see it live.

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Tags: Andrew Raycroft Dallas Stars Erik Condra Ottawa Senators Steve Ott Toby Petersen

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