The first period was a back and forth affair, and despite the Stars getting a power play opportunity, it was the Oilers who struck first. Taylor Hall’s shot bounced of Alex Goligoski’s skate and right over the head of goaltender Richard Bachman. The 1-0 lead lasted through most of the second period, but Loui Eriksson went to another level and set up a Trevor Daley pass to Jamie Benn to tie the game at 1-1. Benn wasn’t done yet, and took matters into his own hands to break the tie, scoring seven minutes into the final frame to put Dallas up 2-1. Mike Ribeiro, who fought through a puck to the face last game, and another injury during today’s match, scored from behind the goal line to give the Stars a 3-1 lead. Ribeiro added an empty netter for his second straight two goal game to give the Stars the final 4-1 victory.
What It Means:
Another win at home, another two points, and another satisfying finish for the Dallas Stars. An afternoon game is a comparative rarity for the Stars, but the change of pace is always nice, and the Stars didn’t let the early start slow them down. The team was maybe a bit too slow in the opening periods, but coming into the third period at a 1-1 tie, the Stars kicked into gear and dominated the Oilers. Bachman’s surprise start was another solid showing. You can hardly blame him for the first and only goal, as it took a strange deflection, but he was perfect the rest of the day. The Oilers have rarely had success in Dallas, and the Stars offense cut through the depleted Edmonton defense to make sure the trend continued. Game notes:
- Richard Bachman was given the start over Kari Lehtonen this afternoon. The only reason we heard was because Kari was “not feeling well”. More than likely just a precaution, and an easy choice given the confidence the team has in Bachman.
- Jordie Benn was scratched for the first time in his stint in the NHL. With Sheldon Souray expected to return on Tuesday, Benn’s brief, but successful call up might be coming to an end.
- The Jamie Benn show continues, the man has points in 11 of his last 13 games, garnering 7 goals and 18 points over that span.
- The power play was again fruitless, but the penalty kill was again perfect. Special teams continues to be an aggravating facet of the Stars game, but it’s not killing them.
What’s Next: The Stars get a couple days off before heading out to California for a division match up against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night. The Ducks are still occupying the cellar of the NHL, but GM Bob Murray’s declaration that almost every player is on the trading block seems to have lit a fire under them, and they’re coming off an impressive win against the New York Islanders.
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