After falling to the Red Wings on the road Tuesday night, the Dallas Stars returned home with a lot more energy to start the game. The Stars came out early playing a solid game and didn’t take a while to get into the flow of the game, something they’ve done quite a lot recently. Just under 10 minutes into the game, the Stars 4th line opened up the scoring after a solid shift as Jake Dowell found Adam Burish right out in front of the net. Burish put the shot up high over Miikka Kiprusoff in close to give the Stars a 1-0. But after playing a very solid first period for 19 minutes, Jarome Iginla fought his way past Alex Goligoski to score off a rush to send the game into the 2nd period at 1-1. In the 2nd the Stars kept up the play and continued to look like the better team. But midway through the period, Jamie Benn left the game after Mark Giordano‘s skate caught him on his thigh when the two collided along the boards. Benn never returned in the game and now is listed as “day-to-day” until the Stars and Benn see how the injury heals. Late in the period Dallas received their lone powerplay chance of the night and capitalized as Steve Ott drilled a blast past Kiprusoff after Mike Ribeiro gave him the puck at the top of the right circle.
Early in the third period the Stars stretched their shot advantage to 12 at one point but were stoned multiple times by Kiprusoff and the game stayed close. After Kari Lehtonen helped the Stars kill two big penalties late with some huge saves, and help from Stephane Robidas, the Calgary Flames tied the game up when Mike Cammalleri was left alone to the right of the crease. With the game at 2-2, both exchanged a few shots in the last five minutes before the game went to overtime. Once in the extra frame, the ice of course opened up and Ribeiro left the crowd with something to remember. Here is his ridiculous game-winner with the call and reaction from Ralph and Razor:
What Does It Mean:
The win keeps the Stars right in the middle of the playoff picture. After dropping three straight games, they needed a win and tonight they picked it up against another team in the playoff race. While the Flames did still walk away with a point, the Stars gained the second and had a very solid effort in front of a mediocre home crowd. After coming out to slow starts in many games recently, the Stars brought a better effort to the first half of tonight’s contest and it showed. While the referees did not do them any favors, they did score on their lone powerplay opportunity and they killed all three penalties against them. Solid goaltending, a better start, and good specials teams will win them some games in this league, and tonight they looked like the better team throughout the night.
Hopefully Benn’s injury is not major and the team does not have to play more than a game or two without him. While the cut was on his leg, the team medical staff was able to stitch him up in-house and he did not have to go to the hospital. Now the issue will be trying to let it heal up enough before he tries to get back on it. Reports are that he will miss Saturday’s game in Phoenix, but the team will not rule him out for Sunday’s contest back home. If he misses that one, then he could stay home when they go to Montreal on Tuesday.
The Stars now face another dreaded back-to-back, but this time the set is split between home and away. The team will play at the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday night, then return home to host the Nashville Predators on Sunday night. Both teams are currently in the top eight spots in the West, and both are teams that the Stars are going to be chasing going forward. While the Stars have still not won a second game of a back-t0-back set this season, Dallas might have it’s best chance to break that on Sunday at home. But right now it appears the Stars will be attempting to do so without Jamie Benn.