Mar 13, 2012; St. Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild goalie Matt Hackett (31) Makes a save on Dallas Stars forward Michael Ryder (73) during the first period against the Dallas Stars at the Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

Rapid Reaction: Stars Grind Out 1-0 Win Over Wild

 

What Happened:

The Minnesota Wild did all they could to suffocate and frustrate the Stars throughout the first period and they succeeded. Despite a few decent chances for both sides, neither team could get on the board, making the first portion of this contest completely lifeless. Surely the teams would wake up and get some production in the second, right? Wrong. At least this frame had a bit of excitement with an influx of penalties late in the period, giving each team various time on the power play. Neither goaltender blinked and the second period ended 0-0. The levee finally broke 3:46 into the third period, and it was Jamie Benn scoring his 21st goal of the year who opened the gates to give the Stars a 1-0 lead. The grind continued until the final minutes when Minnesota pulled their goaltender for the extra man, but Kari Lehtonen held them off, securing the 1-0 victory for the Dallas Stars.

What It Means:

It was ugly, it was boring, it was a classic pesky victory. The Stars did what they needed to do and they’ll take these valuable two points and run away with them. Jamie Benn had the game’s only goal and Kari Lehtonen shut the Wild down. With this win, the Stars extend their winning streak to six games, and their points streak to eleven games. That’s 10-0-1 in their last eleven. No matter how many times I think about I can’t help but be shocked. Who saw this coming from this Stars team? They remain on top of the Pacific Division, moving four points ahead of the Phoenix Coyotes. They can’t afford to be satisfied with themselves, though. They have another tough test tomorrow night and they have to work hard to put more goals in the net. It wasn’t much, but it was enough. Game notes:

  • Michael Ryder’s nine-game point streak has finally come to an end. RIP.
  • Kari Lehtonen earned his second straight shutout tonight.
  • Mark Fistric was injured and didn’t return to the game, if it’s serious expect to see Jordie Benn in tomorrow night if Souray is still injured.

What’s Next:

The Stars are right back at it tomorrow night against the Winnipeg Jets. The MTS Centre in Winnipeg is not friendly to visitors, but it will give the Stars another important taste of a raucous playoff-life atmosphere. The Stars finally broke the streak of being winless in back to backs back on February 24th and they will look to prove themselves once again.

 

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Tags: Dallas Stars Dany Heatley Devin Setoguchi Jamie Benn Kari Lehtonen Michael Ryder Minnesota Wild

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