Dallas Stars vs. Minnesota Wild
January 20, 2013
MINNESOTA — Dallas Stars were hoping to echo their win over Phoenix Coyotes tonight against the Minnesota Wild. Stars rookie Cristopher Nilstorp (41) was in the crease for his NHL debut. He was matched up against Josh Harding (37) in the net for the Wild. Nilstorp put in an excellent performance for the Stars. Unfortunately, the Stars’s defense and offense did not give Nilstorp the assistance he needed leaving the Stars with one in the loss column.
Stars’ Derek Roy won the initial face-off. Nilstorp made quite an NHL debut with some great saves, unfortunately at 8:11 Zach Parise (1) of the Minnesota Wild made a one-timer, unassisted goal. The goal did not at all detract from Nilstorp’s first period performance. the young goalie is definitely sending a message to the organization that he is here to play and stay for good.
After the Wild goal, Stars Derek Roy won the face-off against Wild’s Devin Setoguchi (10). Wild’s defensive players were solid in front of their goal preventing Stars from having any good looks at the goal.
At 5:24 left in the 1st, Stars’ Brenden Morrow caught a puck to the nose and upper-lip. He headed into the locker-room for treatment of his injury.
At 2:54 in the 1st, Stars players were looking frantic in their passing game. The Wild had much more cohesive play on the ice. Their pssing game was fluid and produced some great attempts on goal.
At the end of the 1st period Stars had 8 shots on goal while the Wild had 10.
Stars Morrow rejoined his team in the 2nd period sporting butterfly stitches on his upper-lip and nose.
The first 3 minutes were rather uneventful, but at the 15:28 mark the play began to heat up with more aggressive puck passing by both teams.
His impressive 6’3″ frame allowed him to block a goal attempt at the 12:34 mark with his left foot. The Wild went on to make three more shots on goal at 12:20 all of which Nilstorp blocked with cat-like agility.
Jaromir Jagr (68) was not as instrumental to the Stars as he was in the Stars vs. Phoenix Coyotes in last night’s game. However, Jagr was a great example of patience for the younger players on the team.
The players on both sides were getting testy with their opponents with a few shoves and words being exchanged from time to time toward the end of the 2nd period.
Stars Brenden Dillon (4) was sent the Dallas Stars a message similar to Nilstorp’s: “Im here for the long-haul.” The young 6’3″ defenseman was aggressive in the game, yet patient with his passes. He was not afraid to bide his time behind the Wild goal looking for the right opportunity to pass the puck. Dillon showed mature passing skills.
At the end of the 2nd period the Minnesota Wild was leading the Dallas Stars in goals, 1-0. The shots on goal were tied at 20 each.
In a televised interview with Fox Sports’ Daryl Reaugh between periods, Jordie Benn (58) said, “We give them too much time, obviously the more time we give them the more shots their going to take.” Benn went on to say, “We have to make quick transitions and get it (the puck) out of the zone.”
When asked about Nilstorp’s performance Benn said, “He’s a solid goaltender… He deserves to play tonight.”
A quick offsides started the final regulation play at 19:34. The stars missed many opportunities to take shots by losing the puck multiple times. Stars had issues with getting past the Wild defensive line the entirety of the 3rd period. The Stars offense could not find any solid looks at the goal. Meanwhile, the Stars defense lacked in assisting Nilstorp in front of the net.
At 11:22 the Stars pulled it together to make a number of attempts on the Wild goal without fruition. Wild’s Harding make quick work of blocking the shots.
A Double penalty was called at 11:00; Stars’ Stephane Robidas (3) for interference and Wilds’ Pierre-Marc Bouchard (96) for goalie interference. Neither team could produce any goals in the 4-on-4 play.
With 2:01 left in regulation Stars’ Trevor Daley (6) caught a penalty for high sticking leaving the Stars short manned in a critical time. Daley’s penalty could not have come at a worse time for the struggling team. Despite pulling Nilstorp to compensate for Daley’s penalty, the Stars were unable to score a goal.
The Stars fell to the Wild 0-1 with 24 Stars and 32 Wild shots on goal.
Without Nilstorp’s strong performance the Stars would have likely lost by a much larger margin. Dillon put in some great work throughout the game as did Rookie Cody Eakin (20). Tonight was the night for the rookies to make an impression that sticks. Despite the loss, the rookies proved themselves to be true Stars.