- Mark Stepneski, ESPNDallas.com
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The record speaks for itself: The Stars improved to 10-3-0 with Sunday’s win. They are the first team to hit 10 wins this season and their .769 points percentage is the best in the league. They’ve won four of five on the road as well. But the road gets rougher this week with stops in Washington (Tuesday), Pittsburgh (Friday) and Detroit (Saturday).
Finding the back of the net : The Stars have scored 12 goals over the past two games and are now averaging 2.92 per game, which ranked sixth in the league at the end of Sunday’s game. By the end of the first period Sunday the Stars had put together a run where they had scored 10 goals in a 58:16 span and when Michael Ryder scored early in the second it was 11 goals in 62:04.
Productive line: Over the last two games the recently formed line of Loui Eriksson, Jamie Benn and Michael Ryder has been productive. Eriksson has 6 points (2 goals, 4 assists), Benn has 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists), Ryder has 5 points (1 goal 4 assists). Eriksson and Benn both have 15 points on the season and were tied for 7th in the league in scoring following Sunday’s game.
Power play clicking: The Stars’ power play, which was 1-3 Sunday, has now scored in four of the last five games. During that stretch the Dallas PP is 6-19 (31.6%). Five different players have scored on the power over that stretch: Sheldon Souray (2), Stephane Robidas, Loui Eriksson, Alex Goligoski and Trevor Daley.
Penalty kill not clicking: The Stars gave up two power play goals Sunday and have given up four power play goals over the last two games. The Stars’ PK, which started the season strong, has allowed at least one opposition power play goal in four of the last five games and is 21-27 (77.8%) during that stretch. The Stars did, however, score their second shorthanded goal of the season.
Lehtonen bounces back: After giving up a season-high six goals Friday night, Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen bounced back with a solid 30-save performance Sunday. Lehtonen is now 10-1-0 on the season and his 10 wins are tops among NHL goaltenders.
Scoring streaks: Here’s a look at some scoring streaks/runs for the Stars.
Jamie Benn - 5 games (2 goals, 6 assists)
Loui Eriksson - 4 games (3 goals, 5 assists)
Vernon Fiddler – 4 games (2 goals, 3 assists)
Sheldon Souray – 3 games (2 goals, 4 assists)
Eric Nystrom – 3 goals in last 4 games
Learning lesson: After Friday’s wild 7-6 overtime win over the Colorado, Stars coach Glen Gulutzan skipped the group video sessions and had players watch each of their shifts on their own and write down comments.
“We didn’t show them anything from the last game. We let them watch themselves and self-correct themselves,” Gulutzan said after Sunday’s game. “I think that is where you get that good learning to take place and it translated a little bit here tonight.”
Prior to the game, he explained a little more about the approach of having the players watch and critique their own shifts from the Colorado game.
“We didn't do any group video from that game. What we did is we just had the guys look at their own shifts and they wrote down comments on each one of their shifts,” Gulutzan said. “Then we went through those shifts and wrote down our comments and gave them back to the players so we could all get on the same page. It's funny, you make the players write down what they think of their game and they're a lot harder on themselves than us coaches are.”
Gulutzan’s said he’s used this approach before, but he doesn’t do it often.
“Usually, we do it once a year. Most of the players watch their own shifts anyway, but when you write things down, you're committing them to memory. I think it's a good learning tool every now and then,” Gulutzan said. “If you tried it every day, you'd have a mutiny, but if you do it once or twice a year over 82 games, it isn’t a big thing and I think some of the guys liked it.”
Some notes after Sunday’s game which saw the Dallas Stars open their four-game road trip with a 5-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.The record speaks for itself: The Stars improved to 10-3-0 with Sunday’s win.