Monday, November 21, 2011
Stars get back in win column with solid effort
DALLAS -- Monday afternoon Vancouver businessman Tom Gaglardi was introduced as the new owner of the Dallas Stars. On Monday night, Gaglardi’s team reintroduced themselves to the win column, snapping a five-game losing streak with a 4-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers at American Airlines Center.
“There were a few of us at the press conference today. It was kind of emotional,” said Stars forward Steve Ott. “To see a new owner have belief in us, to know that we are going to continue to build the Dallas Stars and this organization, and to get a big win for him, it all added up to a heck of a day.”
With Gaglardi on hand, the Stars rolled out a solid 60 minute effort, limiting the Oilers, who had torched the Chicago Blackhawks for nine goals Saturday night, to just 18 shots on goal.
“I thought it was our best team effort. I think it might be the first time Kari (Lehtonen) might not have to wring out his headband after the game. Usually he’s got a few more (shots) than that,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “I thought our guys from top to bottom played 60 minutes hard. I didn’t think there was a big lapse and we were committed to playing both ends of the rink. It was a good win for us, we needed it.”
It was the Stars’ first win in almost two weeks, the last one coming November 8 at Washington.
“Hopefully it will get our confidence back up and remove some of the doubt that creeps into your mind during those tough slides,” said Toby Petersen. “Those slides are inevitable and are going to happen in any season, but hopefully we got that one out of the way early and now we’ll move forward and get back on the winning track.”
The Stars, who had scored four goals during their five-game skid, scored four on this night, getting one from each of the team’s four lines.
“The depth of our team is very strong,” said Ott.
The Stars rolled out a strong first period, scoring the only goal of the first 20 minutes while outshooting the Oilers 14-7. The goal came from the fourth line. Tom Wandell sent a pass from behind the net to Petersen, who scored from close range for his first goal of the season 8:30 into the game.
The Stars outshot the Oilers 13-7 in the second period and outscored the Oilers 2-1 to take a 3-1 lead into the second intermission. Just after Ryan Smyth missed putting the puck into an open net on a wrap-around, the Stars went the other way and Mike Ribeiro set up Ott, who beat Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin from close range to make it a 2-0 gae at 8:58 of the second.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored at 15:24 of the second to cut the Stars’ lead to 2-1, but just 50 seconds later Michael Ryder scored on a three-on-one to give Dallas a 3-1 lead.
Radek Dvorak scored a late shorthanded empty-net goal to round out the scoring for the Stars, who improved to 12-8-0 on the season and got the Gaglardi era off to a solid start.
"You spend a quarter of a billion dollars it would be nice for you to get a win,” said Gulutzan.”The guys were playing for themselves obviously, but we talked with Tom this morning and he had a great message for our guys and you could tell in the pregame skate that our guys were a little lighter on their feet, a little more confident. It's nice to get one for him when he is in the house."
*New Stars owner Tom Gaglardi, who was introduced a press conference Monday afternoon, dropped the puck prior to Monday night’s game.
*Stars captain Brenden Morrow picked up his 500th career point by assisting on Steve Ott’s goal at 8:58 of the second period.
*Krys Barch, Jake Dowell and Adam Pardy were healthy scratches.
*Monday night’s attendance was 11,453.