Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Postgame notes: Turning points for Stars
By Mark Stepneski
Some notes after the Dallas Stars snapped a five-game losing streak with a 4-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.
Stars skid ends; Oilers woes in Big D continue: The Dallas Stars’ five-game losing streak came to an end to an end, but the Edmonton Oilers’ woes in Dallas did not. The Oilers haven’t won in regulation in Dallas since December 2006 and have won just five regular season games in Dallas since the Stars came to town in 1993.
Balanced attack: The Stars got goals from all four lines, and 11 different players registered points in the game. Toby Petersen and Radek Dvorak each picked up their first goals of the season.
Shots against: The Stars allowed the Oilers just 18 shots on goal. It was the second fewest shots the Stars have allowed this season. They allowed 15 vs. Columbus on October 15.
Turning point: Just seconds after Oilers forward Ryan Smyth missed a chance on a wrap-around attempt at an open net, Mike Ribeiro set up Steve Ott, who scored from close range to give the Stars a 2-0 lead with a little more than two minutes left in the second period.
Turning point II: Oilers rookie Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored late in the second period to cut the Stars’ lead to 2-1, but just 50 seconds later the Stars had their two-goal lead back when Michael Ryder finished off an odd-man rush.
Ribeiro vs. Nugent-Hopkins: Nugent-Hopkins scored the Oilers only goal, but he was pretty quiet most of the night. Nugent-Hopkins had just the one shot on goal in the game. Stars coach Glen Gulutzan gave credit to center Mike Ribeiro.
“We played Ribby’s line up against him. Ribby is a smart player and he can play both sides of the puck,” Gulutzan said. “I think when he looks across, taking faceoffs, he sees a real young star, I think some of the older guys can bring up their game. We were hoping we would get that out of Mike and we did tonight.”
Reuniting Benn and Eriksson: Gulutzan rearranged his lines Monday’s game, putting Loui Eriksson and Jamie Benn back together again. Those two played with Michael Ryder.
“We just felt that Benn and Loui was too good to pass up,” Gulutzan said. “It gives us a good dynamic and they like playing with each other. They are two cerebral guys.
Ott moved to a line with Ribeiro and Brenden Morrow.
“Otter provides some speed and energy tot that other line,” Gulutzan said. “He does most lines you put him on. I think that helped Ribs and Brenden tonight, too.”
Solid efforts from Vincour, Larsen: Gulutzan inserted Tomas Vincour and Philip Larsen into the lineup to give the team some youthful energy against the young, energetic Oilers. Gulutzan like how both played. Vincour played on the fourth line with Petersen and Tom Wandell and logged 8:16.
“Tomas, I thought, brought a lot to that line,” Gulutzan said. “He’s a big body that can move. I have a rapport with Vinny having him last year and he looks leaner and faster. He’s growing up right before our eyes. He played real well.”
Larsen was paired with Mark Fistric, logged 16:04 and had a great scoring chance in the third period.
“That skating ability you guys see. He’s got a good stick, he can close and he moves the puck well,” Gulutzan said. “I thought he and Fisty were a very good tandem tonight.”