Thursday, November 24, 2011
By Mark Stepneski
Here are some notes following the Stars’ 3-2 overtime win over the Los Angeles Kings Wednesday night.
Those late rallies: The Stars improved to 4-0 in games have that have gone beyond regulation this season. In each of those games the Stars have scored late in regulation to tie the game and force the extra playing time. They did it with 27.3 seconds and 1:01 left against Phoenix, 4:50 remaining against Colorado and then 20.3 seconds left against the Kings Wednesday night. That’s two points four times when the Stars were pretty close to getting nothing. Those are big points that could make a big difference when everything gets added up at the end of the season.
Turning point: With the Kings up 2-1 at 6:32 of the third period, Los Angeles forward Kyle Clifford shoots wide on an open net, missing an opportunity to give the Kings a 3-1 lead and leaving the door open for the Stars to be in position to score a late game-tying goal.
Turning point II: Down 2-1 with 25 seconds remaining and looking at a neutral zone faceoff with the just seconds remaining on a power play, the Stars call a timeout, associate coach Willie Desjardins draws up a play and it works. With three players lined up to his right, Steve Ott chips the puck into the Los Angeles zone, Jamie Benn gets it and sets up Loui Eriksson, who scores with 20.3 seconds left.
“That’s what we wanted to do and it worked out perfectly,” said Benn. “Not sure who drew it up back there but it was a good one.”
Ribeiro sits, briefly: Stars center Mike Ribeiro was given a few shifts off in the second period by Stars coach Glen Gulutzan after taking a tripping penalty and then protesting the call to the officials. It paid off. Ribeiro played a strong third and made the play of the night, taking a big hit from Jack Johnson to help set up Steve Ott’s game-winner it overtime.
“I didn't talk to him, but he didn't get out there for a couple of shifts,” Gulutzan said. “`I don't think he was that happy with me, but you have to understand that Mike Ribeiro at 5-foot-11 and 165 pounds, didn't get to where he is without being highly competitive. And if it's Mike Ribeiro or it's Jamie Benn, and we're losing frustration, as we said we were going to clean this up, and we are. My job as a coach is to win hockey games, and if the players don't like it for the time being, then so be it.
“If it benefits the group, I'm going to do it, because you saw the bounce back. You don't get to where he has gotten without fighting adversity. He was mad and he came out and played a real hard third, and we got two points. I'm fine with it, because he's a big part of our hockey club, and he’s a highly competitive guy, and I know in the end he is going to be there for us. I’ve got no problem with it. The message is clear to the rest of the group.”
Shot differential: The Stars outshot the Kings 38-24 and have outshot the opposition 73-42 over the past two games. That’s a positive for a team that was outshot 14 of the first 19 games this season.
“I think we can still put more pucks on net,” said Gulutzan. “We worked real, real hard and when you’ve worked as hard as we have the last two games, you are going to outshoot your opponent.”
Statistical tidbit of the night (From Stars PR): Eleven different Dallas Stars have recorded a multi-point game so far this season. The Stars have not lost a game this season when any Star records over one point in a game. Jamie Benn earned a multi-point game with his goal and assist Wednesday night.