Saturday, January 7, 2012
Stars make it two straight with win over Oilers
By Mark Stepneski
DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars rode another big night from Jamie Benn, another gritty performance from Mike Ribeiro and a solid outing from goaltender Richard Bachman to a 4-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers Saturday afternoon at American Airlines Center.
Benn scored the Stars’ first two goals, including the game-winner with 12:57 remaining in the third period, to lead the Dallas offensive attack.
“A real big night for Benny. He was our best guy up front tonight,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “Double shifting him, mostly in the third, you can see it paid dividends. The more you play him the better he gets. I thought he was strong tonight in all aspects of his game, not just the two goals. He was physical, he played both ends and it was fun to watch for all of us.”
Benn has put together four straight multi-point games and has four goals and five assists during that stretch.
Ribeiro, who left the game in the second period following a knee-on-knee collision, returned later in the game and scored two goal to help the Stars close out the victory. It was the second straight game in which Ribeiro left with an injury and returned to help lead the Stars to victory.
"He’s gutting it out for us. A big night for him, and four goals in the last two games, that helps us out tremendously," said Gulutzan.
Bachman, a late fill-in for an ill Kari Lehtonen, stopped 25 of 26 shots to improve to 6-2-0 on the season.
“Huge,” Gulutzan said of Bachman’s performance. “We told him probably 45 minutes before he warmed up and he was ready. It was a good game for him.”
Bachman, making his first start since December 26, came up with some huge stops early in the game for the Stars.
“I felt good. I had some pretty good practices, I felt, the last few days,” said Bachman. “I am just trying to stay ready so when stuff like this happens I can go out there, feel comfortable and confident and give the team a chance to win.”
The win was the second straight and third in the last four games for the Stars, who improved to 23-16-1 on the season.
“We have to keep pushing forward. This stretch until the All-Star break is really important for us,” said Ribeiro. “After that there are so many games in a short amount of time, so we have to give a push here to get as many wins as we can.”
Bachman was solid in the first period, making several nice stops. The only puck that got by him came when Taylor Hall put a shot on the rush and rebound bounced off Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski and went up and over Bachman and into the net.
The Stars tied the game at 14:39 of the second period when Trevor Daley centered a puck from behind the Edmonton net to Jamie Benn, who beat Nikolai Khabibulin from close range.
Benn gave the Stars the lead for good with 12:57 left in the game. After Tom Wandell put a shot on net, Adam Burish got to the rebound, was stopped by Khabibulin, but Benn crashed the net, knocked Edmonton defenseman Ladislav Smid off the puck and lifted the puck into the net.
“It was a nice play by Wandell and Burish,” Benn said. “Burish had some good net presence, Wandell put the puck on net and I just picked up the rebound.”
Ribeiro provided the rest of the Dallas goal scoring, notching both after returning from that second period collision.
“I don’t like to miss games, so I came back,” said Ribeiro.
He then scored the Stars’ third and fourth goals. He made it a 3-1 game with 6:21 remaining in the third period when his centering pass for Brenden Morrow bounced off the Oilers defense and into the net. He added a late empty net goal to round out the scoring.
*The Stars were 2-2 on the penalty kill and are now 10-10 on the PK over the last five games.
*Mike Ribeiro has registered consecutive two-goal games.
*Loui Eriksson tied a career-high with three assists in the game. Eriksson is on a four-game points streak (2 goals, 6 assists).
*Toby Petersen and Jordie Benn were healthy scratches for the Stars. Sheldon Souray (ankle), Philip Larsen (concussion-like symptoms) and Tomas Vincour (knee) remain out with injury.
*The Oilers ended their seven-game road trip with a 1-6-0 record.
*The Stars are 10-0-1 in their last 11 home games against the Oilers.
*Saturday’s attendance was 16,122.