Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Some thoughts on the Stars' 5-4 win
By Richard Durrett
A big victory for the Dallas Stars over the Chicago Blackhawks, the top team in the Western Conference, on Tuesday. It was a wild and crazy game. A tough start for the Stars, outshot 17-2 at one point. But they battled back; the game had nice offensive plays and plenty of action. The Stars did what they needed to in the third period and came out with the victory.
Click here for a replay of Tuesday's in-game chat, which included Jesse Rogers from ESPNChicago.com.
Stars penalty kill. Brad Richards took an early penalty for high sticking and Chicago had an eight-shot power play that finally resulted in a goal with three seconds left in the penalty. Troy Brouwer scored it. But the Blackhawks were all over the net and they stayed in the offensive zone nearly the entire man-advantage. Dallas just couldn't get the puck out and relieve the pressure.
Chicago scored again on the power play near the end of the first period as Patrick Kane, the team's leading scorer, got his 16th goal. Marty Turco played the puck in the no-handle zone and it cost him a delay of game penalty. Chicago took advantage to tie the score, just moments after the Stars had taken the lead.
Mike Modano, hoping to receive an invitation to play for the U.S. in the Olympics when the team is announced on Jan. 1, scored a power play goal early in the first period to tie things. I think Modano will make the team, but scoring a nice goal from a good Brenden Morrow pass reminds Team USA of what he can do on the power play.
The goal, the 549th of Modano's career, tied him with Ron Francis for 25th in the NHL in goals.
Mike Ribeiro gave Dallas the lead with 4:23 left in the first, despite being outshot 17-7 at the time. It was Ribeiro's 10th goal of the season and squeezed that into a tight space. It was his fifth career goal against Chicago.
Turnovers can really hurt. That's what happened late in the first period as Trevor Daley turned it over against the boards and Ben Eager passed the puck to Kris Versteeg, who made a sweet backhand pass to Colin Fraser. It was a rare goal for the Blackhawks' fourth line.
Cristobal Huet doesn't like playing the Stars. He allowed four goals against them in Chicago in October and he allowed four goals in the first 21:32 of the game and was taken out. The last goal was Steve Ott scoring off of Troy Brouwer. The Stars scored the first four goals on 10 shots, which is why a change was made in nets for Chicago.
Seven goals were scored before the 22-minute mark of the game. You don't see that often.
Stars played really well in the second period and then allowed a tough goal at the end of the period. With 3.5 seconds left, Jonathan Toews scored to tie the score. It was a bad way to end the period for Dallas. Patrick Kane made it happen, winning several puck battles. His initial shot didn't go in, but Toews got the rebound.
Turco, after the Blackhawks scored that late goal in the second, made a great save on Marian Hossa on a shorthanded attempt in close early in the third period.
Steve Ott had two goals, playing on a line with Jamie Benn and Mike Ribeiro. The second goal, on the power play, was off a great pass by Trevor Daley at center ice. He scored it 4:07 into the third period.
Stars had a disallowed goal, but it was the right call. Tom Wandell sent the puck in toward the net and it was deflected by Jamie Benn. But Benn's stick was high and the officials immediately waved it off.
I do like that line of Brenden Morrow-Tom Wandell-Jamie Benn. They were great in the third period, especially.