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Thursday, March 17, 2011
Stars rout Blackhawks, 5-0

By Mark Stepneski



The Dallas Stars snapped a two-game losing streak with an impressive 5-0 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks at American Airlines Center on Thursday night.

Kari Lehtonen stopped 23 shots for his second shutout in the last four games. Jamie Benn and Brenden Morrow each had a goal and an assist. Steve Ott, Jason Williams and Brandon Segal also scored goals. Mike Ribeiro and Brad Richards had two assists each.

The Stars improved to 2-2-1 on their current homestand, which continues Saturday when they take on the Philadelphia Flyers.

Quotable

“We were really pleased with the way everybody pitched in defensively. I thought you look at key elements in our game tonight where we need to have big performances from our defense, our penalty killing and our goaltender, and we got all of those things. … Our penalty killing, I think that was probably the strongest penalty kill game we’ve had this year and it was a difference maker.” – Stars coach Marc Crawford

“Everybody was certainly ready. We had lost two in a row at home.  We really wanted to win, play the right way, do the little things right and be responsible especially in our own end. I think that showed today.” – Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen.

“From here on out – the next  11 games - we could probably say that every time we win that it’s the biggest win. This was good for our locker room because it this is a little bit how it feels when you are in a series. You lose a couple heartbreakers and you are still right in it. You’ve got to get right back on the horse and win a big one.“ – Stars forward Brad Richards

Notes

*Stars won the season series against Chicago with a 3-1-0 record. Chicago had a 1-2-1 mark in the three games.

*Kari Lehtonen’s shutout was his second of the season and his second in the last four games.

*Lehtonen picked up his sixth assist in the season in the game, setting a new franchise mark for assists by a goaltender in a season. Lehtonen had been tied with Marty (2008-09) and Ed Belfour (2001-02), who had five assists in a season.

*Jamie Benn ran his points streak to nine games (8 goals, 5 assists)                                    .

*Mike Ribeiro has 15 points (6 goals, 9 assists) in the last 14 games.

*Steve Ott’s goal was his first since February 9 and snapped a 16-game goal scoring drought.

*The Stars won on St. Patrick’s Day for the first time since March 17, 1998 (4-3 vs. Los Angeles).

First period

The Stars scored the only goal of the period with 2:23 left. After Kari Lehtonen made a save on Michael Frolik, Brad Richards got to the rebound and set up Steve Ott on a breakaway with a long backhand pass, and Ott beat Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford with a wrist shot. Lehtonen picked up an assist on the goal, giving him six on the season which established a new franchise record.

The Blackhawks outshot the Stars 11-8 in the period. Both teams had one power play chance and both were 0-1.

Stars forward Brandon Segal and Blackhawks forward Jake Dowell dropped the gloves late in the period and both picked up fighting majors.

Mark Fistric and Krys Barch were scratched for the Stars. Loui Eriksson (upper body) and Adam Burish (lower body) are out.

Second period

The Stars made it a 2-0 game at 1:01 of the second period. After Brenden Morrow blocked a shot the Stars got a two-on-one and Mike Ribeiro set up Jamie Benn, who blasted the puck past Corey Crawford from the right circle.

The Stars made it 3-0 at the 3:35 mark with a goal off the rush. Benn sent a cross-ice pass to Morrow, who scored off a one-timer from the right circle. That was it for Crawford, who gave up three goals on ten shots. In came backup Marty Turco.

The Blackhawks got a 4:00 power play with 12:33 left in the second when Tomas Vincour took a double minor for high sticking, but Chicago couldn’t take advantage. Blackhawks defenseman negated 2:00 of the power play when he took a charging penalty and the Stars were able to kill off the rest of the time to keep it a 3-0 game.

Steve Ott got his second breakaway of the game late in the period, but couldn’t cash in on this one as Turco made a sharp glove save to keep it a 3-0 game with 2:15 left in the second.

The Stars almost 4-0 just as time was expiring, but Alex Goligoski’s shot hit the post.

Third period

The Stars extended the lead to 4-0 at the 2:54 mark of the third period. After Turco came out of the net, he turned it to Stars forward Jason Williams and Williams put it into the open net as Turco tried scramble back into position.

Just after a Dallas power play expired Brandon Segal, recalled earlier in the day from the AHL, scored off a scramble in front of the net to give the Stars a 5-0 lead at the 11:52 mark.

Stars lineup

Morrow-Ribeiro-Benn
Ott-Richards-Langenbrunner
Petersen-Wandell-Williams
Vincour-Benn-Segal
Sutherby-Wandell-Vincour

Grossman-Robidas
Skrastins-Goligoski
Woywitka-Daley

Lehtonen
Raycroft (backup)

Injured: Eriksson (upper body), Burish (lower body)

Scratches: Barch, Fistric

Power play units

Morrow-Ribeiro-Benn-Goligoski-Robidas
Ott-Richards-Langenbrunner-Goligoski-Robidas/Woywitka/Daley

Penalty kill units

Ott-Benn-Skrastins-Robidas
Wandell-Petersen-Goligoski-Robidas
Morrow-Ribeiro-Skrastins-Grossman
Petersen-Langenbrunner-Skrastins-Robidas