Dallas Stars: Adam Burish

Adam Burish signs with San Jose Sharks

July, 2, 2012
7/02/12
1:09
PM CT
The San Jose Sharks added some toughness by signing forward Adam Burish to a four-year, $7.4 million contract.

"He's the type of guy you hate to play against," Sharks GM Doug Wilson said. "You want him on your side. He doesn't care about anything other than winning."

Burish, 29, is a physical forward who played mostly on the fourth line in Dallas last season. He had six goals, 13 assists, 76 penalty minutes and a plus-6 rating.

Burish has 25 goals and 29 assists with 490 penalty minutes in 297 career games. He played his first four seasons in Chicago, winning the Stanley Cup in 2010, before spending the last two years with the Stars, where he missed the playoffs.

"I miss that suffering, that kind of pain, playing tired, playing hurt," he said. "As crazy as that sounds, I miss that. I want to figure out how to win a Stanley Cup again. San Jose, to me, should be a team competing for the Stanley Cup every year."

Big points at stake vs. Canucks tonight

March, 30, 2012
3/30/12
3:16
PM CT
There are just five games left in the regular season for the Dallas Stars and it kicks off tonight with the first game of a key back-to-back series. The Stars play at Vancouver tonight and then in San Jose tomorrow.

Right now the focus is on the Canucks. Picking up a win or a point will guarantee that the Stars stay on top of the Pacific Division and third in the West for another day.

“It’s kind of fun, it’s kind of nerve-racking, but the message in here – what we keep telling each other – is we control where we go,” Stars forward Adam Burish said. “We control whether we are going to make it or not, and that’s what you want this time of the year.”

The Stars have won two of three games the Canucks, who are the second seed in the West and are three points behind St. Louis in the race for first overall in the conference.

“It’s big. We want the points and we want to beat the Canucks,” said Burish. “The most important thing is finding ways to win games and not losing ground. You win a game you stay in third, you lose a game and you’re in eight, maybe ninth place every night. That’s just how it feels. It’s just controlling what we can, winning games.”

Mark Fistric (abdominal strain), Radek Dvorak (ankle) and Eric Nystrom (leg) are all out tonight. Only Fistric is skating.

Kari Lehtonen gets the start in goal for the Stars.

Roberto Luongo is expected to start in goal for the Canucks.

The Stars will go with basically the same lineup as last game, although it appears they’ll move Tomas Vincour up to the second line and put Burish on the third line. Here’s the Stars’ projected lineup.

Eriksson-Ribeiro-Ryder
Ott-Benn-Vincour
Morrow-Fiddler-Burish
Smith-Dowell-Garbutt

Souray-Robidas
Pardy-Daley
Goligoski-Larsen

Lehtonen

Stars fall to Flames, 5-4

March, 26, 2012
3/26/12
8:48
PM CT
The Dallas Stars lost for the fourth time in the last six games, falling 5-4 to the Flames in Calgary Monday night.

The Flames took control of the game in the second period, outscoring the Stars 4- 2 to take a 5-3 lead into the third period. Calgary scored three times on six power play chances, including two late in the second period to turn a 3-3 game into a 5-3 game. The Stars were 1-4 on the power play.

Where the Stars end up in the standings will depend on games still being played Monday night.

Jamie Benn scored two goals for the Stars. Mike Ribeiro and Philip Larsen also scored. Kari Lehtonen made 30 saves.

The Stars lost forward Eric Nystrom in the first period of the game.

First period

The Stars scored just 26 seconds into the game when Jamie Benn’s wrist shot from beyond the left faceoff circle eluded Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff, giving Dallas the early 1-0 lead.

But the Flames drew even, cashing in on their first power play chance of the game. Lee Stempniak set up Olli Jokinen, who roofed a shot from the slot to tie the game at the 6:53 mark.

The Stars got the next two power plays of the period, but couldn’t take advantage. Mike Ribeiro had a great chance on the first one, but Kiprusoff denied his close range backhand shot.

On the second one, Calgary’s Alex Tanguay shot high on a shorthanded breakaway.

The Flames had a second power play late in the period, but weren’t able to generate much.

The Stars lost Eric Nystrom in the period to a lower body injury. The Stars said he would be out for the rest of the game. Nystrom was injured when he was pushed into the Calgary net by Flames defenseman Mark Giordano.

Second period

Jamie Benn scored 44 seconds into the second period to put the Stars up 2-1. Benn took a pass from Adam Burish off the rush and scored off a snap shot from the slot for his second tally of the night and fourth goal in the last two games.

About 20 seconds after the goal, Flames coach Brent Sutter called a timeout to address his tea, which was out of sorts on the shift after the next goal. The Flames outscored the Stars 4-1 in the rest of the period.

The Flames bounced back to the take a 3-2 lead midway through the second, scoring twice in 45 seconds. They tied the game at the 9:16 mark when Mike Ribeiro through the puck into the slot in his own end, Flames forward Blake Comeau picked it off an blasted the puck past Kari Lehtonen.

At the 10:01 mark the Flames wAt the 10:01 mark the Flames went up 3-2 when Mike Cammalleri scored off the rebound of an Anton Babchuk shot off a Calgary faceoff win in the Stars zone.

The Flames had a couple of great chances to extend the lead, but Lehtonen stopped Scott Hannan on a breakaway and Brenden Morrow blocked a Lee Stempniak redirection attempt that was heading towards an open net.

Just 26 seconds after an apparent Stars goal was waved off because Adam Burish kicked the puck into the net, the Stars scored to tie the game. Michael Ryder put a shot on net off the rush, and off the ensuing scramble Ribeiro backhanded the puck into the net to tie the game 3-3 at 14:29 of the second.

The Flames went on their fifth power play of the game a short time later and Mark Giordano scored on a blast from the point just before it expired to give Calgary a 4-3 lead with 3:02 left in the second.

The Flames went on their sixth power play with 1:33 left in the period and struck again to take a 5-3 lead. After a rim around the boards attempt by the Flames bounced off Stars defenseman Trevor Daley, Cammalleri set up Alex Tanguay, who scored from the slot with 28 seconds left in the period.

Third period

The Stars went on their fourth power play of the night early in the third and scored to make it a 5-4 game. After Sheldon Souray put a shot on net from the point, Philip Larsen got the rebound roofed a backhand shot from close range at the 5:24 mark.

The Stars had some chances to tie, including a Loui Eriksson breakaway, but couldn’t get the equalizer.

Stars lineup

Eriksson-Ribeiro-Ryder
Ott-Benn-Burish
Nystrom-Fiddler-Vincour
Morrow-Dowell-Garbutt

Souray-Robidas
Pardy-Daley
Goligoski-Larsen

Lehtonen

Injured: Dvorak (ankle), Fistric (abdominal strain)
Scratched: Wandell, Petersen, Jordie Benn, R. Smith

Stars' streak ends in Winnipeg

March, 15, 2012
3/15/12
12:11
AM CT


Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said he and his staff had a sense that when the team’s current hot streak came to an end it would do so with a thud, and so it did in Winnipeg on Wednesday night. The Jets beat the Stars 5-2, ending Dallas’ winnings steak at six games and its points streak at 11 games.

“These things usually come down pretty hard and take wind out of you a little bit and maybe wake you up,” said Gulutzan. “I’d be lying to you if I said we didn’t talk about this as a coaching group here, that these things usually end with a thud and it did tonight.”

The Jets, who hadn’t played since the weekend, came out strong, took a 1-0 lead after one period and then scored four unanswered goals in the second period to build a 5-0 lead over the Stars, who had played the previous night in Minnesota. The Stars fell to 1-10-2 in the second games of back-to-backs this season.

”I thought our effort wasn’t up to par, wasn’t where it needed to be,” Gulutzan said. “We knew they were going to come out hard and coming out of that first, down 1-0, I thought we were fine. We just didn’t have a lot of resolve in the second. They got some goals there and we couldn’t stop the flood.”

The Stars, who had been on a 10-0-1 run, suffered their first regulation loss since February 19, when they lost 3-2 to Nashville. Their lead in the Pacific Division fell to two points over Phoenix, a 5-4 winner at Vancouver Wednesday night.

“We beat ourselves. We didn’t play well. We turned pucks over. We let them come into the zone way too easy,” said Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas. “They got a good start, scored the first goal and got the crowd into the game. We didn’t play a simple game like we’ve been doing in the past 11 to 12 games. We’ve just got to go back to the basics.”

The Jets scored 2:21 into the game when former Star Antti Miettinen won a puck battle in the corner and set up Nik Antropov, who beat Stars goalie Richard Bachman with a shot from the left faceoff circle.

Winnipeg extended the lead to 2-0 just 1:19 into the second. After an Alexander Burmistrov shot rebounded off Bachman’s mask, Evander Kane banged home the rebound.

Vancouver then got goals 47 seconds apart from Andrew Ladd and Eric Fehr later in the period to make it a 4-0 game. Dustin Byfuglien’s power play goal late in the period extended the lead to 5-0.

The Stars got two goals from Loui Eriksson, who scored late in the second and again in the third to make it a 5-2 final.

“It wasn’t our best game. We turned the puck over too many times. We didn’t play the game we’ve been playing lately,” said Eriksson. “We have to step up and play a better game in front of (Richard) Bachman. It’s not easy for him to save all those clear chances they had today.”

There were some fireworks towards the end of the game that included a scrum in front of Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec and then Jets forward Tanner Glass going after Stars forward Adam Burish, who threw Glass’ glove into the stands.

Glass picked up a roughing minor and ten minute misconduct, while Burish received an unsportsmanlike conduct minor and game misconduct.

“He threw my glove in the stands,” Glass said. “I just couldn’t let that go.”

Notes

*Stars defenseman Philip Larsen left the game with a lower body injury. He is listed as day-to-day.

*Stars defenseman Sheldon Souray (lower body) and right wing Radek Dvorak (ankle) did not play Wednesday. They are out for Friday as well, according to Stars coach Glen Gulutzan.

*Toby Petersen, Jake Dowell and Jordie Benn were the scratches for Dallas.

*The Stars did not have a power play in a game for the third time this season.

*The Stars surrendered a five-on-four power play goal for the first time since February 19.

Radek Dvorak, Sheldon Souray out tonight

March, 13, 2012
3/13/12
1:10
PM CT
The Dallas Stars will be without right wing Radek Dvorak and defenseman Sheldon Souray for Tuesday night's game at Minnesota.

Dvorak injured is ankle in Saturday's 2-0 win over Anaheim. Souray will miss his second straight game with a lower body injury.

With Dvorak out of the lineup, Adam Burish will play on the right wing with left wing Eric Nystrom and center Vernon Fiddler.

Ryan Garbutt, who has a scratch the last game, will be back in on the fourth line with center Tom Wandell and right wing Tomas Vincour.

Here's the projected lineup for the Stars tonight:

Eriksson-Ribeiro-Ryder
Morrow-Benn-Ott
Nystrom-Fiddler-Burish
Garbutt-Wandell-Vincour

Fistric-Robidas
Goligoski-Larsen
Pardy-Daley

Lehtonen

Souray doubtful; Dvorak questionable

March, 12, 2012
3/12/12
12:38
PM CT
FRISCO -- Stars defenseman Sheldon Souray is questionable for Tuesday's game at Minnesota with a lower body injury. Souray did practice Monday morning in Frisco.

"He skated, which is a good sign for us. I think he is doubtful for tomorrow for sure," said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. "We'll see what he feels like for Wednesday (at Winnipeg), but doubtful for tomorrow."

Forward Radek Dvorak, who injured his ankle in Saturday's game against Anaheim, did not practice Monday.

"Devo is 50-50 for Tuesday. He's got a little bit of a lower body injury," Gulutzan said. "It's not serious."

Adam Burish took Dvorak's spot on a line with Eric Nystrom and Vernon Fiddler during Monday's practice.

Also not on the ice Monday were center Mike Ribeiro and left wing Jake Dowell. It was a maintenance day for Ribeiro and he'll be a game player Tuesday, according to Gulutzan. Dowell was sick.

Kari Lehtonen will start in goal Tuesday. Gulutzan said they'll make a decision on Wednesday's starter after they see what happens in Tuesday's game.

"We've got three games in four nights and we have to decide how we are going to use our goaltenders," said Gulutzan. "We're just going to see what the workload is the first night and go from there."

Penalty kill clicking for Stars

March, 12, 2012
3/12/12
12:00
AM CT
Keeping pucks out of their net has been a key factor in the Dallas Stars’ current run, and a big help in that department has been the team’s penalty kill. The Stars have allowed just one opposition power play goal during the team’s 9-0-1 run that has pushed them to the top of the Pacific Division and the third seed in the Western Conference.

The Stars have killed 30 of 31 (96.8%) opposition power plays during those ten games, helping them climb from 18th in the league in penalty killing three weeks ago (81.6 percent) to 10th in the NHL (83.2 percent) after going 4-4 in Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Anaheim.

“That’s just commitment from those guys,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “Vernon Fiddler, Radek Dvorak, Adam Burish, Eric Nystrom and Mike Ribeiro’s killing a lot. Steve Ott and Loui Eriksson have been good. All our D have chipped in.

“Guys have just dug in. (Assistant coach) Paul Jerrard has kind of taken over in the second half and done a heck of a job with the PK. … The players have dug in, they block shots and the goaltending has been spectacular.”

During those 31 power plays over the last 10 games, goalies Kari Lehtonen and Richard Bachman have combined to stop 50 of 51 shots for a shorthanded save percentage of .980. Lehtonen has stopped 45 of 46 shorthanded shots over his eight starts during the run.

“We’re trying to keep a little more pressure early on. I think earlier in the season they were coming into our zone too easy. I think we’ve been able to clear the pucks much better,” Lehtonen said. “Just giving more pressure I think. That just takes their time away, and they are not able to set up and make nice plays. That makes it more simple for me, too.”

And that one power play goal the Stars have allowed over the last ten games was on a five-on-three situation against Minnesota.

They’ve gone ten straight games without allowing a five-on-four power play goal. The last five-on-four power play goal they’ve allowed was in the February 19 game against Nashville, which happens to be the last time they lost in regulation.

“I think we're pretty robotic now. We're all doing the same thing,” Ott said of the team’s work on the penalty kill. “We have a strong focus on faceoffs in our own end to know what we’re doing. Our preparation I think is a lot better now. It just seems like everybody's continuing to roll. We know how long to stay out there. We know how to do the right plays. I think all those things are adding up to an easier penalty kill.”


Stars keep rolling, down Ducks, 2-0

March, 10, 2012
3/10/12
7:45
PM CT
The Dallas Stars ran their winning streak to five games and their points streak to 10 games (9-0-1) with a 2-0 victory over the Anaheim Ducks at American Airlines Center Saturday night. Kari Lehtonen stopped 21 shots for his third shutout of the season and Brenden Morrow and Michael Ryder scored goals.

First period

The Ducks had an 8-6 shots advantage in the first period, but the Stars had some good chances. An Adam Burish backhand chance was turned away by Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller. The Anaheim goalie also made a nice stop on a point blank chance by Loui Eriksson. Steve Ott had a great chance from the left circle late in the period, but his shot hit the post.

There were no power plays in the period.

Second period

Special teams were big in the second period. The Stars went 1-3 on the power play and the Ducks went -0-2.

The Stars opened the scoring early in the second period, taking advantage of back-to-back penalties on the Ducks. Just as a 35 second five-on-three power play expired, Jamie Benn sent a cross-crease pass to Brenden Morrow who put the puck into the open side of the net at the 2:37 mark.

The Ducks had a couple of power play chances, but were unable to take advantage.

The Stars outshot the Ducks 9-6 in the second and had a 15-14 advantage going into the second intermission.

Third period

The Ducks had their third power play chance of the night five minutes into the third, but got only one shot on goal.

Lehtonen had a nice stop later in the period on a Niklas Hagman close range bid with the two teams playing at even-strength.

The Ducks went on a fourth power play with 5:16 remaining, but it lasted only five seconds as Teemu Selanne was called for holding on the right off the faceoff.

Hiller kept the Ducks close, making great stops on Loui Eriksson, Vernon Fiddler and Eric Nystrom, but with Hiller out for the extra attacker Michael Ryder scored into the empty net with 46 seconds left to give the Stars a 2-0 lead.

Stars lineup

Eriksson-Ribeiro-Ryder
Morrow-Benn-Ott
Nystrom-Fiddler-Dvorak
Vincour-Wandell-Burish

Fistric-Robidas
Goligoski-Larsen
Daley-Pardy

Lehtonen (starter)
Bachman

Injured: Souray (lower body)
Scratched: Petersen, Dowell, Garbutt


It wasn’t pretty, but it was two big points for the Dallas Stars. The Stars scored three goals on just 15 shots and got a solid performance from goaltender Kari Lehtonen to defeat the Edmonton Oilers 3-1 on Friday night and pull to within two of the Pacific Division lead.

“It was an important game for us to come out and establish ourselves on this road trip,” said Stars defenseman Sheldon Souray. “We’re in a dog fight. It sounds like a broken record, but we’re looking at the standings every night and we’re trying to take care of our own business. It was a good start to this road trip. We didn’t paint a Picasso, but we were strong when he had to be and we got the two points. Our goalie was good. We needed this win.”

The Stars’ pushed their points streak to six games (5-0-1) and improved to 6-1-2 over their last nine games. They remain in eighth place in the Western Conference standings, but tied seventh-seeded San Jose in points (Sharks have played two fewer games) and increased their lead over Los Angeles, currently in ninth, to three points.

“Naturally, you kind of look at the standings before the game and you realized if we win this game we are starting to catch teams and put ourselves in a playoff spot,” said Stars forward Adam Burish. “The goal is to keep getting points because it is so darn tight.”

Friday’s game was tight as well. There was no scoring in a first period that the Stars manage just four shots on goal.

The Stars scored twice in a 4:10 span of the second period to take a 2-0 lead. Vernon Fiddler backhanded a puck on net, where Eric Nystrom and Radek Dvorak had set up shop and Dvorak knocked the puck past Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin at the 8:35 mark.

The Stars made it a 2-0 game when Philip Larsen shot rebounded to the front of the net off the endboards, Khabibulin was knocked out of position by his own defenseman and Tomas Vincour put the puck into an open net at the 12:55 mark.

"We made two poor net plays and that was the difference in the game,” said Oilers coach Tom Renney.

The Stars gave the Oilers little in the third period, limiting them to just four shots on goal.

“We played really tight the whole third period,” said Lehtonen, who stopped 19 of 20 shots. “They didn’t get to start any kind of comeback.”

The Oilers pulled Khabibulin for an extra attacker, but Michael Ryder scored into an empty net with 1:28 remaining to give the Stars a 3-0 lead.

The Oilers spoiled Lehtonen’s bid for a shutout with 29.4 seconds left when Sam Gagner scored off a one-timer from the left circle to make it a 3-1 final.

The shutout was lost, the Stars still gained two big points.

“Not our best outing, but we’ve got to take points right now and not worry about how we’re getting there,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “We’ve got to get points.”

Notes

*The Stars improved to 4-1-2 in their last seven road games.

*The Stars did not take any penalties in the game. It’s the second time this season they haven’t been penalized in a game. The January 3 game against Detroit was the other.

*The Stars were 0-2 on the power play.

*Adam Pardy and Toby Petersen were healthy scratches for the Stars.

Stars fall to Penguins in shootout, 4-3

February, 29, 2012
2/29/12
7:20
PM CT
The Dallas Stars' four-game winning streak came to an end with a 4-3 shootout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins Wednesday night at American Airlines Center. Jamie Benn, Sheldon Souray and Michael Ryder scored goals for the Stars. Kari Lehtonen stopped 26 of 29 shots and one of four in the shootout. The Stars, who remain in eighth place in the Western Conference, finished February with an 8-5-3 record.

First period

The Stars scored first with 4:35 left in the first when Steve Ott got to the rebound of an Adam Burish shot and set up Jamie Benn, who beat Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury with a shot from the slot.

The Penguins tied it 1:07 before the first intermission when Pascal Dupuis set up Steve Sullivan on a breakaway and Sullivan beat Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen with a backhand shot.

Pittsburgh lost defenseman Kris Letang midway through the first period when he was hit high by Stars forward Eric Nystrom. The Penguins announced that Letang would not return with an upper body injury. Nystrom was given a minor for roughing.

The Stars’ penalty kill came up big in the period, going 2-2 against the Pittsburgh power play. The Stars had one power play chance, but couldn’t cash in.

Second period

The Penguins got their third power play early in the second period, and Fleury made a sharp glove save on Vernon Fiddler’s shorthanded breakaway. The Penguins came close to score on the power play, but an Evgeni Malkin backhand from a sharp angle hit the crossbar.

The Penguins got a fourth power play at the 4:32 mark of the second period, but the Stars were able to kill that one off and it remained a 1-1 game.

Pittsburgh got a fifth power play 8:40 into the second period, but again the Stars killed it off.

The Stars put together an impressive couple of shifts to keep Pittsburgh pinned in its own end and ended up drawing its second power play of the night, but the Stars couldn’t take advantage.

Fleury came up with another big save late in the period, stopping Adam Burish on a two-on-one with 1:08 left in the period.

But the Stars took a 2-1 lead with 12.2 seconds remaining with a goal off the rush. Loui Eriksson set up Sheldon Souray, who beat Fleury with a shot from the slot.

The Penguins announced in the second intermission that forward Steve Sullivan was out for the rest of the game with a lower body injury

Third period

The Penguins tied the game 3:33 into the third period. Jordan Staal got the puck along the right boards, skated into the slot and his shot was tipped past Lehtonen by Craig Adams.

The Penguins took the lead 39 seconds later when Paul Martin’s shot from the right point was deflected into the net by Chris Kunitz.

Less than a minute later the Stars had a chance to tie, but Fleury stopped Loui Eriksson’s breakaway bid.

The Stars did get the equalizer at the 7:23 mark when Eriksson drove the net and lifted a pass over the crease to Michael Ryder, who tapped it into the net to tie the game at 3-3.

The Stars went on their third power play with 11:36 after Malkin and Nystrom got in a scrum and Malkin picked up an extra roughing minor. The Stars had a great chance, but Fleury, while on down in the crease, stopped a close range bid by Ribeiro.

The Stars went on their fourth power play with 14 seconds remaining in regulation. The Stars didn’t score and the power play carried over into overtime.

Overtime/Shootout

The Stars couldn’t take advantage of the 1:46 of four-on-three power play time to open overtime.

During the four-on-four play, Fleury made a big stop on a point blank bid by Stephane Robidas and a Souray blast hit the crossbar with 44 seconds remaining.

In the shootout, Kunitz, James Neal and Dupuis scored for Pittsburgh. Eriksson and Benn scored for the Stars. Pittsburgh took the shootout 3-2 and the game 4-3.

Stars lineup

Eriksson-Ribeiro-Ryder
Ott-Benn-Burish
Nystrom-Fiddler-Dvorak
Garbutt-Wandell-Vincour

Souray-Robidas
Fistric-Daley
Goligoski-Larsen

Lehtonen (starter)
Bachman

Scratched: Pardy, Petersen
Injured: Dowell (finger), Morrow (neck/shoulder)

Stars looking forward to stretch drive

February, 29, 2012
2/29/12
12:29
AM CT


FRISCO -- With the NHL trade deadline having come and gone, the focus for the Dallas Stars now turns to the stretch drive. In their case it’s the final 19 games of the season that will determine if they can make the playoffs for the first time since 2007-08.

The Stars got a vote of a confidence at Monday’s trade deadline when GM Joe Nieuwendyk stood pat at the trade deadline, saying he believed this group earned a shot to make a run at earning a spot in the NHL’s postseason tournament.

“I took it that we have a good we have a good playoff team right now with a mentality that we want to continue to push for the playoffs. I am lucky to be a part of that,” said Stars forward Steve Ott, one of the players Nieuwendyk could have moved at the deadline.

But Nieuwendyk kept Ott and the rest of the group together. The team’s current four-game winning streak helped the cause. So did it’s climb into the top eight into the Western Conference.

“We felt if we always kept this ship moving in the right direction, we would get our result,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “These next 19 games are going to tell a tale.”

The Stars aren’t just battling for that final playoff spot in the Western Conference. They are only three points behind sixth-seeded San Jose.

“We believe in each other in this dressing room. We have from the get-go. No matter how bad things were six weeks ago, we are now it a playoff spot,” said Ott. “We’re looking forward to grabbing more points and moving up in the standings.”

But the race is still tight. After Tuesday’s games, only three points separated the teams ranked sixth through tenth in the West. Still, with some big recent wins under their belts and a vote of confidence from management, the Stars are ready anxious to get going.

“Our team is excited to go to battle. They are a close-knit group. They are excited to go to battle with each other,” said Gulutzan. “I know that’s a cliché, but this group does like each other a lot. It’s a very tight group and those can be dangerous teams when you are that tight and committed to the same cause. “

Benn set to return

Stars forward Jamie Benn, who has missed the last six games with a leg injury, will return for Wednesday’s game against Pittsburgh.

“Benny has been a huge player for us all season and we've managed without him and now he has to come back in and it's going to give us a big boost for sure,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “Whenever you get a chance to get arguably your best player back, you welcome it with open arms.”

Benn practiced on a line with Steve Ott and Adam Burish Tuesday.

Benn was injured on February 16 when he was cut by the skate of Calgary defenseman Mark Giordano.


It’s funny how a couple of wins can change things. After going 2-0-0 on their road trip, the Dallas Stars find themselves holding down the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference standings. They pushed themselves into that position with a brilliant third period effort Thursday night, scoring three goals to rally past the Chicago Blackhawks, 3-1 at the United Center.

“It was two real big points,” said Stars forward Loui Eriksson. “We’ve got to keep building here.”

The Stars are now tied with Los Angeles and Calgary at 66 points but they own the first tiebreaker, which is regulation/overtime wins and that is what has them in eighth place.

The Stars got a big performance Thursday from goaltender Richard Bachman, who was making his first start in three weeks. He stopped 26 shots, including some huge ones in the second period when Chicago dominated play.

“It was nice to get back in there and see some action,” Bachman said. “I felt pretty calm there for a crazy environment. It was a great game and felt solid.”

The Stars trailed 1-0 going into the third period in Chicago, but dominated the third period. The Stars, who had just 10 shots entering the third period, outshot the Blackhawks 15-5 over the final 20 minutes and got goals from Steve Ott, Eriksson and Michael Ryder to secure the victory.

“Our leadership group took a stand between the second and third, and we got going,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan.

Gulutzan juggled lines in the third period, putting Ott on a line with Ryan Garbutt and Adam Burish and that trio paid dividends. After the Blackhawks won a draw in their own zone, the Stars kept them pinned in and Ott deflected a Trevor Daley shot past Chicago goalie Corey Crawford to tie the game with 10:35 left in regulation.

The Stars took the lead with 5:02 left when Mike Ribeiro put a shot on net from near the right point and Ryder tipped it into the net forward what would turn out to be the game-winner.

“We know that we didn’t have many shots generated going into the third. We were still in the game, we just had to make sure that we got more pucks to the net and stepped our game up,” said Ryder. “We knew we had to play a hard 20 and we did that. We threw pucks at the net and got some traffic.”

Just 1:14 after he scored to give the Stars the lead, Ryder put a shot on net from the right circle that hit traffic, went up in the air and Eriksson put it into the net.

The Blackhawks dominated the second period, outshooting the Stars 16-5 but getting only one puck past Bachman. After Michael Frolik came out from behind the goal line and tried to put a puck on net, Marian Hossa scored during the ensuing scramble.

Hossa came close to making a 2-0 score in the final seconds of the second period, but Bachman got a piece of his shot from the slot and the puck hit the outside of the post. Earlier in the period, Bachman made a diving save on Jimmy Hayes when the game was still scoreless.

The Stars return home Friday to take on the Minnesota Wild. The Stars will be looking for their first three-game winning streak since the middle of December, and possibly the beginning of that run that has been eluding them.

“We’re all looking for that run at this time of the year, but the reality is it is very tough,” said Gulutzan. “But picking up two points whenever you can get them, especially in a tough building like this, is good. Now we’ve got to win at home.”

Notes

*The Stars did not have a power play in a game for the second time this season. The Stars have had just two power plays over the last three games.

*Stars center Jamie Benn (leg) missed his fourth straight game. He is doubtful for Friday.

*Stars forward Jake Dowell (broken finger) and left wing Brenden Morrow (neck/shoulder) were both out as well.

*D Adam Pardy and LW Matt Fraser were healthy scratches for Dallas.

*Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews missed his second straight game with an upper body injury. Toews was involved in a minor car accident Thursday, but was not injured.

*The Stars are now 6-4-2 in the first game of back-to-backs this season. They are 0-9-2 in second games.

Stars rally past Blackhawks, 3-1

February, 23, 2012
2/23/12
8:21
PM CT
The Dallas Stars scored three period goals, rallying to a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks Thursday night at the United Center. The Stars moved into eighth place in the Western Conference. They are tied with Calgary and Los Angeles at 66 points, but the Stars hold the first tiebreaker, which is regulation/overtime wins.

Steve Ott, Michael Ryder and Loui Eriksson scored for the Stars. Richard Bachman was superb in net for the Stars, stopping 26 of 27 shots to improve to 7-3-1 on the season. Chicago had a four-game winning streak come to an end.

First period

The Blackhawks outshot the Stars 6-5 in the period and both goaltenders had sharp saves.

Stars goalie Richard Bachman stopped a point blank bid by Jimmy Hayes with Chicago on the power play early in the period and then stopped defenseman Nick Leddy’s bid from the left circle late in the period.

Chicago’s Corey Crawford stopped a shorthanded bid by Adam Burish and a good look by Tomas Vincour from the slot.

The Blackhawks had the only power play of the period.

Second period

The Blackhawks outshot the Stars 16-5 in the second period and scored the only goal of the period to take a 1-0 lead into the second intermission.

The goal came at the 9:32 mark. Michael Frolik came out from behind the goal line, tried to put a puck on net and Marian Hossa scored in the ensuing scramble.

Hossa came close to scoring in the final seconds of the period, but Bachman got a piece of his shot from the slot and it hit the outside of the post.

There were no power plays in the second period. The Blackhawks had a 22-10 shots advantage through the first 40 minutes.

Third period

The Stars brought a strong push in the third period and scored three goals to surge past the Blackhawks.

Glen Gulutzan juggled his lines, moving Steve Ott to a line with Ryan Garbutt and Burish and the trio paid dividends. Ott tipped a Trevor Daley shot past Crawford at the 9:28 mark to tie the game at 1-1.

A little more than five minutes later, the Stars took a 2-1 lead when Mike Ribeiro put a shot on net from near the right point and Michael Ryder tipped it into the net at the 14:58 mark.

Just 1:14 later the Stars struck again when Ryder put a shot on net that deflected off traffic, up into the air and Loui Eriksson knocked it into the net.

The Stars had a 15-5 shots advantage in the third period.

Stars lineup

Eriksson-Ribeiro-Ryder
Ott-Wandell-Vincour
Nystrom-Fiddler-Dvorak
Petersen-Garbutt-Burish
Ott-Garbutt-Burish
Petersen-Wandell-Vincour

Goligoski-Robidas
Fistric-Daley
Souray-Larsen
Souray-Robidas
Goligoski-Larsen

Bachman (starter)
Lehtonen

Injured: Benn (leg), Morrow (neck/shoulder), Dowell (finger)
Scratched: Pardy, Fraser

Thursday update: Stars hoping to go on run

February, 23, 2012
2/23/12
1:07
PM CT


Every game is big at this point of the season and the importance of Thursday's game isn’t lost on the Dallas Stars. A win will help them move them within to at least one point of eighth place and, if Calgary loses to Phoenix, the Stars would move into the top eight in the West.

“We look every single day to see what the Western Conference standings look like. We want to be a playoff team obviously and continue to build from there,” said Stars forward Steve Ott. “You look at even third place isn’t too far away. I know it’s stretching and not being completely realistic at this time, but it’s becoming a lot closer every single day. Hopefully we can find a way to continue to get points.”

Third place in the West is a stretch, but not totally out of reach. The Stars are five points behind San Jose, but the Sharks do have a couple games in hand.

But right now just getting into the playoff picture is the goal, and to do that and solidify a spot the Stars are going to have to do something they really haven’t done since the beginning of the season – put together a good run.

“If we can find a way to put three, four or above (wins) together that’s going to continue to a put pressure on a lot of other teams,” Ott said. “You’ve seen streaks already. Phoenix had a great streak they just put together and that’s why they are where they are right now. We need to find one. We need to find a way to string a few together and collect those valuable points at this crunch time of the season.”

Lineup notes

Sheldon Souray will be back after missing seven games with a foot injury and will be paired with Philip Larsen to start the game, according to Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. Adam Pardy will be the healthy scratch.

“The last three games he’s played real well,” Gulutzan said of Pardy. “It’s real good to have that depth on D, and we’ve got competition again. I think Pards have proved his worth coming back in here a little bit and got himself back on the map to play. Now we’ve got some competition for jobs.”

Adam Burish, who missed the last game due to illness, will be back in the lineup. He will play on the fourth line with Ryan Garbutt and Toby Petersen. Garbutt will play center, which is his natural position.

Matt Fraser, called up from the Texas Stars due to Jake Dowell breaking a finger, will be a healthy scratch.

Jamie Benn (leg) and Brenden Morrow (neck/shoulder) are still out.

Richard Bachman is in goal tonight.

Here’s the Stars’ projected lineup.

Eriksson-Ribeiro-Ryder
Ott-Wandell-Vincour
Nystrom-Fiddler-Dvorak
Petersen-Garbutt-Burish

Goligoski-Robidas
Fistric-Daley
Souray-Larsen

Bachman

Lehtonen, Stars shut out Montreal, 3-0

February, 21, 2012
2/21/12
7:16
PM CT


Kari Lehtonen stopped 31 shots for his second shutout of the season and 19th of his career as the Dallas Stars won 3-0 at Montreal Tuesday night. Ryan Garbutt scored his first career goal for the Stars, who moved to within two points of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Mike Ribeiro and Tom Wandell also scored for the Stars, who won for just the second time in the last seven games (2-3-2).

First period

The Stars dominated the first period, outshooting the Canadiens 16-6 to six and scoring the period’s only goal.

The goal came at the 14:12 mark when Jake Dowell backhanded a puck from behind the net to Ryan Garbutt, who fired the puck past Montreal goalie Carey Price from the left circle for his first NHL goal.

Stars forward Adam Burish was a late scratch due to illness. Toby Petersen, who has been a scratch the last four games, moved into the lineup to take Burish’s place.

Second period

The Canadiens had three full power plays in the second and the fourth that had 49 seconds remaining when the period ended, but they couldn’t take advantage of any of them.

Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen made 14 saves in the period, including seven with the Stars shorthanded.

Steve Ott came close to extending the lead while the Stars were shorthanded a fourth time, hitting the post with a slap shot late in the second.

The Stars had 11 shots on in the second and had a 27-20 advantage through two periods.

Third period

The Stars killed off what was left of Montreal’s fourth power play to open the third period and then scored two goals in 37 seconds to take a commanding 3-0 lead.

Trevor Daley circled around the Montreal net and sent a cross-ice pass from the left circle to Mike Ribeiro, who ripped a one-timer past Price at the 4:32 mark to put the Stars up 2-0.

Moments later Price turned the puck over when he tried to pass the puck up the middle of the ice, and Tom Wandell scored from the slot at the 5:09 mark to give the Stars a 3-0 lead.

Lehtonen made 11 saves in the third, including nice ones on Lars Eller and Louis Leblanc to preserve his second shutout of the season.

The Stars lost center Jake Dowell in the period to an upper body injury.

Stars lineup

Eriksson-Ribeiro-Ryder
Ott-Wandell-Vincour
Nystrom-Fiddler-Dvorak
Garbutt-Dowell-Petersen

Goligoski-Robidas
Fistric-Daley
Pardy-Larsen

Lehtonen (starter)
Bachman

Injured: Burish (illness), Souray (foot), Benn (leg), Morrow (neck/shoulder)
Scratched: None

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