Dallas Stars: Cam Ward

Stars get off to strong start on road trip

November, 6, 2011
11/06/11
4:41
PM CT


The Dallas Stars opened their four-game road trip impressively, beating the Carolina Hurricanes 5-2 in Raleigh Sunday afternoon.

The Stars became the first team to hit 10 wins this season and their 10-3-0 record gives them the best points percentage in the league at .769.

“Guys are really working hard to want to get better. You have to remember that last year they missed the playoffs by two points. They’ve got something to prove,” Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said of his team’s strong start to the season. “As a new coach it’s been easy going into that locker room when you’ve got 20 hungry guys. The seven new guys we’ve brought in have contributed to our character and, obviously, to all elements of our game. We’re a confident group right now and that’s half the battle.”

The Stars got off to a strong start, scoring early in the game, taking a 3-1 lead into the first intermission and extending it to 5-1 through the first 40 minutes.

“We played really well today,” said Stars forward Loui Eriksson. “We had a good start, we played really hard and it’s a good start to this road trip.”

And in their last two wins the Stars have found some offense, scoring 12 goals. The line of Eriksson (three assists), Jamie Benn (two goals) and Ryder (one goal and two assists) chipped in a total of eight points.

Eriksson and Benn both now have 15 points this season and are currently tied for 7th in the league in scoring. Eriksson is tied for seventh in goals and Benn is tied for fifth in assists.

“They are both cerebral players and they just kind of feed off each other,” said Gulutzan. “They think the game so well. You’ve got two smart guys playing together and they’re having a good streak right now.”

Eric Nystrom scored his third goal in the last four games and Stephane Robidas scored on the power play.

Kari Lehtonen stopped 30 of 32 shots, bouncing back from Friday’s game when he gave up a season-high six goals.

“It was good for him to get right back in the saddle when you’re half off it,” said Gulutzan. “It was a good game for him.”

The Stars scored a little more than five minutes into the game and never looked back. Vernon Fiddler set up Eric Nystrom off the rush and Nystrom beat Carolina goalie Cam Ward with a shot from the left circle to put the Stars up 1-0 5:20 into the game.

The Stars extended the lead to 2-0 by cashing in on their first power play as Stephane Robidas scored off a blast from the point at the 12:55 mark.

Carolina answered with a power play goal by Chad LaRose just 23 seconds later, but the Stars were able to extend the lead with 27.8 seconds left in the first when Eriksson sent a pass from behind the net to Benn to make it a 3-1 game.

The Stars added two more in the second period to make it a 5-1 game. Eriksson set up Ryder, who roofed a shot over Ward early in second to make it 4-1. That ended the afternoon for Ward, who was replaced by Brian Boucher.

Eriksson set up Benn on a shorthanded two-on-one late in the second to make it 5-1.

“I saw the puck go around the corner there and we got a two-on-one,” said Eriksson. “It was a nice shot by Benny.”

Carolina’s Tuomo Ruutu scored a power play goal in the third to round out the scoring in the game. Carolina has lost it’s last two games by a combined score of 10-3.

“It’s a physical man’s game and we tried to play on skill. It just wasn’t going to get it done for us,” said Carolina coach Paul Maurice. “We were just soft on pucks all over the ice.”

The Stars continue the road trip Tuesday when they take on the Washington Capitals, who are 9-3-0 this season and are 6-0-0 at home this season.

Notes

*Steve Ott missed his second straight game with a hip injury.

*Jake Dowell and Adam Pardy were healthy scratches for the Stars.

*The Stars have won five of their last six games against Carolina.

Andrew Raycroft shines in Stars' win

December, 10, 2010
12/10/10
11:51
PM CT
With Kari Lehtonen resting a sore back the Dallas Stars have turned to Andrew Raycroft for two games this weekend, and he turned in a dandy of a performance in the first one. Raycroft stopped 22 of 23 shots in regulation and overtime and then was 3-3 in the shootout as the Stars beat Carolina 2-1 at American Airlines Center.

“You can’t understate the importance of how good he was tonight,” said Stars coach Marc Crawford.

Raycroft, making his sixth start of the season, was good. He was brilliant with 42.4 seconds left in the overtime when he made a spectacular glove save on Carolina defenseman Joe Corvo.

“They hit the trailer and I read the pass across and I was able to get my eyes ahead of the play, which always helps,” said Raycroft. “You kind of throw a glove up and hope it hits it. Fortunately it did.”

That save helped the Stars get to a shootout, where Dallas center Brad Richards scored the only goal. Raycroft stopped Jussi Jokinen, Jeff Skinner and Eric Staal to get the Stars the extra point and run their points streak at home to ten games (9-0-1).

“He played great,” said Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas. “He’s been great every time he has stepped in the net. I think we all feel really confident. He's made some big saves at key times, like the last one in overtime. Everybody's just happy for him to get the chance to play. We all knew he was a pretty good goalie and now he has the chance to prove it."

The Stars needed solid goaltending to get two points in this game. In a game that wasn't filled with a lot of scoring chances, they could only muster on goal in regulation against Carolina’s Cam Ward, who was solid as well. James Neal scored off a rebound midway through the first period to put Dallas up 1-0. Carolina’s Jiri Tlusty tied it on a shot from the slot in the second period. Both Ward and Raycroft came up with big stops in the overtime and Raycroft made one extra stop in the shootout to get the win.

Raycroft improved to 4-2-0 on the season with a 1.90 goals against average and .937 save percentage. Those are impressive numbers and a reflection of how impressive Raycroft has been when the Stars have called on him this season.

“Most of the time for your goaltending, it gives your team a sense of security and that’s what Kari has done so well for us this this yea,” Crawford said. “For Andrew to come in and play as well as he has, that’s his fourth ‘A’ performance for us this year and he’s played in six games.”

Crawford noted that its’ hard to find players that get an ‘A’ from the coaches or management four times out of every six games.

“You work hard every day and you want to play well for the guys,” said Raycroft. “You want them to have confidence in you and not just feel like we’re mailing it in when I am in there. I want to give everyone a chance and so far, so good.”

Notes
  • Stars coach Marc Crawford said Andrew Raycroft would start again Saturday in Phoenix.
  • G Kari Lehtonen did not skate Friday. He received treatment for his sore back. He could skate Saturday.
  • F Toby Petersen (hand) is skating but is still not ready to return.
  • F Krys Barch (foot/ankle) has not resumed skating.

Stars down Hurricanes in shootout

December, 10, 2010
12/10/10
8:16
PM CT


The Dallas Stars ran their points streak at home to 10 games (9-0-1) with a 2-1 shootout victory over the Carolina Hurricanes at American Airlines Center Friday night. Andrew Raycroft stopped 22 shots in the game and all three shots in the shootout. James Neal scored the Stars’ goal in regulation and Brad Richards scored in the shootout and had an assist in the game.

First period

The Dallas Stars lead the Carolina Hurricanes 1-0 after one period of play at American Airlines Center.

There was a lot of pace to the period, but each team only registered five shots on goal and only one made it past a goaltender.

The Stars scored that goal at the 9:39 mark when Brad Richards put a shot on net from the left point and James Neal got the rebound and lifted snapped the puck over Carolina goalie Cam Ward from close range.

Some notes from the first period:
  • The Stars were 0-2 on the power play in the period and the Hurricanes were 0-1.
  • The Stars won 8 of 17 faceoffs in the period.
  • D Maxime Fortunus was a healthy scratch for the Stars. G Kari Lehtonen (back), F Toby Petersen (hand), F Krys Barch and D Mark Fistric (conditioning assignment) were also out for the Stars.
Second period

The Dallas Stars and Carolina Hurricanes are tied 1-1 after 40 minutes of play at American Airlines Center.

After the Stars missed on their third power play chance of the game and Stephane Robidas hit a post and had the puck skip along the goal line, the Hurricanes drew even at 9:03 of the second period.

Following a Stars’ turnover at the Carolina blue line, Troy Bodie set up Jiri Tlusty, who beat Stars goalie Andrew Raycroft with a shot from the slot to make it a 1-1 game.

Some notes following two periods:
  • Jere Lehtinen, who retired earlier this week, was in attendance at the game. There was a brief video tribute to the 1999 Stanley Cup champion and three-time Selke Trophy winner. When Lehtinen was shown on the scoreboard he received a lengthy standing ovation from the crowd.
  • The Stars outshot the Hurricanes 11-9 in the second period and have a 16-14 advantage for the game.
  • Both teams are 0-3 on the power play in the game.
  • The Stars have won 16 of 32 faceoffs.
Third period

The Stars had one power play in the period and the Hurricanes had two, but neither team could cash in on the chances and the game remained 1-1 at the end of regulation. The Stars have a 7-5 shots advantage in the period.

Overtime/Shootout

The Stars had several great chances in overtime, but Cam Ward stopped Mike Ribeiro and then two rebound attempts by Brenden Morrow. Ward came up big less than a minute later, stopping James Neal on a wrap-around and then Brad Richards on the rebound.

Andrew Raycroft and answered Ward’s brilliance, making a spectacular glove save on Joe Corvo with 42.4 seconds remaining in overtime to keep it a 1-1 game and get the Stars to a shootout.

Eriksson, Dallas: Ward made poke check save, Tied 0-0
Jokinen, Carolina: Wrist shot, save Raycroft, Tied 0-0
Richards, Dallas: Wrist shot beat Ward blocker side, Dallas 1-0
Skinner, Carolina: Wrist shot, save Raycroft, Dallas 1-0
Ribeiro, Dallas: Wrist shot, Ward pad save, Dallas 1-0
Staal, Carolina: Wrist shot, save Raycroft, Dallas wins 1-0

    Stars' winning streak hits four games

    November, 29, 2010
    11/29/10
    7:23
    PM CT
    The Dallas Stars ran their overall winning streak to four games and their road winning streak to three games with an impressive 4-1 win at Carolina Monday night. James Neal scored two goals, Jamie Benn had one goal and one assist and Steve Ott tallied as well. Kari Lehtonen stopped 27 shots for the Stars, who improved to 14-8-1 on the season. The Stars host the Washington Capitals Thursday night at American Airlines Center.

    First period

    James Neal scored the only goal of the period, taking a pass from Loui Erikson and beating Carolina goalie Cam Ward high and short side with a shot from the right circle at the 10:50 mark.

    The Stars had the better chances in the period, but Ward made some nice stops. He made a glove save on Brenden Morrow early in the game, and appeared to get a piece of a shot as Eriksson was busting in on net. Brad Richards also got a clean break on the net and shot wide.

    Kari Lehtonen stopped 12 shots in the period, and made a nice save on Patrick Dwyer’s shot from the right circle to keep it a 1-0 game.

    Some notes from the first.
    • Carolina outshot the Stars 12-10 in the period
    • Carolina was 0-1 on the power play and Dallas was 0-0.
    • The Stars won 10 of 18 faceoffs in the period.
    • Adam Burish won 4 of 5 draws for the Stars.
    • Severin Blindenbacher was the scratch for the Stars. Krys Barch and Mark Fistric remain out with injuries.
    Second period

    The Stars scored two goals 1:33 apart to build a 3-0 lead early in the second period. The first one came just seconds after they killed off Carolina’s second power play of the game. The Stars took off on the rush and after Trevor Daley fanned on a shot, Jamie Benn got the puck behind the net and set up Steve Ott, who scored from close range to make it a 2-0 game at the 2:46 mark.

    James Neal scored his second goal of the game at 4:19 of the second, getting the rebound of his own shot off the endboards and beating Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward with a shot from the left circle.

    Ward kept it a 3-0 game, making a great pad save on Loui Eriksson’s shot from the slot a short time later.

    Carolina finally broke through at the 7:57 mark with the two teams playing four-on-four. Eric Staal knocked Nicklas Grossman off a puck at the Carolina blue line, skated down the left wing and roofed a shot from the left circle to make it a 3-1 game.

    Some notes from the second period.
    • The Stars outshot the Hurricanes 13-5 in the second period and have a 23-17 advantage for the game.
    • Both teams are 0-3 on the power play. Carolina will have 49 seconds of power play time when the third period begins.
    • James Neal has five shots on goal for the Stars.
    • The Stars have won 26 of 51 faceoffs through two periods.
    • Brad Richards has won 12 of 18.
    Third period

    The Stars made it a 4-1 game at the 3:21 mark with another goal off the rush. This time it was Jamie Benn knocking home a rebound off a battle in front of the net to run his goal scoring streak to three games.

    There was a significant scrum three minutes later when Tim Gleason hit Adam Burish in the neutral zone. The end result was Gleason, Burish, Steve Ott and Trevor Daley all ending up in the penalty box and Carolina with a 2:00 power play. But the Stars killed it off to keep it a 4-1 game.

      Monday update

      November, 29, 2010
      11/29/10
      12:06
      PM CT
      A few notes as the Stars get ready to take on the Carolina Hurricanes tonight. The game will be nationally televised on Versus starting at 6:30 p.m. Central Time.

      Carolina, which played yesterday in Washington, is playing its fourth game in six days. The Stars had yesterday off, but are playing their fourth in six days as well, all of them in different cities.

      It looks like it will Kari Lehtonen vs. Cam Ward.

      A tidbit from ESPN Stats and Research:
      Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen has not enjoyed success in Carolina as he's just 1-5-1 in 7 career games there, all when he was with the Atlanta Thrashers. His last win in Carolina came on January 13, 2007.

      Stars forward Krys Barch (foot) skated today, but is still out.

      Stars defenseman Mark Fistric is still out with a groin injury. He's back in Dallas.

      Q&A with a Hurricanes blogger

      December, 16, 2009
      12/16/09
      3:20
      PM CT

      Bob, from Canes Country, answered some questions about the Hurricanes for us. Here goes:

      Q: Can you give us a scouting report on the Hurricanes and how they've been since the Stars last played them in late November?


      A:
      The Canes have not fared very well lately. They have a record of 2-7-1 since their loss to the Stars and while their play has been good in spots, it has not been good enough to turn their ugly season around.

      Q: If you had to pick one reason for Carolina's struggles, what would it be and why?


      A:
      That is impossible to do, because it's been a combination of things. We can start off with a lack of scoring, inability to stop the other team from scoring, poor discipline regarding penalties, and an ineffective powerplay. When you rank last or near last in most major categories, it's an epic fail, not just one thing.

      Q: How has goalie Cam Ward looked since returning from a leg laceration? Will he play tonight?


      A:
      Yes, Ward will start tonight. He has had good moments, and looked especially good in an overtime loss to Washington last week. But he has not earned a win yet, and is 0-2-1 since returning from his injury.

      Q: Give us the Jussi Jokinen update. Stars fans love to hear how he's doing. Dallas could sure use him on the shootout.


      A:
      Jussi is a fan favorite here. He is third on the team in scoring with 18 points and has been very flexible in his ability to move around on different lines as the team has needed, due to a variety of injuries to other players. He continues to be effective on the shootout. By the way, he also leads the team with two game winning goals as well. Jussi has been the definition of clutch since coming to Carolina.

      Q: Which player has been the biggest surprise this season?


      A:
      Eric Staal has been a surprise in a negative way. He has been fighting injuries but has not been the prolific scorer he has been in the past. Brandon Sutter has been a bit of a surprise in a positive way. He has shown much more offensive skill than what many have anticipated.

      Q: Talk about the Hurricanes' special teams.


      A:
      The powerplay is ranked 28th in the league at 14.3%. It has struggled mightily. The penalty kill has been pretty decent and is ranked at 18th in the league at 79.4%.

      Q: Which players should Stars fans keep an eye on tonight?


      A:
      Look for Eric Staal to continue to try to break out. He will be on the top line with Ray Whitney and Tuomo Ruutu. Jussi will be with Matt Cullen and Sergei Samsonov, also an effective line.

      Q: Injury update?


      A:
      There are plenty. Joe Corvo is out long term. Nic Wallin has been out and Tim Gleason is also out for tonight. He took a puck to the face last week and has tried to play through it, but will take tonight off. Three defensemen from Albany will fill in.


      The forwards missing are Chad LaRose and Erik Cole, both out for a couple of weeks.

      Q: Anything else Stars fans should know about the Hurricanes?


      A:
      While the Hurricanes have struggled on the road, (1-12-4), they have played decently at home, (6-7-2). It should be a good game tonight.

      Chat with a Hurricanes blogger

      November, 23, 2009
      11/23/09
      1:38
      PM CT

      Bob at Canes Countryanswered a few questions about the Carolina Hurricanes as they come to town to face the Stars.


      Q: Give us a scouting report on the Hurricanes. It appears they played one of their better games on Saturday.


      A: Saturday night's 3-1 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning was one of the best games of the season so far for the Hurricanes. The team was mired in an early season slump, (14 consecutive games without a win), at one time had the worst record in the league, and ranks near the bottom of the league in most major categories. (Goals allowed, goals scored, powerplay percentage, etc.). They have yet to win a single road game all season long. (0-7-3).


      But the team has earned points in their last five games and they seem to be turning a corner. The big question is, can they keep performing well without injured stars Eric Staal and Cam Ward?


      Q: How has former Star Jussi Jokinen played this season?


      A: Jokinen has been one of the few positives of the season. He is third on the team in points, (14), tied for first with goals scored, (6), and remains the most dangerous player in the league during a shootout. Recently, he notched his 26th career shootout goal, which is tops for all active NHL players. He is currently playing wing on Carolina's second line along with countryman Tuomo Ruutu and Minnesota native Matt Cullen, but the team would love to eventually move him to center.


      The player has fit in nicely with the team and has helped fellow Finn, Joni Pitkanen feel more comfortable in Carolina, thus helping the star defenseman's game as well. Jokinen seems to be a player who thrives under pressure as he was one of the team's top scorers in last year's playoffs.


      Q: Talk about the top line and how they have performed.


      A: Currently, the top line is Brandon Sutter, Ray Whitney, and Erik Cole. Sutter is a recall from the AHL who has been filling in for Eric Staal and he has done a marvelous job. He has nine points in 13 games and has performed better than expected. Ray Whitney is a consistent point producer and has had a good year so far. (6G 9A 15P). Erik Cole broke a bone in his leg early in the year and missed several games. He is just starting to get back to prime condition.


      Q: It looks like the power play has struggled (26th in the league). Why?


      A: The team will tell you that it's because of lack of bodies in front of the net, but my opinion is that they have had lack of firepower and skill at the point. Joni Pitkanen has missed several games due to a variety of ailments, and he is an important cog for puck movement. Joe Corvo has had a rough start, (until recently) and the team needs his strong shot from the point to make it through to the net. Other than those two players, the Canes really do not have anyone steady who is consistent from the point, and they need more help.
      Q: Which goalie will the Stars see on Monday? Tell us about him.


      A: Manny Legace will start, which is an interesting story by itself. Cam Ward was cut in the leg by Rick Nash earlier this year and is out at least until December 5. Backup goalie Michael Leighton has a groin pull. The team signed Legace as insurance when Ward went down and he has been a fairly adequate replacement. He seems to be getting stronger each game and made 20 saves on 21 shots on Saturday night.


      Q: Who are some other players Stars fans should keep an eye on?


      A: Tuomo Ruutu has been red hot lately and has 9 points in his last 6 games. Defenseman, Joni Pitkanen is a joy to watch when he is on his game.


      Q: Injury update?


      A: All Star Eric Staal is out. Franchise goalie Cam Ward is out. Scott Walker is also nursing an injury and will miss the game.


      Q: Anything else Stars fans should know about Carolina?


      A: If you like physical hockey, several of the Canes have been laying on the hits. Tom Kostopoulos, Tim Gleason, Andrew Alberts, and Ruutu will be looking to add to their totals.

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