Dallas Stars: Roman Josi

Mike Ribeiro shines as Stars down Predators

January, 5, 2012
1/05/12
11:13
PM CT

Dallas Stars center Mike Ribeiro put on a solid showing in Nashville Thursday night, mixing skill and grit in leading the Dallas Stars to a 4-1 victory over the Predators.

Ribeiro scored two first period goals, left the game late in the second after getting hit in the face with a puck but returned in the third period to help the Stars close out the victory that helps them keep pace in the very tight Western Conference.

“Some of that elusiveness you saw tonight was on display. I thought his compete level was real high. It was a great game,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “He came back after losing some teeth and getting stitches and he’s diving to block shots. I really liked his game. Some fantastic moves.”

Ribeiro opened the scoring for the Stars 4:18 into the game, slipping by Nashville defenders Roman Josi and Kevin Klein and then beating Predators goalie Pekka Rinne with a backhand shot.

After Nashville had tied the game on a goal by Gabriel Bourque, Ribeiro struck again with 38.7 seconds left in the first to give the Stars a lead that would hold up for the rest of the game. After Rinne couldn’t handle a Nicklas Grossman shot from the left point, the puck dropped behind the Nashville goalie and Ribeiro poked it into the net to put the Stars up 2-1.

Ribeiro left the game late in the second period when he was hit in the face by a Trevor Daley shot with the Stars on the power play.

"He's not as good looking as he was before,” said Gulutzan. “He's lost some teeth and he's got some stitches in his mouth. We’re just thankful it wasn’t a broken jaw or something like that.”

Ribeiro left the ice, but then returned midway through the third period wearing a full cage.

“It was pretty gritty. I don’t know if people noticed, but he went down to block Shea Weber’s shot late in the third period. We’re up 4-1 and there’s two minutes to go,” said Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas. “He showed a lot of courage. He came back and played a really good game. He’s a big piece of our team. “

The Stars made it a 3-1 game in the second period when Predators defenseman Ryan Suter reversed the puck behind his own net, but it went right to Stars forward Jamie Benn who quickly put it past a surprised Rinne at the 8:46 mark.

The Stars came close to extending the lead three times within the next two on plays by Steve Ott. He hit the post on a breakaway, was pulled down on another breakaway and was awarded a penalty shot, and then hit the post on the penalty shot.

The Stars made it 4-1 in the third, taking advantage of another Nashville turnover. After Predators defenseman Shea Weber lost the puck, Jamie Benn set up Tom Wandell, whose shot from the left circle was tipped into the net by Adam Burish.

“If you look at our game tonight it was a pretty solid win,” said Robidas. “It’s a tough team to play. There are not too many teams that come in that building and win. It’s a tough team to play against and you ask anybody, it could be one of the toughest teams to play against. We knew what we had to bring.”

The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Predators and spoiled the return of Weber, who had missed the last four games with a concussion that resulted from a hit by Stars defenseman Mark Fistric in the Stars’ 6-3 victory over the Predators on December 23.

“They tracked well and we just didn’t have enough push,” said Nashville coach Barry Trotz. “We weren’t sharp. It was a self-inflicted four goals. That’s how I look at it.”

Notes

*Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas returned to the lineup after missing six games with a foot injury.

*Nashville fans booed Stars defenseman Mark Fistric, whose hit knocked Predators defenseman Shea Weber out of the lineup for four games.

*Fistric and Nashville forward Jordin Tootoo fought 1:46 minutes into the game.

*The Stars were 3-3 on the penalty kill and are 8-8 on the PK over the last four games.

*The Stars were 0-4 on the power play and are now 2-22 over the last seven games.

*Jamie Benn had one goal and one assist, giving him three straight multi-point games.

*Toby Petersen and Jake Dowell were healthy scratches for the Stars, who dressed seven defensemen in the game.

Stars top Predators 4-1

January, 5, 2012
1/05/12
7:47
PM CT
The Dallas Stars picked up two key points Thursday night, beating the Predators 4-1 in Nashville. The victory pulled the Stars to within one point of the Predators in the Western Conference standings. Mike Ribeiro scored two goals and Jamie Benn had one goal and one assist for his third straight multi-point game. Adam Burish also scored for the Stars. Kari Lehtonen stopped 24 of 25 shots to improve to 15-6-1 on the season. The Stars were 3-3 on the penalty kill and are now 8-8 on the PK over the last four games.

First period

Just 1:46 into the game Predators forward Jordin Tootoo dropped the gloves with Stars defenseman Mark Fistric, whose hit had knocked Nashville captain Shea Weber out of action the previous four games.

The Stars opened the scoring at the 4:18 mark when center Mike Ribeiro beat Nashville defensemen Roman Josi and Kevin Kline and then backhanded the puck past Pekka Rinne from close range.

The Predators drew even 8:31 of the period when Tootoo beat Stars defenseman Adam Pardy in a puck battle behind the Dallas net and centered the puck to Gabriel Bourque, who then beat Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen from close range.

The Stars took a 2-1 lead with 38.7 seconds left in the period. Nicklas Grossman put a shot on net from the left point that got behind Rinne and Ribeiro poked it into the net for his second goal of the game.

Second period

The Stars made it a 3-1 at 6:28 of the second period. After Nashville defenseman Ryan Suter reversed the puck behind his own net it went right to Stars forward Jamie Benn, who quickly put it past surprised Predators goalie Pekka Rinne.

The Stars came close to making it a 4-1 game seconds one later, but Steve Ott hit the post on a breakaway.

Ott got a shorthanded breakaway a couple minutes later, but was pulled down by Suter and was awarded a penalty shot. Ott had Rinne beat, but his shot hit the post and it remained a 3-1 game.

The Stars went on their second power play of the game late in the period and lost Mike Ribeiro when he was hit in the face by a Trevor Daley one-timer.

Third period

Ribeiro returned later in the third period wearing a full cage.

The Stars extended the lead to 4-1 at 12:53 of the third, cashing on a Nashville turnover in its own end. Jamie Benn set up Tom Wandell, whose shot from the left circle was tipped into the net by Adam Burish.

Stars lineup

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

Grossman-Daley
Goligoski-Robidas
Fistric-Pardy
Benn

Lehtonen (starter)
Bachman

Scratched: Dowell, Petersen

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