Dallas Stars: Trevor Daley

Stars coach proud of team, and told them so

April, 28, 2014
Apr 28
9:00
AM CT
Jamie Benn and Lindy RuffJerome Miron/USA TODAY SportsStars coach Lindy Ruff said he was proud of the way the team competed and proud of the fans.
DALLAS -- It wasn't a very talkative Dallas Stars team in the aftermath of a late third-period collapse that turned Tuesday into exit interview day rather than Game 7.

After watching his team give up two goals in the final 2:10 of regulation and then the deciding goal less than three minutes into overtime, a disappointed Stars coach Lindy Ruff faced the media.

"It’s tough to lose this series considering how well we played the whole series really," Ruff said. "We had just dominant periods that one thing that was missing was a little bit of finish. You can go back to Game 2 where we were dominating. We could have been the team that scored late. We had a couple of unbelievable opportunities to tie it and we missed those opportunities.

We talked [Sunday] morning about some of our finish. We had it right there at 4-2 with 2 minutes left. But it’s a cruel way. Sometimes hockey’s cruel. It was cruel, really cruel, to a group of guys that worked as hard as they possibly could. There wasn’t one guy that was a passenger."

Credit the Ducks, who didn't stop believing and playing either despite getting dominating in nearly every facet of Game 6. But after allowing Trevor Daley's second goal of the game midway through the second period, the Ducks made a goalie change and didn't let anything else get behind them. Jonas Hiller, taking the place of Frederik Andersen, was solid and kept his team in it. And with the extra skater on the ice and an empty net at the Ducks' end of the arena twice as the game wound down, Anaheim found a way to get the job done.

(Read full post)

Rapid Reaction: Ducks 5, Stars 4 OT

April, 27, 2014
Apr 27
10:25
PM CT

DALLAS -- The Anaheim Ducks are moving on to the second round of the playoffs after coming back to beat the Dallas Stars 5-4 in Game 6 in Dallas on Sunday.

How it happened: The Stars scored three goals in the first period to take control early. Dallas scored its first power-play goal since Game 2 and Ryan Garbutt's goal with 59 seconds left in the period gave the Stars a two-goal cushion. For the second straight game in Dallas, Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen watched the end from the bench. He was pulled midway through the second period (he was pulled in the third period of Game 4 in Dallas) and replaced by Jonas Hiller for the remainder of the game. Daley's second goal of the game, at 10:33 of the second period, put the Stars up by two goals for the second time. It stayed that way until Nick Bonino scored with Hiller on the bench in favor of an extra skater with 2:10 left in the game. Anaheim pulled Hiller again in the final minute and off a huge scrum in front of the Stars' net, goalie Kari Lehtonen lost his stick and moments later lost sight of the puck. Devante Smith-Pelly found it just outside the crease and floated it top shelf to tie the score with 22 seconds left.

What it means: Anaheim wins the series 4-2, scoring three unanswered goals to do it. The Ducks went through a goalie change, seemingly little momentum and a loud road crowd and found a way to get it done. It also avoids any thoughts of last season, when they lost to Detroit in Game 6 and then fell at home in Game 7 in the first round.

Players of the game: Jonas Hiller and Nick Bonino. He came in midway through the second period and didn't let anything by him. Despite a bunch of scoring chances and play going on in front of him, Hiller kept the Ducks within range, and they used late-third-period heroics to get the game to OT. Without Hiller's steady play in substitute duty, the Ducks aren't in the game to win it in overtime. Bonino scored the third goal of the game to get the Ducks within one and then deposited the winner in overtime.

Stat of the game: Three goals were scored in the final five minutes of the game by the Ducks to win it. The Ducks were relentless down the stretch. They pulled the goalie twice to score the tying goals, and then Anaheim got the one shot it needed to win the series.

What's next: Anaheim moves on to the second round and awaits the winner of the San Jose-Los Angeles series. The Sharks and Kings play Game 6 on Monday.

Rapid Reaction: Stars 3, Ducks 0

April, 21, 2014
Apr 21
11:31
PM CT
DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars earned their first playoff victory since 2008, beating the Anaheim Ducks, 3-0. It was the Stars' first home game of the series, played in front of a sellout crowd of 19,120.

Some quick thoughts:

How it happened: The Stars got goals late in both the first and second periods. Jamie Benn, the Stars' second-leading goal scorer in the regular season, scored after Shawn Horcoff's shot from the left circle hit the pads of Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen and came right out to Benn on the right circle and he deposited it in the net. The goal was scored with 35 seconds left in the first period, allowing Dallas to take some momentum into the dressing room.

The teams were physical in the second period and both had some scoring chances. But it wasn't until the clock got under three minutes left that the Stars expanded their lead. Tyler Seguin's speed and puck-handling created the opportunity. He skated into the zone and left it for Valeri Nichuskin, who managed to get the puck through Andersen.

Dallas added another insurance goal midway through the third period.

What it means: The Stars earned their first shutout since April 10, 2008, at Anaheim in Game 1 of the first-round and in the process are back in the series. It was an opportunity lost for the Ducks to take a stranglehold in the series. The result also guarantees that the series will go back to Anaheim for Game 5 on Friday.

Player of the game: Kari Lehtonen was terrific when it mattered most. He made several key saves on some point-blank chances, including Saku Koivu and Nick Bonino early in the second period. That kept it a 1-0 game and the Stars were able to add to it later in the period. Lehtonen was in a good rhythm and not afraid to come out and challenge shots. And he saw a lot of them. The Ducks vastly outshot the Stars, but just couldn't get anything past Lehtonen, even when they got some traffic in front of him. He made 37 saves, earned his first playoff victory and did so in a shutout.

Stat of the game: The Stars' penalty kill was 5-for-5 and became a big momentum-booster for Stars goals late in the first and second periods. The Stars didn't allow rebound chances, blocked shots and Lehtonen was able to keep everything out. The Ducks haven't had a power-play goal since Game 1.

Injured defenseman: Stephane Robidas fractured his right leg early in the second period after getting tangled up with Ryan Garbutt in front of the Ducks' net. It's the same leg Robidas fractured in November when he was with Dallas, causing him to miss four months.

What's next: Game 4 is Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET at American Airlines Center before the series shifts back to Anaheim for Game 5 on Friday.


FRISCO -- The Dallas Stars underwent physicals, held exit interviews and cleaned out their lockers today, but several players will continue to play hockey this spring, suiting up for their countries at the World Championship.

Among that group will be Jamie Benn, who is expected to suit up for Team Canada.

“I think I am going to go,” Benn said. “It will be a good experience for a young guy like me, and I be surrounded by some pretty good players. I guess that is the next step for me, and I am looking forward to it.”

Defenseman Alex Goligoski and goaltender Richard Bachman were among the first 17 players named to the USA roster today.

“It’s a great opportunity,” said Bachman.” I am looking forward to going to Europe and checking out all that stuff. It’s brand new to me.”

Stars goaltending prospect Jack Campbell is expected to be the No. 3 goaltender for the United States.

It appears Kari Lehtonen will be playing for Finland, one of the host countries of this year’s tournament. He believes it will be a good experience for him.

“I want to get used to playing in May and extend the season. That’s what you need to do when you are ultimately in the playoffs and going deep there,” Lehtonen said. “I think that will be great for me to make the summer a little shorter and keep playing.”

Loui Eriksson will play for Sweden, the other host country.

Defenseman Philip Larsen will play for Denmark.

Tomas Vincour has been approached by the Czech Republic. Trevor Daley was asked to play for Team Canada, but declined because his wife is expecting a child.

The World Championship, which will be played in Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden, gets underway May 4.

Mark Fistric out at least one week

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
12:04
PM CT
DALLAS -- Stars defenseman Mark Fistric is expected to miss at least one week with an abdominal strain. He was injured in Tuesday's 4-3 shootout win over Phoenix.

"It will be a week for so for sure, and then after that it will be day-to-day," Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said of Fistric's status.

With Fistric out, Adam Pardy will come in and be paired with Trevor Daley on the blue line.

The Canucks will be without left wing Daniel Sedin, who was knocked out of last night's game after he took an elbow to the head from Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith. Sedin is heading back to Vancouver this afternoon for further evaluation, according to a team official.

Kari Lehtonen is in net for the Stars. Cory Schneider is the likely starter for the Canucks.

Here are the probable lineups for the two teams:

Dallas

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

Souray-Robidas
Goligoski-Larsen
Pardy-Daley

Lehtonen

Vancouver

Raymond-H. Sedin-Burrows
Higgins-Kesler-Booth
Weise-Pahlsson-Hansen
Malhotra-Lapierre-Kassian

Hamhuis-Bieksa
Edler-Salo
Alberts-Tanev

Schneider

Brenden Morrow, Steve Ott both in tonight

March, 10, 2012
3/10/12
12:27
PM CT
DALLAS -- Brenden Morrow and Steve Ott both will be in the lineup tonight when the Dallas Stars take on the Anaheim Ducks at American Airlines Center.

Morrow has missed the last 18 games with neck and back issues. He's expected to play on a line with Ott and Jamie Benn, and Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said they'll ease Morrow back into things.

"We're going to manage his minutes," Gulutzan said. "Probably between 10 and 12, or 10 and 14, somewhere in there for the first game in five-and-a-half weeks."

Ott missed the last game with back spasms, but said he felt fine after going through Saturday morning's skate.

"It feels good," Ott said. "I finally got it to loosen up with a lot of rehab over the past couple days."

With Ott and Morrow both returning, the Stars will have to scratch three forwards. Gulutzan said Toby Petersen will be one of the scratches, but the others would be game-time decisions.

With Sheldon Souray out with a lower body injury, Adam Pardy will be back in the lineup. He's expected to be paired with Philip Larsen. The other defensive pairings will be Alex Goligoski-Stephane Robidas and Mark Fistric-Trevor Daley.

Kari Lehtonen is in goal tonight.


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.

Postgame quotes

February, 21, 2012
2/21/12
9:52
PM CT
Here are some postgame quotes after the Dallas Stars defeated the Montreal Canadiens 3-0 Tuesday night.

Stars forward Ryan Garbutt, who scored his first NHL goal

“It felt great out there, and after I got that goal it was a weight off my shoulders. I just started playing the game with my instincts, I guess.”

“I’ve just been doing what the coaches have been telling me – funnel the puck to the net. I am just using my linemates out there. I am playing with great linemates since I got here and they make it real easy on me. Just keep moving my feet and trying to put pucks on net.”

Stars center Mike Ribeiro, who scored a goal in his first game in Montreal since being traded to the Stars from the Canadiens in 2006

“I don’t celebrate like that usually. I was just excited. It took me a while to celebrate, to find out what to do. I just wanted to put my arms up. It was big goal for us and a big play by Trevor (Daley). Overall, it was a big game for us. We threw pucks at the net, kept the game simple, our PK did a great job and obviously our goaltender has to be there every night to give you chance to win.”

Stars coach Glen Gulutzan on Ryan Garbutt scoring his first NHL goal

“I was pretty happy for him and so were our guys. His father is here, too, so what a great thing for a young player who has worked his way up from the minors to the NHL and to score a goal here (in Montreal), what a thrill. He’s played well for us.”

Gulutzan on Mike Ribeiro’s goal

“It was a huge goal. You could see Ribby was as slick as ever tonight. He made some real nice plays and played a great two-way game. I was really happy for him to come back here in front of family and stuff and to do that is a big thing for anyone. It was nice that he got to go out there as the first star.”

Gulutzan on the Stars’ penalty kill, which was 4-4 in the game

“Kari Lehtonen helped in that regard. I thought we blocked some key shots. They got some shots through, but we cleaned up a lot of those rebounds and ones we didn’t, Kari did. That was the key for us tonight.”

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

Q & A with Stars owner Tom Gaglardi

February, 11, 2012
2/11/12
11:43
PM CT
Here are some excerpts from a recent interview with Dallas Stars owner Tom Gaglardi, who shared his thoughts on the team and the upcoming trade deadline.

On his assessment of the team’s play so far this season (Note: interview was done day after the Phoenix game and prior to the back-to-back games with Columbus and Buffalo)

“We’re inconsistent. I think we have a playoff caliber team. I think we’ve proven that through different stages of the year. Clearly, there are some hallmarks of a young team with the inconsistency. We’ve had some puzzling nights, but mostly we work hard. It’s not a team that I would say I am regularly upset about being outworked. I can’t stand being outworked. I think we all know the caliber of our roster vis--vis the other clubs, and where we sit. The thing we can’t accept is being outworked. But that’s not something that has troubled me a lot this season.

And our back-to-back record has been woeful. That’s something that has got to stop. We’ve played in some tough buildings against some tough teams, but I am getting tired of the excuse there.”

On the importance of making the playoffs this season

“I think it is pretty important. I think it is important in terms of building your season ticket base. I don’t think it’s as important as the media has written because, in the long term, we want to be a competitive team for the longer term more than we necessarily care about this year.

“If we make moves at the deadline and if we make moves in the summer, they are more likely moves about being better longer than being better now. Having said that, we’re not going to do a deal that makes us worse now. I don’t see that happening because Joe (Nieuwendyk) still thinks we can make the playoffs, and we don’t want to jeopardize that.

“It is important to make the playoffs, but if we are going to look to improve our team then it won’t be something that makes us less competitive the next three to five years. There’s a balance there, I think.

“We’ve got some nice pieces in place with Jamie Benn, Loui Eriksson, Alex Goligoski, Trevor Daley – we’ve got five, six or seven pieces that teams would like to have. I think if we can build around that then that is probably we’re going to try to do.”

On how much where the Stars are in the standings will dictate what happens at the deadline

“We have a lot of games in February. We’re going to have a clearer picture, or not, by the deadline of where we are in the standings. We still might be in the same spot, we might be in better shape or we might be in worse shape. I honestly don’t think that is going to change a whole lot with what we are going to do. It might a little bit, but we’re not a franchise that is going to trade its best older player for three first round draft picks. I don’t see us doing that deal.

“We want to get better for the longer term and not just for the shorter blip. I think that might take the Stars out of the running for certain players you might see available at the trade deadline, those older guys. We think there are things we can do and there are players that we have identified that would fit what we want. “

Could those things cost a lot?

“They might. I don’t know. We’ll see. The theme, as I see it, is we want to get deeper where we are weak, but not at the expense of where we are today. And I think there are things that we can do. There are transactions that may or may not be available to accomplish that. I think if you ask Joe, he’ll tell you the same thing.”

On what he sees as the team’s needs

“We have quite a bit of depth at defense. The Hockey News had us in the middle of the league (ranked 15th recently). I think we’re a bit better than that. We lack that big No. 1 guy, but then so do a lot of teams. You get into that No. 2 and No. 3 three spot with (Alex) Goligoski and (Trevor) Daley – those are the guys you’d have at No. 2 and No.3 – and those are pretty good players.

“I like our D, we’ve got a lot of depth. Some of the guys that haven’t been playing regularly would be playing regularly on other teams, I think. And it’s nice to see guys like (Philip) Larsen step up and grab a pretty regular spot. I don’t think anybody saw that coming at the beginning of the year.

“Would we like to have a Zdeno Chara or a Nick Lidstrom? Yeah, but so would 20-odd other teams. But I think we’re in pretty good shape there.

“On the farm we’ve got some kids coming with (Patrik) Nemeth and (Jamie) Oleksiak and guys we think can play. We’re in pretty good shape there.

“I think we struggle on offense. A lot of times we don’t score enough goals. And our power play has been awfully inconsistent as well. I think our role players, we’re in pretty good shape there. As a glaring weakness on our team, in my mind, it’s top six. We’re young and we’re not deep enough.”

Thursday tidbits: Back-to-back efforts

February, 2, 2012
2/02/12
9:04
AM CT


A few tidbits for your Thursday morning.

*With last night's win over the Ducks, the Stars improved to 4-4-2 in the first games of back-to-back sets this season. As has been mentioned often, it's the second game that's been the big issue. They are 0-7-1 in those games so far this season. Here's a look at how the Stars have fared in back-to-backs in 2011-12.



*A power play note from last night's game. Defenseman Sheldon Souray, who has been averaging 2:24 of power play time per game this season, didn't see any PP time last night. The Stars went with blue line combinations of Alex Goligoski-Stephane Robidas and Trevor Daley-Philip Larsen last night. They give up the big cannon, but that's a pretty mobile group on the blue line.

*The Los Angeles Kings beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 last night on a power play goal by Drew Doughty with 0.4 seconds remaining in regulation. Video replays below show that the game clock stopped briefly at 1.8 seconds, restarted and then Doughty scores.

Here's an excerpt from the NHL.com recap:
Columbus' Samuel Pahlsson took a hooking penalty with 1:06 left in regulation, and the Kings buzzed away in the Jackets' zone. Curtis Sanford made a pair of stops in the final eight seconds on Anze Kopitar, and with time running out the puck came to Doughty, whose snap shot through traffic barely beat the final horn. Referee Steven Walkom originally waved off the goal, but video replay showed the puck crossed the goal line with less than a second to play -- though television replays indicated that the game clock stopped briefly with 1.8 seconds remaining before starting again.

Here's the video. Watch the clock when it hits 1.8 seconds.

Stars look to make strong push in second half

January, 11, 2012
1/11/12
11:38
PM CT


The Dallas Stars hit the midpoint of the season with Tuesday’s game in Anaheim, and despite the loss to the Ducks, they believe they are in a pretty good spot.

“I think at the midway point we are pretty much where we should be with the injuries and everything with our goalie and four D that have gone down,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan.

At the halfway point of the season the Stars find themselves right in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race. It was expected to be tight and it is. Four points separate sixth place from tenth. The Stars, 23-17-1 (47 points) through 41 games, are ninth as far as points and are eighth as far as points percentage.

The Stars have overcome losing goaltender Kari Lehtonen for 12 games and defensemen Alex Goligoski, Stephane Robidas, Trevor Daley and Sheldon Souray with injuries over the first half of the season. They lost defenseman Mark Fistric for three games to a suspension and rookie blueliner Philip Larsen is still on the shelf with concussion-like symptoms. Captain Brenden Morrow and Adam Burish missed extensive time with injuries as well.

"It’s gone like any other season, lots of ups and downs, battling through adversity and injuries,” said Morrow. “We’re in a good position now, but we’ve got to keep pushing forward.”

The Stars, who got off to an 11-3-0 start to the season, have had their ups and downs since. They’ve gone 12-14-1 over last the 27 games, including a five-game losing streak in mid-November. They are 8-8-0 over their last 16 games.

“We obviously got off to a great start. We’ve had a few injuries, nothing serious thankfully,” said Goligoski. “But we slipped there a little bit and then we were kind of win one, lose one a little bit. The last little while here, I think everyone’s really focused in and trying to get a little something going, get a little run going.”

The Stars would like to put a nice run together heading into the All-Star break to put themselves in a good position. That’s because coming out of the break the Stars will be facing a rough schedule in February.

“We’d like to collect as many points as we can because we’re going to be in a big grind in February,” Morrow said. “I don’t know how many games we play, but I looked at the schedule and it’s pretty full. We’ve got to just keep plugging away.”

During February the Stars will play 16 games over 29 days, including four back-to-back sets. Several those games will be against teams they are battling for a playoff spot in the West.

“I think our best hockey has to come in February,” said Gulutzan. “The games 40-60 are the games we have to be concentrating on and probably at our best. This run up until the All-Star break and after that are very important for us.”

As the Stars move onto the second half of the season they see a lot of positives, improvements in key areas as the first half moved along. Over the first quarter of the season the Stars were getting outshot by a 34-27 margin, but over the last 22 games they’ve been outshooting their opponents on average. The number of penalties they are taking per game has dropped. In the first 20 games they were shorthanded an average of five times per game. Over the last 21 games that number has dropped to below three per game.

“We’re outshooting teams, which is a change. We’re a lot more disciplined than we were the first part of the season,” said Gulutzan. “We’re getting better as a group, so our second half we have to be a little bit better than we were in this first half.”

Forward Steve Ott believes the team has been building over the course of the first half of the season, learning and implementing Gulutzan’s system. Wins over teams like Boston and the New York Rangers have shown that the Stars can play with the top teams in the league.

“Our structure is starting to show through. I think we’ve shown we can play with anybody in the league, and we can beat anybody in the league,” Ott said. “Knowing that we have that foundation, I think you can say, that we are building, I think that is the biggest difference than before. Our foundation and structure have been solid. It’s going to make a difference, hopefully, come the second half of the season because of the extra work we’ve put in early.”

That structure, Ott said, should put the Stars in a better position than recent seasons, when they faded over the second half and down the stretch and ended up missing the postseason.

“It’s the consistency that we need to keep finding and putting wins together in a row,” said Ott. “Over the next 41 games the power play is going to have to pick up slack, the intensity is going to ramp up to the next gear and all of us have to ready for that, but we have to stay within structure. Whoever plays that best structure usually comes out on top.”


DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars rode another big night from Jamie Benn, another gritty performance from Mike Ribeiro and a solid outing from goaltender Richard Bachman to a 4-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers Saturday afternoon at American Airlines Center.

Benn scored the Stars’ first two goals, including the game-winner with 12:57 remaining in the third period, to lead the Dallas offensive attack.

“A real big night for Benny. He was our best guy up front tonight,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “Double shifting him, mostly in the third, you can see it paid dividends. The more you play him the better he gets. I thought he was strong tonight in all aspects of his game, not just the two goals. He was physical, he played both ends and it was fun to watch for all of us.”

Benn has put together four straight multi-point games and has four goals and five assists during that stretch.

Ribeiro, who left the game in the second period following a knee-on-knee collision, returned later in the game and scored two goal to help the Stars close out the victory. It was the second straight game in which Ribeiro left with an injury and returned to help lead the Stars to victory.

"He’s gutting it out for us. A big night for him, and four goals in the last two games, that helps us out tremendously," said Gulutzan.

Bachman, a late fill-in for an ill Kari Lehtonen, stopped 25 of 26 shots to improve to 6-2-0 on the season.

“Huge,” Gulutzan said of Bachman’s performance. “We told him probably 45 minutes before he warmed up and he was ready. It was a good game for him.”

Bachman, making his first start since December 26, came up with some huge stops early in the game for the Stars.

“I felt good. I had some pretty good practices, I felt, the last few days,” said Bachman. “I am just trying to stay ready so when stuff like this happens I can go out there, feel comfortable and confident and give the team a chance to win.”

The win was the second straight and third in the last four games for the Stars, who improved to 23-16-1 on the season.

“We have to keep pushing forward. This stretch until the All-Star break is really important for us,” said Ribeiro. “After that there are so many games in a short amount of time, so we have to give a push here to get as many wins as we can.”

Bachman was solid in the first period, making several nice stops. The only puck that got by him came when Taylor Hall put a shot on the rush and rebound bounced off Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski and went up and over Bachman and into the net.

The Stars tied the game at 14:39 of the second period when Trevor Daley centered a puck from behind the Edmonton net to Jamie Benn, who beat Nikolai Khabibulin from close range.

Benn gave the Stars the lead for good with 12:57 left in the game. After Tom Wandell put a shot on net, Adam Burish got to the rebound, was stopped by Khabibulin, but Benn crashed the net, knocked Edmonton defenseman Ladislav Smid off the puck and lifted the puck into the net.

“It was a nice play by Wandell and Burish,” Benn said. “Burish had some good net presence, Wandell put the puck on net and I just picked up the rebound.”

Ribeiro provided the rest of the Dallas goal scoring, notching both after returning from that second period collision.

“I don’t like to miss games, so I came back,” said Ribeiro.

He then scored the Stars’ third and fourth goals. He made it a 3-1 game with 6:21 remaining in the third period when his centering pass for Brenden Morrow bounced off the Oilers defense and into the net. He added a late empty net goal to round out the scoring.

Notes

*The Stars were 2-2 on the penalty kill and are now 10-10 on the PK over the last five games.

*Mike Ribeiro has registered consecutive two-goal games.

*Loui Eriksson tied a career-high with three assists in the game. Eriksson is on a four-game points streak (2 goals, 6 assists).

*Toby Petersen and Jordie Benn were healthy scratches for the Stars. Sheldon Souray (ankle), Philip Larsen (concussion-like symptoms) and Tomas Vincour (knee) remain out with injury.

*The Oilers ended their seven-game road trip with a 1-6-0 record.

*The Stars are 10-0-1 in their last 11 home games against the Oilers.

*Saturday’s attendance was 16,122.

Stars top Oilers 4-1

January, 7, 2012
1/07/12
1:43
PM CT


The Dallas Stars made it a two wins in row with a 3-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers Saturday afternoon at American Airlines Center. Jamie Benn and Mike Ribeiro each scored two goals and Loui Eriksson chipped in three assists. Richard Bachman, who got the start in goal because Kari Lehtonen wasn’t feeling well, stopped 25 of 26 shots to improve to 6-2-0 on the season. The Stars were 2-2 on the penalty kill, improving to 10-10 over the last five games.

First period

Kari Lehtonen was expected to get the start in goal for the Stars, but he wasn’t feeling well and Richard Bachman got the call.

Bachman, making his first start since December 26, came up big a little more than seven minutes into the game when he made a nice stop on Ales Hemsky’s backhand bid.

Seconds later Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin made a slick save on a Brenden Morrow’s bid from the right circle.

The Stars got the first power play of the game and created some quality chances, including one that went off the post, but couldn’t cash in.

Just after the power play expired, Bachman stopped Shawn Horcoff on an odd-man rush and then made another couple of sharp stops and the Oilers had their best offensive pressure of the period.

The Oilers finally broke through with the game’s first goal with 2:40 left in the period. Taylor’s shot from the left wing off the rush rebounded off Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski and went up and over Bachman and into the net.

Bachman kept it a 1-0 game when he stopped Josh Green with 1:04 remaining following a Stars turnover in their own end.

Second period

The Stars lost Mike Ribeiro for about ten minutes at the 6:10 mark of the period when he hobbled off the ice after a knee-on-knee collision with Oilers defenseman Theo Peckham at the Edmonton blue line.

Moments later Steve Ott took a minor for a hit to head on Anton Lander, which then prompted a fight between Ott and Oilers forward Josh Green. The Stars were able to kill off the penalty and then went on their second power play of the game midway through the period. They weren’t able to take advantage and the Oilers held onto their 1-0 lead.

The Stars tied the game with 5:21 left in the period when Trevor Daley centered a pass from behind the net to Jamie Benn, who beat Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin from the top of the crease.

Ribeiro returned with a little more than two minutes left in the period.

Bachman came up with a nice stop on Jeff Petry’s point blank shot off the rush with 1:31 to keep it a 1-1 game.

Third period

The Stars went on the penalty kill early in the third after getting called for too many men on the ice, but they were able kill off the Oilers power play to keep it a tie game.

The Stars took a 2-1 lead with 12:57 left in the game. Tom Wandell put a shot on net from a sharp angle, Khabibulin stopped a rebound attempt by Adam Burish and Jamie Benn came in, knocked Ladislav Smid off the puck and roofed a shot over the Oilers goaltender.

The Stars made it a 3-1 game with 6:21 remaining. After a nice defensive play by Loui Eriksson in the Dallas zone, Eriksson headed up ice and set up Ribeiro, whose backhand wrap-around attempt bounced off traffic and past Khabibulin.

Ribeiro sealed the deal with a late empty net goal to make it a 4-1 final.

Stars lineup

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

Goligoski-Robidas
Grossman-Daley
Fistric-Pardy

Bachman (starter)
Lehtonen

Scratched: Petersen, Jordie Benn
Injured: Souray (ankle), Larsen (concussion-like symptoms), Vincour (knee)

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.

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