Here are some notes following the Dallas Stars’ 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators Thursday night at American Airlines Center.
Another comeback: That’s the fifth time the Stars have scored late in regulation to tie a game then gone on to win. That’s five times they’ve been in a position where teams often don’t get points and they’ve come up with two. Those are 10 big points. I’ve said it before. Those points could be big when everything gets added up in April.
Depth scoring: The Stars continue to get big goals from the guys on their third line. Radek Dvorak scored during a partial line change to tie the game and then the third line won the game with a great shift that ended with an Eric Nystrom goal, his ninth of the season. Nystrom and Dvorak have scored six of the team’s last nine goals.
Power play finally scores: The power play had been producing zeroes for eight straight games before Thursday night, but if finally got one and it turned out to be a big goal. It wasn’t anything fancy. Toby Petersen got the puck to the net and Steve Ott deflected it into the net.
Said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan: “We looked at the top five power plays in the league and every goal they scored and, maybe outside of Vancouver, the teams are shooting and rolling and shooting and getting net presence to create secondary chances. It’s just something we’ve got to stay on.”
Power play/penalty kill ratio: For the second time in the last three games the Stars were shorthanded only one time. That’s big for a team that has been shorthanded a lot more than it’s been on the power play this season. But over the last five games things have tilted the Stars’ way – they’ve been on the power play 15 times and shorthanded 12 times. The Stars have put a big focus on being more disciplined and less vocal in their complaining to the officials about calls.
“Yeah, it’s a big step for us,'' Gulutzan said. “We’ve talked about in this room that we want to clean up not only the way we’re perceived, but we want to make sure that we’re playing a more disciplined game, and we’re taking steps, if you look at over the last five games, to do that. And that won’t go away until we’re a disciplined team.
“Our guys have embraced it. They’re doing a real good job. Our leaders have done a fantastic job, and they deserve the credit for that. It’s a part of our game that we want to get better at, like anything else. It was nice to be on the other end of that tonight.”
Raycroft stellar again: Andrew Raycroft stopped 33 of 35 shots in Thursday night’s game. He had some big saves in the final seconds, including one on Daniel Alfredsson with just one second remaining. In his two starts since Kari Lehtonen suffered groin injury, Raycroft has stopped 68 of 71 shots for a .958 save percentage.
“Razor will go again on Saturday and then as we head out on the road we play on every second day until we get into New York and then we play three in four nights,” said Gulutzan. “I think at some point in that trip you’ll see Bachman play.”