- Mark Stepneski, ESPNDallas.com
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DALLAS -- With the Dallas Stars in overtime and really in need of the extra point, Mike Ribeiro delivered, and delivered in slick fashion. Ribeiro’s highlight reel goal with 2:59 left in the extra period lifted the Stars to a 3-2 over the Calgary Flames at American Airlines Center.
“That’s just the way he lives, greasy Ribeiro. That was unbelievable, what an unbelievable individual effort by him,” Stars forward Steve Ott said of Ribeiro’s goal. "That was just phenomenal. I'm still in awe. I thought I blacked out on the bench.”
Ribeiro used a behind-the-back move to work his way into the slot and then ripped the puck past Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff.
“I’m glad he shot it because we bug him to shoot all the time, and it was a real nice shot,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “I can’t get my head around it quite, the stick maneuver there. I’ll have to see the replay.”
The Stars snapped a three-game winless streak and pulled to within two points of Calgary, which is in ninth place in the Western Conference standings. The Stars remain four points out of eighth place.
“He's got stitches in his leg and he's going to be day-to-day," said Gulutzan. "It's a pretty decent size cut.”
“We lost a good hockey player and this is a man’s game and it’s a business deal. But there’s always personal things aside when you’ve got a quality, quality individual like Grossy both on and off the ice,” said Gulutzan. “They’re a tight-knit group, so certainly guys were a little upset, meaning they’re going to miss a friend, but they’re pros and they came out and played.”
The Stars, who have been plagued by slow starts in some recent games, started strong Thursday night, scoring the game’s first goal at the 9:42 mark of the first period. Jake Dowell sent a pass from behind the net to Adam Burish, who lifted the puck over Kiprusoff from close range.
“I was happy with the start. I mean both teams were ready. We’re in a playoff battle against each other, but I thought we had energy and we played the right way,” said Gulutzan. “We got pucks deep and we grinded. I thought they were prepared as well but I thought we stuck with it for 60 and that’s the biggest thing.”
The Flames tied the game with 53 seconds in the first on a goal by Jarome Iginla, who finished off an odd-man rush.
The Stars scored on their only power play of the game, taking a 2-1 lead on a goal by Ott with 2:17 left in the second.
But the Flames, who ran their points streak to seven games (4-0-3), were able to tie it with 5:03 left in the third period on a goal by Mike Cammalleri.
“We’ll take the point,” said Flames coach Brent Sutter. “Obviously to score late in the game like that to get the point was huge, but I didn’t think we played overly well here tonight.”
And the Stars were happy they to the two points, points they desperately need as they try to keep pace in the playoff race.
"It's so ridiculously tight, the standings now," Ott said. "Obviously, those clichés, playoff games the rest of the way, it's so true. Those extra points become so valuable to make the playoffs. Last season we missed by one point and this year, we need to find a way to continue to stay in the race with those five or six teams we're battling with. This one brought us a step closer."
*The Stars were 1-1 on the power play and 3-3 on the penalty kill.
*Stars defenseman Sheldon Souray missed his fourth straight game with a foot injury.
*Stars captain Brenden Morrow missed his seventh straight game with neck/back issues.
*Forward Toby Petersen was the lone healthy scratch for the Stars.
*Thursday’s attendance was 11,839