Stars show sublime offense in Anaheim
With Jamie Benn being the lone representative of the Stars at the all-star game in Ottawa, the rest of the team enjoyed a much-needed break. The week off allowed the Stars to shake off all of the injuries that they had, meaning they went into the game against their divisional rivals with a full strength team.
The Ducks produced a convincing 4-1 victory over the Coyotes on Tuesday night as they looked to continue their great form of late by beating a fresh Stars team. The first few minutes of the game turned out to be all about the Stars, as some awesome puck movement allowed some great chances at goal, with Benn coming agonisingly close a few minutes in.
However, against the run of play, the Ducks opened the scoring as Matt Belesky wristed a shot from the blue line that hit Stephane Robidas in front of the Dallas net and found its way past Kari Lehtonen in the Dallas goal.
After absorbing some big pressure from Anaheim, the Stars went straight back to work and scored 3 goals in 5 minutes. Their first, with 14 minutes gone, came from Eric Nystrom who netted his 15th of the season by pouncing on a rebound from Jonas Hillers pad. 3 minutes later, Vernon Fiddler showed a sublime move to take the puck past Lubomir Visnovsky and then slotted it home.
After slipping behind early on, the Stars had fought back to take a lead and they started to gain a lot of momentum. Jamie Benn, the all-stars' most accurate shooter, finished what was a great period for the Stars. Steve Ott showed good vision to find Benn open on a breakaway and he calmly deked Hiller, shoving it upstairs for a 3-1 lead at the first intermission.
The Stars grabbed the first goal of the second with 7 minutes gone, as Stephane Robidas impressively rifled a one-timer past Hiller after receiving a pass from Mike Ribeiro on the powerplay. With a convincing 4-1 lead, the Stars needed to keep pushing for more goals as they knew the big threat that the Ducks can pose going forward.
A minute after the Stars netted their fourth goal, they were caught on the counter attack as Teemu Selanne, the Ducks legend, dropped a pass to Luca Sbisa who fired the puck past Lehtonen to cut the deficit to 2. Both teams had great chances throughout the rest of the second, but the score ended at 4-2 in favour of the Stars.
When leading at the start of the third over the course of the year, the Stars had a record of 13-0-0 and the Ducks hadn’t won a game all year when trailing at the start of the third. With just 30 seconds gone in the final frame, Sheldon Souray released a trademark slapshot from the point, which got past a screened Hiller, to take the score to 5-2 and put Dallas in control.
Anaheim were going to have to be the next to score if they wanted to take anything from the game, but the Stars got their sixth of the night as Steve Ott and Michael Ryder burst in on Hiller on a 2 on 1, with the latter putting it in off the iron in the late stages of the third to deservedly win the game 6-2.
The Stars visit the shark tank tonight to face San Jose in what will be a very tough test as they look to keep pushing on towards that playoff spot. Puck drop is at 10.30pm ET.