Lehtonen and a little luck pushes Stars to a win


Dallas 1 – Anaheim 0

Finally. Finally the Stars got a little bit of luck to go their way. For the past two weeks it seemed like everything was just going against them: Every bounce had been for their opponents, shots that could have gone in for Dallas hit posts instead and the Stars just couldn’t seem to find their feet. In the final game before the All-Star break, the bounce was finally in their direction.

Kari Lehtonen was stellar in this game, stopping all 27 shots that he faced for his first shutout of the season. The Stars needed every single one of those stops as they could only get a goal off of a lucky bounce. An Alex Goligoski (freshly rich Alex Goligoski) shot from the point bounced off of Cam Fowler’s hip area and took a crazy deflection past Jonas Hiller. That first period goal proved to be enough on this night as Lehtonen turned away shot after shot (though it did get really close at the end).

The win ended a five game losing streak for Dallas and ended a five game winning streak for the Ducks. Going into the All-Star break, the Stars sit in 10th place, three points out of the playoffs.

Dallas struggled for much of this game as they looked listless during much of the first two periods and some of the third. I’ll be honest, I fell asleep watching some of the second period cause this was a snoozefest but in the end the win was all that matters, not how pretty the game was. The mosst exciting part of the game was probably all in the last minute as Anaheim was in desperation mode. Lehtonen made a last second, literally a last second, save on Corey Perry as he was trying to stuff the puck in from the side of the net as the clock hit 00:00.

The win gives some good feelings to Dallas heading into the break and a chance for guys to heal up. Their first game back will be against these Ducks again.

Game Notes:

  • The Stars were ready and willing to give up their bodies in this game, blocking 27 shots (Trevor Daley had 7 by himself). That was great to see considering how Lehtonen had been under fire in the last couple of games that he played.
  • Mike Ribeiro made his return from injury in this game and immediately proved how valuable he is to this team. On the only goal of the game, Ribeiro had the primary assist. He had the puck in the Ducks zone and drew three defenders towards himself. He stickhandled a little bit to keep the puck and dropped it off to a wide open Goligoski. Anaheim really concentrated on him most of the night and left some guys open as they tried to swarm Ribeiro. He had 20:55 of ice time, second most among the forwards on this team.
  • Young Matt Fraser made his NHL debut and it was a fleeting experience. He only had 3:57 of ice time but managed to have a solid chance for a goal in the first period. He was alone against Hiller flying in from the left wing but couldn’t control a rolling puck and fired it into the stands.
  • Despite the two penalties that the Ducks had this game, Dallas didn’t have a single power-play chance. It’s the first time this season that has happened.


Game Stats and Scoring Summary:

   Dallas    Anaheim
Score 1 0
Shots 16 27
Penalty Minutes 7 11
Power Plays 0 of 0 0 of 2
Blocked Shots 27 13
Hits 21 13
Faceoff Wins 26 27