Dallas 5 – Vancouver 2
Is it too crazy to think that Dallas is possibly the hottest team in the NHL right now? The Stars continued their surprising run towards the playoffs with a huge 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks last night. The win completed a three game road trip across Western Canada that the Stars owned, winning each of the games to get a perfect six of six points.
Dallas took a while to really get into the game but when the Stars warmed up midway through the second period, they took over the game. Dallas began to win the puck battles along the boards and were just the mroe aggressive team on the night.
The Eriksson-Ribeiro-Ryder line continued to play like the hottest line in the NHL and found themselves with scoring chance after scoring chance. The trio combined for seven points last night. It’s even more impressive considering that they were going up against the Sedin line the entire night and absolutely dominated them.
The game got off to a crazy start last night as the Canucks had a penalty shot just 24 seconds into the game. Zack Kassian found himself on a breakaway after the Canucks won a face-off in the defensive zone and he was hauled down by Mark Fistric while he was breaking towards the net.
He would go on to miss the shot, but that wild start would set a tone for the rest of the game. Both teams missed golden opportunity after golden opportunity to score goals. It was seriously bad. Guys were missing wide open nets or just plain whiffing on pucks. The score could have easily been 10-7 if all those easy missed chances had been converted.
Vancouver would get on the board first with a Chris Higgins goal. Michael Ryder had the puck in the offensive zone and attempted a no-look backhand pass that led to a turnover. Alex Goligoski fell down on the play and Higgins found himself on a semi-breakaway. He took a long shot that got by Richard Bachman, who did not have good position on the play.
Dallas would finally wake up after that and started to take over the game. They got goals from Loui Eriksson (on the power play) and Mike Ribeiro just three minutes apart at the end of the second period to take all the momentum heading into the final period.
Dallas would take a two goal lead five minutes into the third period when Jamie Benn finally got himself a goal off a wild play around the net. Adam Burish missed an empty net shot from about 10 feet away and the puck richoceted to Steve Ott, who found Benn in the slot. Benn fired a wrister by Roberto Luongo to give the Stars a two goal lead that they would never relinquish.
Alex Edler made things a little more interesting when he cut the lead to 1 goal when he scored three minutes after Benn, but a Mike Ribeiro goal reestablished the two goal lead off a great pass from Ryder before Stephane Robidas got himself an empty-netter to seal things.
Richard Bachman had the start in this game and played pretty well, stopping 29 of 31 shots. He’ll want to have the two goals back though, as they each were soft goals. Other than those two miscues, he was pretty solid the rest of the night and had good backup from his defense when he needed the help. It’s refreshing to know that the backup goalie can hold his own instead of having to deal with the likes of Andrew Raycroft.
The win put the Stars two points ahead of the Phoenix Coyotes and three points ahead of the San Jose Sharks for the division lead and kept them entrenched in third place in the West.
Dallas has a massive home game against the Sharks on the Thursday.
more after the jump
- Burish and Benn have got to be kicking themselves after this game. Burish had three chances in this game to score with the net wide open and he somehow missed each and every time. Benn himself missed about four wide open chances. Benn had five shots on goal in this game and three missed shots. Each of those missed shots was against an open-net.
- Ribeiro has points in 10 of his last 11 games.
- Ryder has at least a point in 13 of his last 14 games. He didn’t score a goal last night though, breaking his four game goal streak.
- Loui Eriksson had multiple points for the fourth time in the last five games.
- Mark Fistric was a force last night. He lead the team with seven hits and blocked four shots.
- Stephane Robidas also had a pretty solid game. He lead the team with six blocked shots and was +4 on the night.
- Dallas held the Sedins pointless once again. They did have a combined six shots on goal, but no real scoring chances.
- Trevor Daley had a scare in the first period when Alex Burrows landed on Daley’s head and neck. Daley had to go off the ice and missed much of the first period with a back injury. He returned in the second period though.
- Philip Larsen saved a goal when he cleared a puck off the line. The game was still in doubt at that point and Bachman had partially stopped a puck. It got past him and was dribbling towards the net, but Larsen was on the scene and fired the puck out of the zone.
- Weirdly, the Stars goalies have each gotten their first assists of the season in the last two games. Lehtonen got his first assist of the season last game and Bachman got one tonight.
- Dallas is now 9-0-1 against Canadian teams this season.
Game Stats and Scoring Summary:
|Power Plays||1 of 4||0 of 3|
1st Period: No Goals
- 6:45 – Chris Higgins (13)
Assists: Jannik Hansen (17), Samuel Pahlsson (10)
- 16:44 - Loui Eriksson (23) (Power Play)
Assists: Trevor Daley (19), Mike Ribeiro (36)
- 19:37 – Mike Ribeiro (15)
Assists: Loui Eriksson (38), Michael Ryder (22)
- 4:25 - Jamie Benn (19)
Assist: Steve Ott (23)
- 7:55 – Alexander Edler (9)
Assists: Kevin Bieksa (30), Chris Higgins (21)
- 11:11 – Mike Ribeiro (16)
Assists: Michael Ryder (23), Stephane Robidas (15)
- 19:56 – Stephane Robidas (5)
Assist: Richard Bachman (1)