Dallas 3 – Montreal 0
Oh those Habs. They’re always good for a laugh whenever you need one. The Stars had a pretty simple game last night in their 3-0 shutout against the Habs, a win in which the Stars dominated from start to finish. There was an energy to the team that had been missing for the past week that the Stars tapped into. They were quick to the puck and fought along the boards on every possession and were just plain outworking the Habs who in all honesty, looked like the disinterested Stars’ teams of last week.
The first period of this game was reminiscent of how the Stars played against the Red Wings, only this time the Stars were the attacking team. Dallas had 16 shots on goal and were constantly pressuring Carey Price to make save after save. Montreal could not even keep control of the puck for an extended period of time as they were reduced to just clearing and desperate attempts to get fresh bodies onto the ice. Habs fans did what they normally did as a result of the Canadiens bad play and started booing the team after the first seven minutes of the game despite the 0-0 score.
Dallas broke the deadlock as Ryan Garbutt scored his first NHL goal in just the third game of his career. Garbutt and the fourth line were lightning bugs on the ice. The fourth line (which consisted of Garbutt, Jake Dowell and Toby Peterson) combined for 10 shots on goal (Garbutt had 6). It’s even more amazing because none of those three had 10 minutes of ice time.
Garbutt played only 8:37 and was able to put in a whole nights worth of stats (1 goal, 6 shots, 4 hits). His 6 shots and 4 hits led the team. I would not complain at all if he stayed with this team and found himself with some more time, especially if Adam Burish gets traded.
Some of the Stars motivation had to come from Mike Ribeiro, who was making his first return to Montreal. The Habs media had never taken kindly to Ribs and he took extra delight in sarcastically celebrating his goal and taking first star honors last night.
His goal was a simple one as Trevor Daley did most of the work. Daley took the puck on the right side of the boards and skated all the way to the left side of the ice. He spun around and passed it through slot to a wide open Ribeiro, who calmly shot the puck in.
There was some worries in the second period as the Stars took four penalties (Montreal was unsurprisingly called for none), but they never really amounted to anything. Anytime the Habs actually found themselves with a chance to score, Kari Lehtonen was there to make the save. He had another absolutely filthy one in the third period, filling his quota of making at least one highlight reel play per game. The Stars put it away in the first five minutes of the third period with the Ribeiro goal and a Tom Wandell goal.
His first Star celebration was just as great. He took the ice, invited the boos and cheers that rained down, then took a bow as he was leaving the ice.
The win kept Dallas within two points of the 8th spot in the West which is currently held by the LA Kings. The Kings got themselves into a 3-0 lead in the first period against the Phoenix Coyotes and then infuriatingly allowed the Coyotes to tie and then win the game in a shootout so both teams got at least a point.
more after the jump
- Michael Ryder had his six game point streak snapped last night. He managed only one shot on goal in 17:43 of ice time.
- Mark Fistric found himself with a very very rare point as he got a secondary assist on Ribeiro’s goal. It’s Fistric’s first point of the season and only the 22nd of his five year career. A true defensive defenseman if there ever was one.
- Garbutt’s goal was also the first point of his NHL career.
- The shutout was the second for Lehtonen this season and the third for the team. Richard Bachman had the other shutout, a 1-0 win over the New York Rangers.
- Adam Burish was a late scratch as he was dealing with the flu.
- Trevor Daley continues to do good work and has been one of the best players on the team this season. In fact, I would say only Jamie Benn and Lehtonen have played better than Daley this year.
- This comes with some reservation but Adam Pardy has done surprisingly well in his return to the team. He made some solid defensive plays in the first period yesterday and did a nice job clearing the front of the net.
- Philip Larsen has had some penalty trouble lately. He’s taken one minor in four of the past five games.
- Eric Nystrom’s pointless streak reached 11 games.
Game Stats and Scoring Summary:
|Power Plays||0 of 1||0 of 4|
- 14:12 – Ryan Garbutt (1)
Assists: Jake Dowell, Toby Petersen
2nd Period: No Goals
- 4:32 – Mike Ribeiro (13)
Assists: Trevor Daley, Mark Fistric
- 5:09 – Tom Wandell (4)
Assist: Tomas Vincour