This was most likely the kind of game Razor Reaugh was expecting when he guaranteed a Stars win on opening night.
Within the first seven minutes of the game, Dallas scored on their first three shots against Predators goalie Dan Ellis and chased the former Star from the game. They added a fourth goal via the powerplay on their fifth shot of the game and from there rode the solid goaltending of Marty Turco for a 6-0 win.
For Turco it was the 37th shutout of his career and it didn't come as easy as one would think one would in a 6-0 game. In fact Marty had to make a handful of tough stops through the game including a breakaway chance by David Legwand and a short handed bid by Joel Ward in the first period and a pair of five star saves while the Stars were on a penalty kill in the third period.
Speaking of the PK it was a much better effort tonight for Dallas, but there is still room for improvement. The set up for the penalty kill is still a little too stationary for comfort and they were still pretty bad on faceoffs winning only two of eight draws. Still it was a perfect four for four and good sign that players are starting to buy into the system set by the coaches.
Both the Morrow, Ribeiro, Benn line and the Richards, Neal, Eriksson line were brilliant as all six players had multi-point games. Morrow and Eriksson leading the way with two goals each, Richards, Eriksson and Neal topping all players with three points (Richards with a goal and two assists, Neal with three assists, Loui added an assist to his two goals). All six players were easily the best forwards on the night for Dallas and looked very much in mid-season form. Rookie Jamie Benn also impressed as he picked up a pair of helpers and Fabian Brunnstrom is clearly getting better in his ability to work and handle the puck along the boards - something that needs to happen for him to see more ice time in a system where board play and winning one on one battles is key to the team's success.
While we should feel good about the game tonight and enjoy the fact that this Stars club is now two weeks into the season and yet to suffer a loss in regulation play, there are still some aspects of the team's play that needs to be improved including defensive faceoffs and clearing the puck out of their own end. It seems as though the team is still trying to work out overall positioning - especially the forwards in where they should be in Crawford's back checking system. We are starting to see a much better effort from the Stars forwards defensivly than we had in previous games - Tom Wandell especially was sharp as a defensive forward.
As far as the defense goes, in the face of the second-half pressure that Nashville put on they played fairly well. Grossman is now a +10 (a stat that leads the league) and also had a pair of nice hits along the boards during the game. Karlis Skrastins is shaping up to be the team's go-to defenceman on the penalty kill along with Robidas and Matt Niskanen maybe had his best game so far this season playing solid in his own end.
The Stars improved their record to 2-0-3 after tonight and while there is now more room for optimism with this club and it's chances this season, the team is heading into what will be a tough weekend against the Bruins on Friday and then on the road in Chicago for a Saturday night contest.