Stargazing: Stars outlast Ducks, win 4-2

Stargazing is a daily assortment of Dallas Stars  and Texas Stars news, and whatever other random ramblings are bouncing around inside our heads. Note: These posts are not intended to be in-depth analysis articles, but rather a gathering of news from around the internet on the Dallas Stars.

Playing without two of their three top centers, in their fifth game in eight days, against a team that's been waiting at home since Saturday, the Stars came out and punched the Ducks in the mouth for two periods and earned a 4-2 win.

Lose one. Win one. Lose one. Win one. It's not a great recipe for making the playoffs, but it might be good enough to hold down the fort until you can get some people back and figure this thing out a little better.

The Duck apologist might tell you that last night was a function of Anaheim's ineptitude more than an impressive showing by the Stars. It might have been. We certainly saw what the Ducks can do in the third period when they're on their game. Personally I thought the Stars played about as well as they have all season for the first two periods. They deserve the credit here.

So we take the win and they'll trek across town to the Staples Center tonight to try to exact a little revenge on those Kings.

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We start with Coach Crawford, who certainly seemed pleased on the bench when the score was pushed to 3-0:

"I thought the first two periods were pretty close to the best two periods we've played," coach Marc Crawford said. Our pressure was terrific and we really attacked well. Marty made a couple of really good saves, and we got some spirited play from a lot of players tonight. If we can bottle those types of efforts, we will win lots of hockey games."

More quotes and analysis from the night Anaheim after the jump...

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He also commented on the injury situation with Brad Richards:[DMN]

"If Brad is OK to play, Brad plays. That's a good adjustment," Crawford said of how he gets his lineup ready. "But the guys at the end of the lineup that have to be ready ... it's like a pinch hitter in baseball, and you have to sit all of that time and still be mentally into the game.

"These guys are the same way. They have to be prepared to come into the game and some nights give us six or seven minutes and some nights give us 12. There's no doubt it's difficult, but guys get very good at it, and it really just speaks to professionalism and having good habits."

Looked to me like Tom Wandell finally ate his Swedish-'Wheaties'-Equivalent yesterday and picked his game up a little. Of course, this was largely a function of where he was playing. As Brandon so astutely pointed out the other day, Wandell fits better on a skill line (like last night with Eriksson and Neal) than he does on a third line with more checking duties. And let's not forget, the young man has played only 23 NHL games.

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Speaking of Brad Richards, this is how the L.A. Times describes the Stars injury situation:

The Stars -- who lost to the Kings on Monday, 4-1 -- were playing without Mike Modano and Jere Lehtinen, both on injured reserve.

But they jumped on the Ducks easily.

Loui Eriksson scored off a rebound at 14:01 of the first, and the Stars added two more goals in the second.

The words "Brad" and "Richards" are not found on that page. Curiouser and Curiouser...

I realize this isn't news. I just find it fascinating.

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The OC Register Ducks blog has some interesting numbers from last night's game:

10-1: Second-period scoring by Dallas against the Ducks in the past seven meetings.

7-2: First period scoring against the Ducks this season.

13: Number of points by Dallas center Mike Ribeiro against the Ducks in the past seven meetings. Ribeiro, who had an assist Wednesday, had four goals and eight assists against them last season.

14: Number of faceoffs won, in 21 attempts, by Ribeiro.

 

Coach Randy Carlyle was less than thrilled: [OC Register]

 

"My message is that obviously what we did prior to this game and to the previous game against St. Louis wasn’t enough," Carlyle said. "Because the results in the hockey game are one where we got beat 5-0 and then in the other one, we were down 3-0 in our building until the third period.

"We showed some spunk but we’ve got to be prepared to play all six periods like we played the third period. And we as coaches have to take responsibility for that."

 

It is hard to believe that at the time the Stars went up 3-0, the Ducks had been scored on eight times in a row in their building without an answer. They've got a nice roster.

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Mark Stepneski agrees with what was being said here in the GameDay Thread last night: Steve Ott!

No surprise, Steve Ott had an impact in his first game back in the lineup. He had a goal and an assist, drew the penalty that led to the power play goal that held up as the game-winner and was throwing his body around. It was a good, all-around, Ott kind of game. It was Ott-toberfest in Orange County I guess.

This is not news by any means, but his energy is just spreads throughout the team and it really showed in the way they started tonight.

Ott playing well after an injury, you say? We've heard this one before.

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And the incomparable Mr. Heika:

The thing that impressed me most about a 4-2 victory against the Ducks at Honda Center Wednesday night was the fact the Stars had only one practice day to rebound from a really poor performance against the Kings on Monday, and they did just that with two periods that coach Marc Crawford called among the team's best of the season.

The Stars had to hold onto that game at the end, but for two periods, they controlled everything. They out-shot the Ducks 27-12 and would have had a 5-1 lead if not for two big saves by Jonas Hiller on breakaways from Mike Ribeiro and Loui Eriksson. It was a dominating performance against a team I really felt would be ready for a big game.

By the way, kudos to the Ducks. They somehow found a way to lose Pronger and continue to behave like goons at a high level.

Kings (again) tonight. More on that to come...

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