Stars Stay Strong on Road by Beating Blues 4-1

That was about as complete a road game as you'll see an NHL team play.  Your Dallas Stars played a pretty even first period led by solid goaltending by Marty Turco.  They took advantage of some undisciplined Blues play - and admittedly some possible questionable calls by the refs - to jump out to a 2-0 lead in a little over a two minute span in the middle of the second period.  In the third period the Stars again played smart, took advantage of some breakdowns in the St. Louis defensive zone and ended up coasting to a 4-1 win over the Blues.

Marty Turco stopped 27 of 28 shots and looked very good in goal.  In fact if it was not for his play in the first period and stopping some great chances the Blues had, this game could have had a much different result.  His shutout bid was snapped with a late tip-in goal by Blues rookie Alex Pietrangelo, but Turco made at least five very difficult saves in the game that would have given the Blues some life but instead kept the St. Louis crowd and the Blues themselves out of it emotionally for the most part.

Stars fans also found out how much of a difference a healthy Steve Ott and a healthy Brad Richards make for this team.  Richards had two assists and played well all game.  He along with Loui Eriksson have started to really pick up where they left off last season chemistry wise.

Ott however was the much bigger story on the night causing all kinds of headaches for the Blues.  He had an assist on Tom Wandell's third period goal, but more importantly he was hitting almost everything in sight including a beautiful hip check on St. Louis defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo that caused a huge scrum at center ice.  Unfortunately he also was involved in a knee-on-knee incident late in the third with former Dallas Star BJ Crombeen.  It didn't appear that Ott tried to stick his leg out any distance to hit Crombeen, but he also didn't make any effort to get his leg out of the way of an oncoming hit either.  It should be very interesting to see how the league handles it with Ott having been a repeat offender.

Outside of the questionable hit, there really wasn't much of anything in the way of negatives coming out of this game.  All four lines played well and at different points in the game were able to put pressure on the Blues offensively. Not one forward had a bad game - which in fact includes Fabian Brunnstrom who had an assist in the game and looked a little strong on the puck - and a special mention also has to go to Brian Sutherby who was very active on the forecheck and though he only had a little over six minutes of ice time in the game, he made the most of it by dropping the gloves with Brad Winchester in the first period (and we'll say he won the fight by decision for the fun of it) and then in the third period picked Winchester's pocket after Brad decided to be slow and lazy with the puck on his own blue line (a move we saw too many times when he was with Dallas) then Sutherby skated in on a breakaway and beat Blues goalie Ty Conklin high to the glove side for the final dagger in the game and a 4-0 Stars lead at that point.

The Stars defense played as well as we've seen so far this season, limiting the second chances the Blues would get on goal, doing a very solid job of puck support and clearing the puck out and of course going a perfect 5 for 5 on the penalty kill is also a huge boost.

The Stars power play went 1 for 7 which isn't good at all and maybe if you're nitpicking you could say it's an area that still needs work.  More to the point, the Stars just aren't active enough on the powerplay - especially when faced with a five on three chance like they had in the second period.  Players didn't move around, the puck moving wasn't as quick as it should have been and really didn't look threatening at all.

With the winless Maple Leafs in Dallas on Wednesday followed by the just about as woeful Florida Panthers on Friday, it's possible for the Stars to go on a bit of a run if they can keep having great efforts like they did tonight against the Blues.

 

Your DBD three Stars for tonight's game:

3rd star: Brian Sutherby (1 goal, 5 for 7 in faceoffs and made the most of his playing time)

2nd star: Loui Eriksson (1 goal, 1 assist and really you could put in Richards or James Neal in here as well as that entire line looked great!)

1st star: Marty Turco (27 saves and held the Stars in the game in the first half when the Blues did have some really good chances to score.)

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