Day games are not kind to the Dallas Stars.
The Stars waited about 50 minutes to finally wake up and raise their level of play to what we've seen the past few weeks. The newly formed lines that had produced 10 goals in the past two games were barely able to generate much of a push through two periods, until finally coming alive late in the third period. Yet with Roberto Luongo and the Vancouver defense executing the defensive trap to near perfection, the Stars found getting the puck into open ice was near impossible.
Brad Richards and his line of Loui Eriksson and Jere Lehtinen were once again the main offensive threat for the Stars, although Mike Riberio eventually created some chances late in the game. Tom Wandell had a decent game, but as with the rest of the team it just wasn't enough as the game continued. It wasn't exactly a horrible performance by the Stars, they did hold a good offensive team to just two goals, but once again we see a team that had a chance to really make a statement and play big in a big game come out without much firepower. Credit goes to Vancouver, but you'd hope the Stars could at least play much stronger after two great games in a row.
Loui Eriksson continued his hot streak, scoring less than a minute into the third period when he lifted a rebound over Luongo from two feet out. It was a bit of payback, as Eriksson had what at first looked like a good goal nullified when it was determined that Brenden Morrow kicked the puck in. The good feelings were soon erased, when Daniel Sedin banked the game-winning goal off Trevor Daley and past Turco.
We'll have much, much more on this game and more tomorrow when we look back at the first 41 games of the season. While frustrations are mounting over the Stars' inability to win more than two in a row, they team is now 4-3-0 over the past seven games and still somehow hanging tight in the Western conference standings. Giving up two points to Vancouver, who was just two points ahead of Dallas in the standings to start the day, hurts tremendously. The Stars now start a tough month with five of their next six games on the road, beginning with a big game in New Jersey against the Devils on Tuesday night.