Kari Lehtonen was simply amazing, with a number of gigantic game-saving stops in third period.
Brad Richards was -- ho hum -- great once more, with yet another incredible goal.
The Stars, once again, waited until the game was 20 minutes old to wake up.
All of this was great and fun to watch.
But it was Jamie Benn was absolutely unbelievable. A game-changing shorthanded goal in the third period on a magical individual play, follow up by making the key pass on the game-winning goal.
More to come after the jump by Brandon Bibb
Tonight, the Stars had a lackluster first period and gave up a shorthanded goal to Andy McDonald to open the scoring. Then in the second, David Backes beat Brad Richards cleanly off a faceoff after a Stars icing. McDonald took full advantage when his fluttering point shut deflected off Nicklas Grossman and past Kari Lehtonen to cancel out Brad Richards excellent one timer in the middle frame that had tied the score at 1-1.
And they still won.
Why, you may ask?
Well why weren't you watching the game?
Oh you had family in town and were stuck in a tryptophan-induced trance?
OK, we'll accept it this time
Brandon Worley titled the GDT the 'Jamie Benn Finally Scores a Big Goal thread' tonight. And boy, was that a great job of prophetic titling. Because with the score 2-1 in favor of the Blues, thanks to those aforementioned goals, and with St. Louis finally enjoying a power play after three consecutive Stars power plays, Benn came up huge.
First, he stripped Erik Johnson of the puck at the point, then raced all the way down where he beat Jaroslav Halak with a finish that former Stars shootout king Jussi Jokinen would have envied to tie the game at 2-2.c
Here, see for yourself.
Finally, he delivered that big goal we've all been looking for. But Benn wasn't done.
Moments after a Stephanie Robidas attempted diagonal pass missed Brenden Morrow and skittered down to Jaroslav Halak, Benn took advantage of a very lazy turnover by Eric Brewer, intercepted the pass, then found a streaking Mike Ribeiro who had gotten behind Alex Pietrangelo.
Ribs buries it into a wide open net, the Stars have their first lead of the night, and from that point on, the defense snuffed out what little chance the St. Louis had of coming back to tie.
Which is good because the Stars haven't had too much success in the Gateway City. October 24th, 2009 marks the only time in the last two years that Dallas has been able to win there. And you could argue that's primarily because the Blues spent the second half of that game trying to go after Steve Ott, who submarined Carl Colaiacovo in the second period of that particular contest and had a memorable fight with Eric Brewer, as BW already mentioned at the top.
Defending Big D Three Stars
1. Jamie Benn (DAL) - No doubt about this pick. His shorty in the third turned the tide and he assisted on Ribs' game winner.
2. Andy McDonald (STL) - Just like Steven Reinprecht seems to score most of his goals against the Stars, so to does it seem Andy McDonald saves his big nights for when he faces the black and gold. His two goals increased his season total from six to eight goals.
3. Mike Ribeiro (DAL) - But only because whoever selected the three stars from DallasStars.com selected Brad Richards. Honestly, I think you couldn't go wrong picking either play for the #3 Star. Richards' goal had a much higher degree of difficulty. But Ribs' was the game winner.