Remember way back when, about a week and a half ago, when the Dallas Stars were in their worst funk of the season? They had put up almost 40 shots on Pekka Rinne, but still couldn't put a goal past the Nashville Predators and lost. Then, they were stymied once again by Jonas Hiller and the Anaheim Ducks dismantled them. Next up, the Los Angeles Kings stepped into town and put up five goals for the second consecutive night. Wham--just like that, the Stars were on a three game losing streak.
Remember that? Neither do I.
The Stars finished off their homestand with three consecutive wins, including tonight's 6-3 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes. As Razor would say, this was a "full frontal lobotomy".
Follow the jump as we dive into the specifics of tonight's win...
Loui Eriksson put the Stars on the board on the power play in the first period with a neat little deflection off of a Mike Ribeiro pass. This is something the Stars have executed perfectly as of late on the power play.
Dallas broke open the floodgates in the second period, as the Coyotes just couldn't stay out of the penalty box. Three minutes into the frame, Eriksson made a behind the back pass along the boards, freeing James Neal and Brad Richards on a 2-on-1, and Richards buried the pass from Neal into the net. Richards buried another one on the PP a few minutes later, wristing a shot off Sami Lepisto and past Ilya Bryzgalov. Lepisto managed to notch a goal for Pheonix soon after, but the puck wouldn't have gone into the net if Mark Fistric's leg hadn't redirected it. Ah well.
The game of bounces continued in the second period when Jamie Benn scored off a rebound from Jason Labarbera (who had just come in for Bryzgalov). The three power play goals in the second period were the most in the last four seasons. Loui Eriksson added another in the second, and Brenden Morrow netted one more in the third to finish Phoenix off.
The Stars are on quite the roll as they head off to Colorado tomorrow night, looking for that elusive fourth consecutive win. (/sarcasm).
Some assorted notes:
- That Brenden Morrow Goal was his 200th career goal. Congratulations to the Captain!
- Mike Ribeiro just can't buy a goal, can he? He pinged a shot off the crossbar in the first period, eliciting a frustrated groan from all of Stars nation. We feel your pain, Mike. It's not like the chances haven't been there.
- I know I'm a noted Matt Niskanen critic, but what a move he made to get past Morris and assist Eriksson's second goal. THAT is the Matt Niskanen we know he can be. Nisky is obviously riding a huge wave of confidence right now, and he should be because he's played fantastic on this homestand.
- You could make the argument that Loui Eriksson is the best player on the Stars. Even better than Richards.
- The reason for the Stars success tonight in getting chances was because they took advantage of the Coyotes defensemen's tendency to pinch and be aggressive. When Derek Morris or Keith Yandle got overaggressive, the Stars quickly transitioned and got plenty of 2-on-1 chances. I think Crawford deserves some credit for preparing his team tonight for Dave Tippett's system, as well as the players for adapting to what they saw last year.
- This penalty kill cannot be broken right now. And it is beautiful. Oh, so beautiful.
- Krys Barch....sigh.....