Apparently playing a full 60 minutes worth of hockey is overrated right? Why play well for three full 20 minute periods of hockey, when playing barely well enough to keep yourselves in a game for the first 42 minutes and then really well for the last 18 minutes of the third period to take and hold on to a lead to win a game seems to work just as well and work repeatedly no less.
Tonight was no exception as it was a lot of Andrew Raycroft making huge saves early to keep the Stars from falling behind by multiple goals, then in the third period - and only after have given up a lead to the Preds off a Colin Wilson breakaway goal 104 seconds into the period, a goal which happened to be his second of the game - Mark Fistric and Krys Barch scoring goals less than two minutes apart to push the Dallas Stars to a 4-2 win in Nashville over the Predators.
By the end of this game, Stars fans should be excused if their victory dance consists of them throwing their hands up in the air, shrugging their shoulders and with a look of absolute bafflement on their face exclaim with a loud sigh "why the hell not?"
The Stars are now 12-5-3 when getting outshot in a game this season. It's a stat that defies all logic really and it's made even more unreasonable when you consider how poorly the Stars have played in some of these games where they've been outshot. Still, it's a huge win and with games against Detroit on Wednesday and Vancouver on Friday the win could easily have just prevented the Stars from potentially looking at a lengthy multi-week spanning losing streak.
In the end, winning is all that matters and somehow... someway... these Dallas Stars just find a way to do it more often than not.
(More befuddled thoughts and the game three stars after the jump)
- On the positive side of things, seeing the likes of Fistric and Barch score in the same game has to be a huge boost to the whole team. Every night can't be about the Stars top two lines doing all the scoring - although we certainly won't refuse Loui Eriksson and Steve Ott goals either. Both players had been around the 100 games played without a goal mark... Here's hoping neither doesn't wait that long again.
- Overall a nice night for Barch who also should be commended for sticking up to Preds meat-head Wade Belak for getting his elbow up at the head of Stephane Robidas very early in the first period.
- Also picking up points for the Stars on this night: Eriksson had an assist go along with his goal. Matt Niskanen, Jamie Benn, Brian Sutherby, Karlis Skrastins and Brad Richards all had single assists. Take away Brad, Loui, Ott and Benn's names away from the list and tonight was a who's-who of who usually doesn't rack up points for the Stars isn't it?
- Raycroft - after a very early scare where the puck simply floated off his stick as he was well out of his net and had to be bailed out by a sliding Robidas who looks like a great option for emergency goalie - had an incredible game stopping 44 of 46 shots. The two he did let in were really no fault of his own as one was on the aforementioned breakaway and the first was allowed on a crazy scramble in front while the Stars were down a man.
- Special teams was as usual a mixed bag. The Stars power play is starting to cool off as it went 0 for 4 tonight. The team's penalty kill was a respectable 5 out of 6 but allowed 14 shots in those 6 chances. That's far too many cracks on the Stars goal and again, if not for the work of Raycroft, this isn't a Stars win at all.
Defending Big D Three Stars
1 - Andrew Raycroft (DAL)
2 - Loui Eriksson (DAL)
3 - Colin Wilson (NSH)