While the Stars were hard at work in snowy Chicago, Joe Nieuwendyk was in Austin doing some heavy lifting of his own. This game, perhaps Mike Modano's last in the windy city, was largely overshadowed the General Managers first big trade as he sent Stars prospect Ivan Vishnevskiy to the Atlanta Thrasher for goaltender Kari Lehtonen.
Brandon Worley has been hard at work covering this all night, and I'll direct you to his many updates here in this post, and please check back with us tomorrow because we're going to have a LOT more to say about all of this.
As for this game, what can you say? It's their 12 OTL point of the year, and their 13 loss in 14 on the road. They held onto 10th place with the overtime point, and remain 3 out of 8th with a game in hand on Calgary, who lost to Ottawa tonight.
That being said, it wasn't all bad. The Stars battled much harder and played much smarter than recent road outings in Colorado and Columbus. They got a real nice effort on the whole from Marty Turco, but in the end they could't find a way to get the game winner on a 4-on-3 power play in the overtime session.
There were a lot of things to like in this game, not the least of which was Mike Ribeiro's return, and I'll go over a few of them after the jump.
Here are some quick hits from a crazy night on and off the ice:
- Faceoffs. I said it before the game in the game preview. Jamie Benn would struggle without Ott, and the Hawks are top 3 in the league in faceoffs. I've always said that it's no coincidence that the good teams are usually good in the circle, and Chicago is no exception. The Stars lost a staggering 61% of their draws tonight. It's hard to score when you never have the puck, so credit Marty for keeping them in it.
- Speaking of Turco: That was a tough first period, but he was brilliant the rest of the way. That save on Byfuglien at the end of the second was highway robbery, and the weird hop off the end boards on the third Chicago goal was certainly not his fault. He earned the Stars that point tonight stopping 37 of 40 shots against.
- Mike Ribeiro. I don't think there's enough you can say about Ribeiro's night. He was expected to be very limited, but as we predicted, he got out there and the juices really started to flow. He scored a goal, propping up an as-of-late dreadful Stars road power play, and he was a catalyst on the few quality chances the Stars did get. The only thing he didn't do was score in the shootout. I really enjoyed seeing him out there with Morrow.
- The Chicago fans celebrate points 82 and 83 really, really hard. I guess after a decade plus of pure garbage, they're still excited. Speaking of which, if they want to win the Stanley Cup, they should really get on trading Hossa soon. You don't want that guy on your team come June.
- Nick Grossman got some pretty good licks on Marian Hossa tonight.
- There's a book about a Stars winger coming out the week of Valentines Day. It's called "Neal and The Left Post: A Love Story". I feel sorry for the guy, that's got to be frustrating.
- In the end it's yet another road loss. It's a big point, but only if they get the next 3 or 4 available to them.
- We're obviously going to talk about Marty Turco a lot in the days to come. There was some thought during the game tonight that he would be traded soon. I haven't heard anything about that yet, but I watched the game with an awareness that this might possibly be the last time I watch Marty Turco in a Stars uniform, and that thought, friends, was a very sad one for me.
That's it for tonight. My 3 month old daughter is screaming at me. We'll have much more tomorrow on this game and the trade talk.