Stargazing is a daily assortment of Dallas Stars and NHL news, and whatever other random ramblings are bouncing around inside our heads.
Before the game yesterday, some Capitals faithful tried to convince us that the Stars were catching Washington at a good time. That they weren't playing all that well.
I think they're going to be fine.
The Stars were dominated early and often by the Capitals on nearly every shift. That the game ended with a Stars win isn't a true representation of one team in relation to the other and we all know it. What it is an indication of, is that THIS is the Marty Turco Joe Nieuwendyk thought he was keeping as the trade deadline passed him by. Turco completely stole the show last night, and was one of the lone bright spots for the Stars. Still, maybe this sparks them to a more complete effort in Buffalo and parts beyond.
Any discussion of who will start in net against the Sabres was rendered pretty moot last night, anyway. And the Stars can take their bow as the last team that allowed Alex Ovechkin to score on them. NHL Network did a nice highlight's package of Stephane Robidas' night against Ovi. Even though he scored two goals, Robi somehow played him pretty well. That's how good he is, and we're glad we won't see him again any time soon.
The Stars hadn't played in Washington since 2006. Even though they got the win, I think most Stars fans will join me in saying "Four more years!". They're going to be really good for a long time.
After the jump, quotes and reaction from the end of the Caps 13 game home win streak and a big big win for the Stars...
As good as Ovechkin was, however, Turco was better. The 34-year-old veteran made a career-high 49 saves, including 40 in the first in the first 40 minutes.
If the Caps didn't have enough to deal with because of Turco's occasionally unconscious performance, they shot themselves in the foot early in the third. The combination of poorly timed penalties by Mike Green and Matt Bradley - plus a 25th-ranked penalty kill that didn't even look that good - cost them two goals in the span of 3:16.
The Stars' 19th ranked power play, by the way, finished 2 for 2.
"Occasionally unconscious." That's about right. He was flopping around like fish out of water out there. NHL on the Fly called him "a bit of a gambler."
Japer's Rink has a ton of post game coverage, link, and a look at their goaltending last night:
We have a tendency to sometimes get a little overdramatic here in CapsNation, and I'm sure to many it seemed like Alex Ovechkin would never score again - especially after he was repeatedly stoned in the first by Marty Turco. Rest easy, folks...Ovie's back. His first goal was a nasty wrister on the power play, his second a bit of late theatrics to tie up the game and tie Stephane Robidas into a pretzel. Those hoping for a Washington Hat Trick in the shootout, however, were probably disappointed.
With guys like Mike Ribeiro, Alexander Semin and Brad Richards in the same game, the expectation heading into the shootout would have been for a series of dekes, fakes and dazzling displays. Um...oops. Richards scored a decent goal, but Ribeiro lost the puck and Semin tried to put himself into the net rather than the puck - a move that even drew a comical "what the...?" look to the goal cam by Turco. The prettiest Caps shootout tally came courtesy of Nicklas Backstrom, who should always, ALWAYS take part in the gimmick.
At least we can all agree that it is very much a gimmick.
Head over to Pro Hockey Talk to check out these notes from Brandon Worley and much more...
The Dallas Stars were lucky just to have a chance in this game, and that's all thanks to Marty Turco. The last time I witnessed such a masterful performance by Turco in net was during the 2008 playoffs. His athleticism, competitiveness and concentration were on full display tonight, and he showed that he still has the ability to be dominant. That he struggles with consistency speaks more to his mental conditioning than his actual physical ability.
That this game was decided by a shootout is a travesty. It was back and forth action all game long, and the overtime period was even better. Then the ultimate anticlimactic ending: all play stops for the shootout. I understand it's more exciting than a tie -- I guess -- but the fact that an important two points are gained by a skills competition is beyond me. Of course, at this point it's cliche to even mention being fed up with the shootout so I'll just... move on.
In the grand scheme of things, who knows what this game will mean. What happens down the road will dictate that. Right now it’s a big win and two crucial points the Stars desperately needed to keep pace in the playoff race. It should also be a shot of confidence for a team that needed some after getting lit up in its first three games out of the Olympic break. They bent a little in Washington, but they didn’t break. They rebounded nicely and rallied to beat the best home team in the NHL. There’s nothing like some confidence. We’ll see how it goes Wednesday in Buffalo. The Stars have a chance to make this a very successful road trip leading up to the six-game homestand that follows.
You can check out his site for the updated points race. I don't think I want to read it, personally.
He is listed as day to day.
He skated before the game, but just couldn't go. We'll see how he looks in Buffalo.
Stars coach Marc Crawford said he was considering scratching Matt Niskanen if Grossman would have felt good.
``You know who played pretty good? Matt Niskanen,'' Crawford said. ``We were going to play (Mark) Fistric no matter what. Maybe that scared him.''
I was more impressed with Trevor Daley. He must had read all of our conversation about contributions from defensemen
Richard Durrett has notes about the goaltenders, power rankings, and a question about the outlook on the season:
It might. After a horrible start to the post-Olympic break, the Stars found a way to win a game no one thought they could in Washington on Monday.
The way they won it might be critical too. The Stars scored three third-period goals and then won it in a shootout. Marty Turco, by all accounts, was phenomenal (I'd like to tell you I saw more than just highlights, but Versus and DirecTV still haven't worked things out). And boy did the Stars need that.
So Dallas now has two points on this road trip. If they win Wednesday in Buffalo, a trip that looked awful on Saturday could turn out pretty good. Amazing what one win can do.
Do you feel better about things?
And no. I don't feel that much better. Not yet. It was fun, but the mountain to climb is still looking a little too high.
``A team with that much confidence in this building, I don't mind saying that he has to be our best player on nights like this,'' Brad Richards said of Marty Turco. ``We don't have the talent to match up with them line for line and player for player.''
``We knew after the last few games that it could change the game for us. We put a little more emphasis on how important it is. We got it done tonight, and that was the game right there. We put more focus on shooting the puck and just kept pounding it. That, and Brenden was great.''
``We needed something, I think, just for our minds,'' said Stars captain Brenden Morrow. ``He gave us that. He gave us the confidence to go out there and do the things we needed to do.''
``We just talked about finding one. If we could do that, we felt we would be OK,'' Morrow said. ``We dummed it up a little bit and just got the puck to the net. We stopped looking for the extra pass, and that seemed to help.''
``I had a chance to see (the puck), but that's about all,'' he said. ``The difference other games and this game a lot of it is just bounces. I don't feel that much different.''
``It is about attitude and nothing else with this team,'' Turco said. ``This could be the one turning point where we could get on a heck of a roll. Those things in the third, those are the things we needed. I believe we're good enough and smart enough to realize how big this win is, that we can not only play with anybody, but win.''