The first time we saw Richard Bachman this season was in San Jose, but many were calling for him to make his 2012 NHL debut the last time the Stars and Islanders faced each other. In the previous meeting Andrew Raycroft gave up five goals on 27 shots playing behind a very pour Stars defense. Matt Moulson almost single-handedly beat the Stars after netting four goals.
Last night was quite a bit different. The Stars were healthier, more poised, and had NHL goaltending. The defensive miscues were still present, and Alex Goligoski might have had his shakiest game of the season. They were good enough to win though. They outplayed the Islanders from the first faceoff. The final scoring chance tally was 12-7 in favor of the Stars. Across the board the Stars had a good night. The penalty killing was crisp. They were relatively clean out in front of Bachman. Most impressively, the Stars generated six chances with the extra man.
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
Follow the jump to see how your favorite Star fared.
The individual chance report doesn't look like much tonight. Usually when the teams generate few chances at even strength and/or generate similar totals there isn't much differentiation between individual players. Tonight is no different. The biggest positives tonight were Trevor Daley and Nicklas Grossman, both at +3 even strength chances.
The rest of the Stars were more or less even. The biggest negatives are courtesy of Eric Nystrom, Radek Dvorak, and Vern Fiddler. But, as we've mentioned in this space before, they play tough defensive minutes usually so that's to be expected. The Jamie Benn line were once again positives offensively, but this time they were able to generate goals. I've been mentioning Jamie Benn's low shooting percentage the past few weeks as the reason for the scoring drought, and tonight he finally got some bounces to go his way. The goal he set up for Loui Eriksson, and his shot that beat Kevin Poulin were both markers that hadn't been going in lately. Hopefully this is the start of something positive.
The distribution of the ice time last night had an interesting caveat. The Stars were on the powerplay for 12 minutes, and a special teams-heavy game has the tendency to skew minute totals. Take note of the minutes Grossman and Philip Larsen logged. Grossman logged 12 even strength minutes to Larsen's 16. Grossman logged the fourth most penalty killing minutes among Stars defensemen, and he barely edged out Larsen who got 1:25 of penalty killing time. Gulutzan and the Stars are trusting Larsen more by the game. He's clearly ahead of Mark Fistric and Adam Pardy on the depth chart at this point. If he keeps playing as well as he has so far it won't be long before he passes Grossman too, if he hasn't already. The kid can play.
The Stars get an opportunity to push the winning streak to four tonight in New Jersey. They're playing relatively well in all facets of the game, and hopefully that will continue for the foreseeable future. As always, if you have any questions about the scoring or any comments feel free to leave a comment or send me a tweet @JoshL1220.