Brenden Morrow didn't turn the hockey game around with a goal or a great puck battle along the wall.
No, the Dallas Stars captain did it in a way that harkens back to the 2008 Western Conference Semifinals - with a devastating bodycheck to one of the opposition's best players.
Morrow's huge hit on Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings with about eight minutes left in the third period earned the Stars a four-minute power play after Mike Richards jumped in to stand up for his teammate and was called for instigating a fight with a visor.
Kopitar left the game and did not return, and although there didn't appear to be a headshot involved, and a hit where a player goes that awkwardly into the boards and has to be helped off will be looked at, as the Stars well know.
``It didn't feel bad, and I don't think it looked bad, but you just don't know anymore,'' Morrow said. ``I just hope he's OK.''
Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said he also thought the hit was clean.
"We watched it in slow motion there and we watched it again. In my mind it was a clean hit but he fell very awkward,'' Gulutzan said. ``I hope he's OK. I don't know the extent on anything there but he fell awkwardly into the boards. I don't think anything will come of it but that's for the League to decide.''
After the jump, more on the Stars dramatic shootout win over the Kings, Brendan Shanahan will have a busy day and points for everyone.
- All the numbers indicated this should be a low-scoring, grind-it-out affair. Those numbers didn't exactly play out in the game. [ESPN Dallas]
- There was a definite sense after the game that the victory was worth more than the two points the Stars picked up after Loui Eriksson pulled the Swedish-move-of-the-night in the shootout, as Mike Heika details in this paywalled story. [DallasNews.com]
- On the plus side, it looks like Anze Kopitar will be okay after his encounter with Brenden Morrow and then the boards. On the other hand, the poor, poor Kings felt victimized by the refereeing in overtime. My sympathy - not flowing. [Los Angeles Times]
- This article does a pretty good job of detailing why Morrow's big hit turned the game away from the Kings favor from LA's perspective. [ESPN LA]
- Speaking of rules and penalties, here's the rule about a goalie crossing the red line, which Jonathan Quick apparently did during the overtime scrum. Rule 27.6 says he should be $200 lighter today, and rule 27.7 says they were right in not calling a penalty since he was never "involved in the play." [NHL Rulebook]
- The consensus between Kings and Stars fans seems to be that the Morrow hit on Kopitar was clean with an unfortunate outcome. But P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens and Steve Staios of the New York Islanders might be getting calls from the Shanahammer today. [Puck Daddy]
- Jack Campbell is back in the OHL after a brief interlude to participate in the World Junior Championships. [The Sault Star]
- What do you get if you make comments about the Canadiens playing with a losing mentality? If you're Mike Cammalleri, you get traded to the Calgary Flames in the middle of the next game. [Montreal Gazette]
- Meet the enemy: In what was a distinct theme on Thursday, it was a three-point game for the Colorado Avalanche as the Nashville Predators came from behind for a 3-2 overtime victory. [The Tennessean]
- Around the Pacific Division, the other winner: The Winnipeg Jets can be absolutely anemic on offense, and they were again on Thursday as they fell 2-0 to the surging San Jose Sharks. [San Jose Mercury News]
- Around the Pacific Division, points for everyone edition: The Anaheim Ducks couldn't muster one measly goal but ended up with one point from their 1-0 overtime loss to the Calgary Flames, and in true Dave Tippett fashion, the Phoenix Coyotes took the Detroit Red Wings to a shootout before falling 3-2. [Los Angeles Times/Five For Howling]
- In his own unique style, Todd over at the Thursday Morning Cupcheck takes on the most overrated players in the NHL. One key player from Thursday's tilt is featured. [Thursday Morning Cupcheck]
- The ridiculously late start and the even more ridiculously late finish means not even I will stay up for the highlights and interview that will eventually be posted on the Stars site. Instead, I give you the Top 10 goals by NHL tough guys.