There was a lot to be happy about from the Dallas Stars game against the Edmonton Oilers.
Kari Lehtonen might not have been given a star of the game by Sportsnet, but he was a wall again in the net. The first like of Michael Ryder, Mike Ribeiro and Loui Eriksson got to carve up the young Oilers defense with their passing and the Stars once again took control of their own divisional destiny.
But one thing seemed to sit poorly with several fans in the aftermath - the fact that Reilly Smith, fresh out of Miami University (Ohio) and making his NHL debut, only played four minutes. Stars coach Glen Gulutzan, though, said he has higher expectations for the youngster in the future.
"He only played four minutes, but he looked pretty good out there," said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. "He got a shot early and the boys were calling goal right away when he got his shot. We’ll get a little bit more ice time the next time we go, but it was good to get his feet wet tonight."
You can read more from Smith here for free or here in Mike Heika's paywalled game story.
After the jump, more on the Stars win over the Oilers, what are Teemu Selanne's plans for the future and Leafs fans decide to make their own playoff commercials.
- With some help from other division rivals, the win moved the Stars back on top of the Pacific Division, at least for one day. [ESPN Dallas]
- Radek Dvorak could be back for Friday's game against Vancouver, and Eric Nystrom is being cagey with the status of his skate cut. Both of them, like the rest of us, are day to day. [DallasNews.com]
- Add our friends over at The Copper and Blue to the list of people who don't really like Steve Ott. And they are also not big fans of the Oilers defense from Wednesday night. [The Copper and Blue]
- Continuing in that trend, it was a rough, rough night to be Oilers defenseman Jeff Petry. Having to go up against Ryder, Ribeiro and Eriksson will do that to a guy. [Edmonton Journal]
- This is a pretty mundane gamer from TSN, but I want to draw your attention to the final note at the bottom concerning Loui Eriksson and his awesomeness. [TSN.ca]
- Written before Wednesday's game, this story sings the praises of one Jamie Benn and calls him the "changing of the guard" for the 2014 Olympic Games. Also, Ott has better quotes about Benn than Benn has about himself, but that's probably to be expected by now. [Toronto Sun]
- Someone you might have heard of and his career-high 35 goals was the second star on Puck Daddy last night. [Puck Daddy]
- It's hard to believe since many of us remember the eager rookie that once was Jamie Langenbrunner, but the veteran with the St. Louis Blues played in his 1,100th career game. [Belleville News-Democrat]
- Teemu Selanne did the Stars a huge favor on Wednesday (more on that later), but will he be around to torment the rest of the division with backbreaking goals next season? [Los Angeles Times]
- Meet the enemy: The Vancouver Canucks, backstopped by a 43-save effort for Corey Schneider, basically ended the Colorado Avalanche playoff hopes with a 1-0 win. [Vancouver Sun]
- Around the Pacific Division, the games: The San Jose Sharks managed to lose in regulation to the Anaheim Ducks. And the Los Angeles Kings added what might have been the death knell to the Calgary Flames season with their 3-0 win, which also keeps them one point back of Dallas. [San Jose Mercury News/Calgary Herald]
- Around the Pacific Division, the semi-triumphant returns: Shane Doan will be back tonight for the Phoenix Coyotes after serving his three-game suspension for elbowing Jamie Benn in the head. The Yotes play the San Jose Sharks in another epic game in the playoff race. [Arizona Republic]
- The Toronto Maple Leafs won't be making an appearance in the "Because It's The Cup" ad series, but their oh-so-helpful fans have created a more appropriate segment for them. [Backhand Shelf]
- Stars fans new favorite prospect Reilly Smith talked to the Edmonton media horde after the game.