"I think we sat back a little too much during the third period and you have to give them credit, they are a good team," said Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn after his team's 5-4 win over the Los Angeles Kings. "They have proven they are the champions of this league the last couple of years. Our goalie played great, our defense did a good job and we were fortunate to get that win."
It was a rather shaky ending to what had been another fantastic start on home ice for the Stars, grabbing a 4-0 lead only to have to hang on for dear life in the final minutes of regulation for a one-goal win. Through the first half of the game the Stars dominated the Kings, showing better transition and more accurate passing than perhaps at any point throughout the season since the first two periods of the season.
That game against Chicago was nearly replayed exactly on Saturday night; some incredibly stellar and amazing plays in the first 38 minutes or so were erased by the drama to finish the game.
This time, the Stars can walk away with a two points and while the ending of the game left a lot to be desired -- and shows the Stars are far from getting their game where it needs to be -- it's much easier to move forward after a win.
John Klingberg continues to be a force offensively for the Stars, as well as holding his own defensively against a very tough Kings team. There were times in the third period where his lack of size became very apparent, but he was still able to make the right plays when needed -- or have the ability to recover when a mistake is actually made.
While Klingberg's goal was once again highlight-worthy, his pass on the power play to open up Jamie Benn in the slot was simply amazing and something you don't see many players around the league capable of. When scouts talk about "hockey sense," this is what they're referring to:
Jason Demers had an eventful debut for the Stars, showcasing a big open-ice hit along with the game-winning goal on the power play. Demers stated after the game, in which he had over 25 minutes of ice time, that he had some tired legs at the end after not being used as much in San Jose -- but overall, it was a good start to his career here in Dallas.
"He's very outgoing, very social; brings very good things into our locker room," said Tyler Seguin on Demers. "I knew him before this trade and I knew he was going to help out. Obviously he wanted to make his presence known early on in the game. I thought he had a great two-way game and that great shot."
That big hit on Jarret Stoll was something we really haven't seen much of in Dallas this season, and with Brenden Dillon traded many felt that sort of physicality was going to be gone from the Stars. Demers, who is more physical than a player of his size might suggest, knew it was a great way to ingratiate himself to the fans.
"For sure," said Demers, on if the hit got him into the game. "It's nice to get something like that out of the way right away; lined up perfectly. That kind of shocks you into the game and it's nice to get that out of the way and along with the two points is always fun in the first game here."
"I know [the fans] like it a little rough and tough, so I tried to win them over quick."
Speaking of which, Demers had some interesting things to say about the American Airlines Center and playing the Stars here in Dallas. A very outgoing and personable guy, Demers seems like he's going to fit in just fine in the Stars locker room.
"I've always hated playing against Dallas in this building," said Demers. "It's one of the tougher buildings in the league. It's fun to be on their side; a lot of guys on this team that gave me headaches over the years and it's nice to be playing with them and mixing up with them. It happened quick, the whole trade, and I've had one day with them. They've welcomed me great and made me feel right at home right away. I couldn't ask for any better reception."
Finally -- Lindy Ruff was none too pleased after that game. Check it out below: