The luck dragons were with the Dallas Stars tonight, which represents quite a turn around from the Toronto Maple Leafs game before the Christmas break.
The first period of this game saw some of the puck bounces the Stars have not been seeing as much lately.
Travis Moen scored his first of the season (and first as a Dallas Star) when St Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen mishandled the puck and created a turnover. He played it on his backhand -- something we don't see much from goaltenders in general -- and the puck went straight off of his stick and right to Moen's stick. He scored quite easily into a wide open net right past the diving goalie.
The lead would be shortlived, as it always seems to be with this team this year.
Not a half minute later, the Blues would tie up the game off of a juicy Kari Lehtonen rebound. Lehtonen stopped Paul Statsny's initial shot but placed the rebound right out where Alex Pietrangelo had his stick waiting. Just like that, the Stars watched another lead against St Louis evaporate.
Ryan Garbutt would put the Stars back on top, with a nice goal off of a Blues turnover. The potent power play of the Blues would erase that lead once again, with a quality goal by Vladimir Tarasenko just seven seconds into the man advantage.
The script seemed destined to be a repeat of the Blues' appearance in Dallas earlier this season, when the Stars would jump out to 1-0, 2-1, and 3-2 leads to see them erased each time.
But those luck dragons changed in the second period -- and it came on the power play.
In games against the Central division, the Stars' power play has been anemic many times and hasn't come up with that goal. The one that could change the complexion of the game. Tonight, they got those. First on Trevor Daley's Jamie Benn-esque effort, and the second one on the stick of Jason Demers.
The Blues had a big push in the third period, and cut the lead to one about six minutes into the third period. Dallas was able to shut it down and make the lead stand as a regulation win. They finally got the proverbial monkey off their back in getting their first Central division win this season tonight. It wasn't pretty, and at times it was really weird, but a win is a win, and they got two much needed points in the standings.
The defense tonight was really aggressive on the offensive side, and it worked decently because of the commitment of the forwards to help on the backcheck. The goaltending and defense did look shaky at times, but in a really weird game, the Stars were able to lean on their special teams to help scrape out a regulation win.