The Dallas Stars avoided losing for the third time in four games with a big offensive performance in the second period from Jamie Benn and friends against the Montreal Canadiens Saturday night en route to a 6-2 victory, but know their play of late overall warrants improvement.
"We are trying to become a more consistent team," Lindy Ruff told media Saturday night after the win. "We've worked really hard at it. These guys are very coachable. For me, it's an awesome group of guys. You're going to have some tough periods and some tough games. There's stuff that we need to work on."
Stuff like facing a four-game stretch against their most threatening of foes in the Minnesota Wild, Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues. The Stars now enter a stretch of their schedule far more critical than any faced to date by a long shot.
They'll start with attempting to avoid repeating their recent history in Minnesota, where the Wild jumped out to a 3-0 lead over Dallas in late November.
Until their 3-2 loss to the Nashville Predators on Saturday night the Wild had just about been the league's hottest team next to the Los Angeles Kings, collecting points in nine straight games in a 6-0-3 stretch.
Stingy. Stingy. Stingy. The last time a team got to four goals on them? That was Dallas in Minnesota on November 28th.
On the other side of the proverbial puck they've been lighting it up lately- Scoring six on the Canucks and five on on the Rangers before just two against Nashville. Their power play is scorching having converted on five of its last nine chances.
Like the Stars they have employed both of their netminders with success regularly in Kuemper and Dubnyk, thanks in part to an injury to Dubnyk now past. Each have earned three of Minnesota's last six victories, the most recent for Dubnyk at home against the Rangers.
Their lineup, which unlike the last time Dallas saw them, includes Zach Parise-
From Stars PR:
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
The Dallas Stars face the Minnesota Wild on Monday night in the third of five meetings this season. The Stars have won both games this season (2-0-0) in the overtime period. In the most recent meeting of the season series on Nov. 28 at Xcel Energy Center, the Stars rallied from a three-goal deficit in the third period, with forward Tyler Seguin (1-1=2) scoring the game-winning goal in overtime to secure a 4-3 victory. Four Stars recorded multi-point games including captain Jamie Benn (1-1=2), Cody Eakin (0-2=2) and John Klingberg (1-1=2). Dallas defeated the Wild in overtime, 3-2, during the first meeting of the 2015-16 regular season at American Airlines Center on Nov. 14 with Klingberg posting three points (1-2=3) and potting the game-winning goal in overtime.
BENN THERE, DONE THAT
Stars captain Jamie Benn recorded a three-point outing (2-1=3) in Saturday's 6-2 victory against the Canadiens and has points in two of his last three games (2-2=4). Benn currently shares second in NHL with 44 points (22-22=44) and his 22 goals are the most in the League. The native of Victoria, B.C. was selected in the fifth round (129th overall) of the 2007 NHL Draft and recently became the second member of the 2007 Draft class to eclipse the 400 career point mark (173-230=403), joining Chicago's Patrick Kane (1st round, 1st overall). Benn has points in five-straight games against Minnesota (2-7=9) and has points in seven of his last nine games against them (3-8=11). The captain has five points (2-3=5) in two games this season against the Wild. In 23 career games against Minnesota, he has tallied 20 points (9-11=20).