Another dirty hit to a Dallas Stars knee. Another key member of the team lost.
History (revisionist, perhaps) will probably remember Kulikov's malicious hit on Tyler Seguin as the moment that sunk the Stars' 2014-2015 already wayward season for good, but a footnote will be what Matt Martin (who?) did to Trevor Daley after the trade deadline.
That was ugly. Very ugly.
The Stars won the game but lost their most veteran of presences on the blue line to a nasty, needlessly reckless attack on Daley's knees- Possibly ending what has been one of the few joys the season has delivered: Watching Daley have a career year in the goal scoring department.
Update: Sounds like a sprain of something...
Lindy Ruff said Daley could be out "weeks."— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) March 4, 2015
It's a disappointing overshadowing of a pretty solid hockey game played by the Stars- Or a good second half, let's say.
It started about as poorly as it possibly could have with Daley lost and the Stars on a five-minute major power play, on which they recorded three shots and spent most of the time attempting to gain possession of the puck in the Islanders' zone.
Dallas watched as the Islanders poured 18 shots on a besieged Kari Lehtonen, taking a lead on a Bailey goal late in the period. New York owned a 26-11 shot advantage in the second before the Stars started doing what they do- Owning the second period.
This time it did not manifest itself in goals, however, and the Stars, for a change, found themselves actually trailing headed into the third period. Brett Ritchie and Vern Fiddler would pot a couple of fortunate-bounce-type goals to give the Stars a 2-1 lead that appeared to be pretty safe heading into the final moments.
But you know what the Stars do with third period leads.
Anders Lee sent a puck quite wide of the net with less than two seconds remaining. Except Jordie Benn's foot was there, and his brother skated past him in apparent disgust when the deed was done and the clock read 1.1 ticks left in the contest.
Conditioned by nearly a year of failure at home after 60 minutes, you expected the worst in overtime. Dating back to game six against Anaheim the Stars had not won beyond regulation at the AAC, including an 0-8 mark this season in overtimes and shootouts.
Jamie Benn happened, thankfully, to put what his brother accidentally did right. Benn comically shoved Strome to the ice at the defensive blue line and dislodged the puck, springing a rush by himself, John Klingberg, and the recipient of Benn's eventual game-winning pass- One Cody Eakin.
Eakin had a praiseworthy defensive game tonight against John Tavares, and buries the perfect pass by Benn to beat Halak and finally send the crowd home happy after bonus hockey.
Brett Ritchie was really good tonight. John Klingberg continues to have his rookie moments with the occasional flash of brilliance. Patrik Nemeth played a serviceable 12:08- Ruff was still able to ease him back into things subtly with the minutes even after Daley went out, as they had dressed seven d-men tonight.
The Daley injury puts the Stars in an interesting place. They just waived Schlemko to make room for Nemeth. Sceviour was scratched tonight but gives them only 12 forwards upon his reinsertion. That makes 12 forwards and six healthy defensemen- And only two call-ups remaining from the AHL that they can use this season.
They go to Florida next on the start of a road-heavy stretch.
Don't go look at the standings- That's still... yeah. But do enjoy the win.