They could have easily mailed it in and lost the drive and focus that made them so much fun to watch over the last dozen or so games. In fact, I'm sure that's what many Stars' fans expected.
The Stars did just the opposite. They played a fairly solid game and despite blowing a late 3rd period lead, found a way to dig deep and won in overtime.
What do the numbers say about the win?
Dallas started the game strongly, but struggled after Jamie Benn's early goal. It wasn't until the Canucks tied the game 1-1 that the Stars started playing well again.
The second period was about as even as it could get with the teams matching one another shot for shot.
The third period was the Stars' best against Vancouver as they took an early lead and never looked back, at least in shot attempts.
In these posts, I will also be including a chart that shows scoring chances. Scoring chances are loosely defined as shots generated from inside the black outlined area below.
Looking at scoring chances we can see how poorly the Stars' played after going up early and how well they responded to the Vancouver's equalizer midway through the first period.
Both teams tallied a lot of shot attempts in the second period, but only a handful of those were scoring chances.
The third period was much closer than it appeared in relation to the shot attempts with both teams getting several solid chances followed by short periods of flat play.
Leaders for the Stars in individual scoring chances were Tyler Seguin (6), Jamie Benn (5), and Patrick Eaves (4).
In these posts, you will also see a few abbreviations and terms used.
CF, CA, C+/- and CF% are Corsi For, Corsi Against, and Corsi For Percentage. They are defined as follows,
Corsi For: The number of on-ice shot attempts (on goal, missed, or blocked) taken by the player's team.
Corsi Against: The number of on-ice shot attempts (on goal, missed, or blocked) taken by the opposing team.
Corsi%: The percentage of on-ice shot attempts (on goal, missed, or blocked) taken by the player's team; also known as CF%.
The 1st line of Jamie Benn-Cody Eakin-Tyler Seguin led the team in CF percentage.
Winger Ryan Garbutt has been in Lindy Ruff's doghouse for quite a while for a lack of production and a 25 percent CF most likely isn't going to get him out.
It wasn't a perfect game for the Stars by any means. I would have liked to have seen them close the game in regulation and not need extra time.
In the end, I'll take the win.