Sometimes, the Dallas Stars just turn up when you need them most. Jamie Benn scored twice, Antoine Roussel netted a Gordie Howe hat trick and Kari Lehtonen stopped 29 of 31 shots, and next thing you know they’ve beaten the Calgary Flames 4-2 and made us all believe in hope again.
And they found a way to do this even after giving up a two-goal lead in the second period:
"We have to find ways to get points, these games aren't going to be works of art," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "It's a good bounce-back game. That room was hurting after the Winnipeg game, and you have to give them a lot of credit for bouncing back."
The win was far from pretty, but it was definitely needed. Dallas moves to 5-6-3 (13 points) as this five-game road trip heads to Edmonton for a game Friday. Calgary drops to 5-9-1 (11 points) and continues to slip backward. The breath of positive air was big for a Stars team that is missing six forwards because of injury or illness and doesn't want to get too far out of the race before some of those players return.
JaBenn returned to form in a big way, which can only help as the team waits for the possible returns of Jason Spezza (listed as day-to-day) and Patrick Sharp (who could draw back in as early as Sunday in Vancouver):
"I thought that was the best game he has played in a while," Ruff said. "He came out physical, he was skating through people and in the end he had a couple of opportunities to score."
There’s more at Mike’s place. [SportsDayDFW]
Heika also wrote about how Ruff has asked Tyler Seguin to be an even better version of one of the Stars’ best players.
Mark Stepneski recaps a pretty satisfying game here.
He also quantified the Stars’ quest for chemistry in this periodic table.
Here are the various line combinations and defense pairs used by the Stars this season. In-game changes not included: pic.twitter.com/Heci54jVdS— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) November 11, 2016
Antoine Roussel won empty-net roulette last night, but you know you really just want to watch him go after Michael Ferland.
Sean Shapiro grabbed a shot of Justin Dowling’s parents in last night’s crowd, watching their son play his first NHL game in his hometown.
Dowling family in attendance tonight. Cool moment for Alberta native. pic.twitter.com/sPYOBnrWfB— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) November 11, 2016
He noticed something else interesting, too.
Odd stat that means nothing: 66 percent of Jamie Benn's goals this season have come when Jamie Oleksiak was in the lineup. https://t.co/TzIzOdozu8— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) November 11, 2016
Johnny Gaudreau had two goals last night. He is good at hockey. He is also 5-feet-9. Let that sink in one more time.
Johnny Gaudreau was a 4th round pick because most teams thought he was too small to play in the NHL. #CaptainObvious— Bruce LeVine (@BruceLeVinePuck) November 11, 2016
Elsewhere in the #MDK:
- Calle Järnkrok scored twice as the Nashville Predators defeated the St. Louis Blues 3-1, and for the first time this season they have a modest winning streak going. [On the Forecheck]
- Eric Staal tallied a goal and two assists as the Minnesota Wild beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2. [Hockey Wilderness]
- And Nikolaj Ehlers got the game-winner as the Winnipeg Jets got a 3-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on the road. [Arctic Ice Hockey]
Don’t look now, but Shea Weber’s Montreal Canadiens are winning the P.K. Subban trade – at least for the moment. [NHL]
So you’re a goalie trying to get off the ice to give your team an extra attacker, and some nozzle tries to spoil that big chance before it even gets started. Here’s what happens, if you’re Ryan Miller.
Speaking of goalies, incipient Hall of Famer Rogie Vachon was honored during last night’s Kings-Canadiens game in Montreal. [NHL]
InGoal Magazine dug into the file footage to have a little celebration of its own.
Rogie Vachon was honoured tonight in Montreal. Look at this down sequence. Utterly focused, entirely fearless. pic.twitter.com/iJ2Zy8YC9h— InGoal Magazine (@InGoalMedia) November 11, 2016
And here’s a look at the mask Jeff Zatkoff wore to honor his ancestor in the Kings’ net.
Coach Derek Laxdal talks about the return of Jason Dickinson, the Texas Stars’ West Coast road trip and this weekend’s back-to-back with the San Jose Barracuda.
And a new Mailbag is up at Wrong Side of the Red Line.
Pregame reading: How should Stars handle Oleksiak? Surprised by Cammano's start in Flint? Goalies? And much more. https://t.co/I7rVndpzfV— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) November 11, 2016
Finally: It’s been a stressful week. You need a break. Here is a Vine of Evgeni Malkin being introduced to a cat. You’re welcome.