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Wednesday Links: Stars Start Home Stand Right.

5 unanswered goals in the 3rd aid Stars win, Niemi still great at home, Should the Stats trade for Fleury?

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Stars

Coming into last night’s game, the Stars were looking at this home stand as their chance to turn the season around and get back into the playoff picture (they’ll play eight of their next nine on home ice). Dallas was 7-4-2 at home on the season prior to their match against the Anaheim Ducks, and goalie Antti Niemi was sporting a sparkling 5-1-1 record in the friendly confines of American Airlines Center.

With five unanswered goals in the third period, the Stars were able to flip the script on the Ducks, who were best in the league in final period goals allowed. The penalty kill unit also gave up only one power play goal in the 6-2 win.

“We all realize where we are in the standings and how we've been playing," said Stars captain Jamie Benn. "We see this homestand as a big one for us, it could be make or break. We want to make something out of it.”

Dan Hamuis scored his first goal in Victory Green, on his birthday no less, to tie things up early in the third. Adam Cracknell drove to the net to provide the game winner and Niemi ended the night with 34 saves.

“It's good for our team confidence," said Hamhuis. "This year, we haven't really found our game. It's nice tonight to finally get rewarded with some bounces that went in.”

More of the recap from Mike Heika. (DMN)

Sean Shapiro has a video recap of the game:

Dallas lost another forward to injury as Curtis McKenzie missed last night’s game.

Ducks center Stefan Noesen, who grew up in Plano, played in a sort of homecoming last night. Noesen’s parents are still Stars season ticket holders, and when Noesen was younger, he used to skate during intermission shootouts between periods of Stars games. (Fanrag Sports)

The weekly Prospect Report came out yesterday. Defensive prospects Ondrej Vala (Czech Republic) and Joseph Cecconi (USA) were the latest Dallas prospects to be named to selection camp rosters for the 2017 World Junior Championship. (Stars)

The Stars’ problems in goal don’t seem to be at 5-on-5: both Kari Lehtonen and Niemi have respectable, albeit not world-beating, save percentages at even strength (.912% and .922%, respectively). The Hockey News examines whether general manager Jim Nill should make a trade for Marc-Andre Fleury to improve the overall goaltending. (The Hockey News)

To aid the families of Dallas Police officers slain during the mid-July attack, Dallas Stars Alumni will face off against a team of DPD after Saturday’s game. (Fox 4 News)

Former Stars goalie Marty Turco made a promo for the Vaughn Hockey goalie gear he will use in the Alumni game.


There were three other games last night in the Central (MDK) Division:

St. Louis tallied the game’s first three goals, but the Predators stormed back to get the come-from-behind win, 6-3. (On the Forecheck)

Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling dueled with Antti Raanta of the New York Rangers en-route to a Hawks 2-1 win. (CSN Chicago)

Minnesota downed the Panthers 5-1. Florida’s interim head coach Tom Rowe, who is a fan of analytics, is not helping make the case for the “interim” to be dropped from his title with games like these. (NBC Sports)

How would Avalanche forward Jerome Iginla look in an Oilers sweater? (Beer League Heroes)

Wild Coach Bruce Boudreau is able to balance his young stars with older veteran players. (Fanrag Sports)

With so many teams up against the salary cap this season, there aren’t many trades expected to happen outside of the trade deadline. (Last Word on Hockey)

Last season the Central Division was the best in the NHL, but don’t look now — the Metropolitan Division has taken over the top spot. (Globe and Mail)

Will NHL players participate in the 2018 Olympics is what the International Ice Hockey Federation would like to know. (ESPN)

Winnipeg Jets v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Jets rookie Patrik Laine scored an own goal the other night. Down Goes Brown looks at some other memorable own goals. (Sportsnet)

Jamie Oleksiak’s sister, Penny Oleksiak, was voted Canadian Athlete of the year: