The Dallas Stars have won three consecutive games for the first time in this 2016-2017 season. Just in time for the 2016 part to be over, too.
Yes, look out Columbus and Minnesota- The Stars are coming for you. You know, kind of.
Dallas got two dogs on their schedule this week, and they did what you have to do to get by in this league- Kick 'em. Not emphatically. Maybe even a little lovingly at times, actually, but kick them they did and collect the full four points they have.
The win makes them 5-1-1 in their last seven, for those keeping track, and they've done it in the last way anyone expected them to: By keeping pucks out of their net rather than put them in the other team's. To the tune of just 2.00 against in those seven games.
Games like tonight- Another two spot for the opposition, this time the unwitting, meandering Colorado Avalanche who arrived with a roster full of pretty scary talent and not an inkling of what to do with it, somehow. You know, like the Edmonton Oilers of the last eight years or so.
The Stars came roaring out of the gate tonight with the Super Friends leading the way. Benn, Seguin and Spezza raced out to a combined 23-5 Corsi advantage early in the contest as the Avs struggled to contain them- And so decided to watch.
It was not they who would cash in, but rather Devin Shore from Lauri Korpikoski at 5:11 of the first period to give the Stars a 1-0 lead.
The big guns would then follow suit off a nice passing play- Spezza, to Benn in the slot, then neatly on the backhand to Tyler Seguin in his spot who found a little hole through Pickard, though Pickard caught a piece, and it was a 2-0 with a huge shot advantage.
Matt Duchene put the Avs on the board late in the period, however, on a 4-on-3 break Colorado's way, though Radek Faksa put his face into the cross-bar as #9 poked a loose puck into a gaping net.
It was a 25-9 shot attempt advantage in favor of the Stars after one, and they'd pick up right where they left off in the second with more possession and then- another...beautiful Jamie Oleksiak goal?
His sister thought so-
The Avs put some rubber toward Kari Lehtonen's net to close out the period but did not puncture him, and so in the third period the strategy seemed to turn to running into the big Finn.
Tyson Barrie received a two minute minor for goaltender interference, rather violently, just 1:25 into the third, then a few minutes later Jarome Iginla carelessly rammed into Kari Lehtonen and received a penalty of his own.
Kari Lehtonen would leave the game, possibly due to concussion protocol or concussion spotter enforcement for his own safety.
When a goaltender gets hurt you make the other team pay on the ensuing power play- Instead the officials bought an apparent phantom high-stick on John Klingberg, putting the teams at four a side. Then the Stars hit the post.
Injured goaltender. Bad call. Post. Things were not going their way. They were not going that way in an almighty hurry, then the Avs scored predictably on a rebound to pull within one with 12 minutes to play.
But the Stars stayed hungry, hitting two or three more posts along the way and keeping the puck away from the Avalanche. After their second goal to pull the game to 3-2, they ATTEMPTED just four more shots according to the official score-sheet.
That's an awesome stat.
You know what's not an awesome stat? The Stars power play, which went 0-for-6 tonight with so many chances to put this game away. A bounce here or there in the third and that really looks and smells strongly like the goat. It's not, but it was not good enough- or won't be to beat teams that are not the league's worst.
Kari Lehtonen returned to the bench and participated in the on-ice celebration and salute to the crowd. We await updates tomorrow at practice, of course. Lehtonen's last concussion was in March of 2014.
Three in a row, baby!