Don’t look now, but the Stars have put together a three-game winning streak.
Stars defeat Avalanche 4-2.— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) December 30, 2016
Stars with three straight wins, five-game points streak (4-0-1) and 5-1-1 record in past seven games.
Devin Shore and Tyler Seguin started the scoring for Dallas, but the Stars’ third goal of the night came from Jamie Oleksiak.
Although the Avs threatened, an empty-netter from Seguin put the game away.
Kari Lehtonen also left the game and was replaced by Antti Niemi in the third after this hit by Jarome Iginla.
Fortunately, Lehtonen seems to be all right—he returned after the end of the game to celebrate on the ice, and head coach Lindy Ruff said he was okay after undergoing concussion protocol.
So what does the 4-2 win mean for the Stars? Mike Heika takes a look.
The victory also makes them 5-1-1 in a stretch of nine games that coach Lindy Ruff said would define their season. Dallas has spent much of the holidays at home, playing eight of nine at AAC. The Stars needed to make a statement, and with games left against Florida and Montreal before they head back on the road, it seems they are doing just that.
Key to the run is the fact the Stars are playing better defense and have allowed just 14 goals against in the seven games.
After dealing with injury and a suspension, Cody Eakin is ready to turn his season around. [Wrong Side of the Red Line]
The World Juniors are underway, and Derek’s got you covered with recaps. Check out the action from yesterday. [DBD]
In other Central Division news...
- Patrick Kane recorded his 700th career point as the Blackhawks held off the Predators for a 3-2 win. Corey Crawford also did this in the game, which drew a penalty and led to a Chicago goal. [Chicago Sun-Times]
- The Wild extended their win streak to 12 games with a 6-4 win over the Islanders. [Hockey Wilderness]
- Not to be outdone, the Blue Jackets made it 14 in a row by knocking off the Jets 5-3. [The Cannon]
And speaking of those winning streaks, we’ve got some high drama scheduled for NYE.
Dan Rosen makes 17 predictions for 2017, one of which is that Lightning goalie Ben Bishop will find himself wearing Victory Green. [NHL]
TSN’s Travis Yost thinks that the struggling Avalanche are headed straight for a “full-blown rebuild.” [TSN]
The Senators retired Daniel Alfredsson’s number last night.
Sean McIndoe breaks down the best-ever divisions, and the Stars’ days in the Pacific Division make the cut. [Sportsnet]
Brandon Saad talks about head coach John Tortorella, playing in Chicago, and the Blue Jackets’ success this season.
Is anyone really excited that the Blackhawks and the Blues are facing off in the Winter Classic this year? Dave Lozo wonders how the league can make its outdoor games relevant again. [VICE]
Alex Ovechkin is the best.
Hurricanes forward Bryan Bickell talks about his MS diagnosis and his plans for the future. [Chicago Tribune]
Just in case you haven’t been keeping tabs on Auston Matthews...
How’s former Devils defenseman Adam Larsson been doing since he was traded to the Oilers? [NHL]
And finally, with last night’s win, the Stars are back in playoff position. Happy Friday, y’all!
Kings lose to EDM. Officially the Dallas Stars have moved into 8th place in the Western Conference and the final Wild CArd playoff spot— Bruce LeVine (@BruceLeVinePuck) December 30, 2016