The Dallas Stars have won more than they've lost lately, but it certainly hasn't felt like it. Even in victory, they've mostly struggled.
But tonight they did a pretty good job of making a statement by pulling to within one point of the Blackhawks in the standings with games in hand as well.
Well. Where do I begin? It was clear from the outset that if nothing else, Dallas would not lose their puck marbles with Jason Demers out of the lineup. They appeared to be playing a responsible game and that responsibility quickly turned into goals. All the goals.
Patrick Eaves would open up the goal scoring by basically just shooting a puck blindfolded. Luckily, Crawford was wearing one. And it went in practically behind the goal line. Not soon after Mattias Janmark would transform into a one man Swedish forechecking robot in disguise, creating a turnover by Ales Hemsky that led to John Klingberg backhand. Have I mentioned how awesome Janmark and Klingberg are?
Then Dallas wouldn't let off the gas, and Patrick Eaves would get goals 3 and 4 thanks to some proper vigor from Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin.
Dallas put together some pretty good pressure in the second, but would start to run into penalty trouble. However, the real story in the second period would be Kari Lehtonen. He didn't have to make a ton of saves but he made some quality ones nonetheless.
No goals in the second period make this period hard to recap, but the real story was the play of the defensemen. In particular, Johnny Oduya and Patrik Nemeth (playing on the right side). If you're wondering why the two seemed to 'hit it off' it probably has at least a little to do with the fact that both have become insta-BFF's. Both are big health junkies, and so it was nice to see their 'only if it comes in organic' talk turn into on ice chemistry.
Chicago's broadcast made a big deal about Kari's rebound control. Even though rebounds wouldn't be the story of the Blackhawk's sudden outburst, Kari would indeed be perforated eventually. Dallas wasn't shelling up, in my opinion. They were just turning the puck over, making obvious clearing attempts look like Fermat's Last Theorem on ice.
Tyler Seguin was playing a hell of a two way game, and should absolutely be commended for his defensive play. While the third period was an issue, it wasn't an indictment. Score effects are a thing, and Chicago really starting churning those legs in their flintstone car.
Dallas would be able to rest easy in the end. It wasn't perfect, but it was a good win for Dallas. There's not much else to say here.
STARS WIN!!! pic.twitter.com/pJqt2AnkNP— Annie (@__spinelli) February 12, 2016