Scottrade Center is a cursed place where very few good things ever happen. So after the St. Louis Blues scored on a puck deflected by a referee, and stray rubber hit both a spectator and head trainer Dave Zeis at different moments, the Dallas Stars can take their single overtime point and count themselves lucky to get out of there with a no-explanation-needed Western Conference lead.
Certainly, head coach Lindy Ruff seems philosophical about the 2-1 overtime loss, in which the Stars had seven power play opportunities and didn't convert on any of them:
"That's a good point," Ruff said. "Coming off a back-to-back, huge game last night, and they're sitting here resting. I thought we played a smart game. If our execution was a little better, we could have come out with two. It was two good teams that played a pretty tight game."
Kari Lehtonen stopped 20 shots and kept the Stars in the game long enough for Mattias Janmark to send the game to 3-on-3 OT:
Lehtonen faced some tough situations, but none as tough as the referee deflection. Off the second period faceoff, Blues defenseman Colton Parayko dumped a puck into the offensive zone and Lehtonen went behind the net to play it. The puck deflected off of referee Kelley Sutherland's skate and toward the front of the net, where Blues forward Jaden Schwartz knocked it in.
"I've had a couple of goals that have gone in off the referee and they were waved off, so I didn't know," Lehtonen said. "It's just a bad bounce. I have a lot of respect for the referees, it just didn't go our way that time. I'm glad we came back."
There's much, much more at Mike Heika's blog. [SportsDayDFW]
During his last game with Dallas, forward Curtis McKenzie suffered a hip injury that sidelined him for a month. Since then, he's racked up 32 points in 40 games in Cedar Park and earned another call-up this week. [SportsDayDFW]
Should goals scored off referees even count at all? Mike Heika wants to know, and let's face it, so do you. [SportsDayDFW]
This is just gonna keep happening, isn't it.
But there's more Central Division action tonight, again, as usual:
- Colorado Avalanche vs Montreal Canadiens, 7 p.m. Central time
- Chicago Blackhawks at New York Rangers, 7 p.m. Central time
- Minnesota Wild at Calgary Flames, 9 p.m. Central time
As their search for salary cap relief continues, the Blackhawks have waived veteran blueliner Rob Scuderi. [Puck Daddy]
If you want to play-fight the Boston Bruins to fantasy-get Loui Eriksson back in Dallas, you may have to imaginary-go through these guys to do it.
Marian Gaborik is out "long term" with the lower-body injury he suffered last Friday against the New York Rangers, but the Los Angeles Kings hope to have him back in time for the playoffs. [Los Angeles Times]
Disagreements over the team's needs and direction may mean a showdown is brewing between Vancouver Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini and GM Jim Benning.
Now that the Tampa Bay Lightning's Steve Yzerman has told every other GM to read his lips about no in-season trades, Steven Stamkos hopes he can stop answering questions about potentially being traded, please and thank you.
And now that Mike Yeo has gotten the heave-ho, will Michel Therrien be next? Ken Campbell says the Montreal Canadiens are out of less drastic options. [The Hockey News]
New York Islanders backup goalie Thomas Greiss has a 16-6-2 record and .931 SV% this season. Is he about to have starter Jaroslav Halak's job as well?
The Arizona Coyotes showed their appreciation to the bank manager who dressed as their emergency backup goalie by giving him the MVP belt after their victory over the Montreal Canadiens.
The lower-body injury that kept former Stars goalie Anders Lindback out of that game is a torn Achilles tendon that will require surgery, says Coyotes GM Don Maloney. [FOX Sports]
Finally: Remember when Blue Jackets RW Cam Atkinson scored three goals on a young fan's 9th birthday and she got the dog her father promised her as a result? On Presidents' Day, Cam met his namesake, and the cuteness overload was about what you'd expect. Enjoy.