The Dallas Stars made one move on Trade Deadline Day, which I know all of you already know about. As a refresher: Stars defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka (affectionately known as Kevin), Brett Pollock, and a conditional second to the Calgary Flames for veteran defenseman Kris Russell.
Kris Russell's debut for the Stars was pretty seamless, all things considered. He didn't have any points, but we didn't really expect many. In his eighteen minutes of time on ice, his much touted skill at blocking shots resulted in resulted in one blocked shot at 5v5. He had zero blocked shots on the penalty kill. His Corsi for differential was +4 but he was also protected with mostly offensive zone starts, so that number is padded. He got into a shoving match with Craig Smith after Smith's goal (and Roussel's game tying goal 10 seconds later), which will endear some fans to him. If that's your thing.
So you know, there might be some good news? One game is a laughably small sample size, so we'll just have to see.
As you'd imagine in a game that ended 5-3, there were lots of goals. In the first period, Craig Smith opened scoring when Antti Niemi went down to grab the puck, didn't grab the puck, and didn't get up in time to back Johnny Oduya up in front of the net. Literally ten seconds later, Antoine Roussel basically took on the entire Predators roster to carry the puck down and fire on net. It worked, and the first period ended 1-1.
The second was a little more painful. Calle Jarnkrok opened second period scoring. It be great to be able to report that the Stars scored another answering goal immediately, but they did not. And then, with Jamie Benn in the box for interference, Shea Weber scores with one of his patented rockets on the power play. Thirty seconds later, Mattias Ekholm scores off Jamie Benn's hip. The Stars take advantage of a rare 5-o- 3 opportunity with both Roman Josi and Mikka Salomaki in the box and Jason Spezza scores to bring the Stars back within two.
That third goal in the second period is when Lindy Ruff pulled Niemi in favor of Kari Lehtonen. On the second night of a back-to-back, no clear reason why Niemi started the game in the first place. Lehtonen kept the Predators scoreless until five minutes into the third. And, the goal he did give up came a few minutes after taking one of Weber's slap shots to his . . . sensitive areas.
James Neal scored after the TV time out, basically, and it still looked like Lehtonen was wincing his way through the paint. Vern Fiddler scored with ten minutes still left to go to bring the Stars back within two, but unfortunately, nothing stopped the Predators gravy train tonight.
The game was pretty physical on both sides, which culminated in a pretty brutal fight between Jamie Benn and Paul Gaustad. Check HockeyFights.com tomorrow, I'm pretty sure that one is going to be a win. Which, sadly, is more than I can say for the game.
No updates yet, but Patrick Sharp did not skate after the second period. No word on what happened or how long we can expect him to be out.