The Big Rig’s upper-body injury was the sucker punch that topped off an evening of general futility as the team struggled for quality chances and gave up four power-play opportunities.
After playing a hectic game in Los Angeles Monday, Dallas looked fatigued against the Ducks. Dallas handed out four power plays, and the Ducks struck on the third. Corey Perry put a nice shot on net that Antti Niemi stopped, but Jakob Silfverberg was there for the rebound, and scored his 12th goal of the season to give Anaheim the only scoring it would need.
Still, it’s OK to be happy about Niemi’s performance: He stopped 36 of 38 shots and kept the team in with a chance until late in the third period.
"I'm happy about my own game,"Niemi said. "You don't like to give up those goals, but not playing a full game for a while, I have to feel pretty good. I felt like I can make a lot of saves. I felt good overall."
Read the rest at Heika’s house. [SportsDayDFW]
Josh Bogorad offers some perspective on Niemi’s run of play:
Niemi has some tough losses lately. In his last 9 appearances (6 starts/3 relief), he has a 2.27 GAA & .927 sv%. His record is just 3-4-1.— Josh Bogorad (@JoshBogorad) January 11, 2017
That offense, though:
Stars shot selection an exercise in quantity over quality tonight. Side note, Niemi was very good. pic.twitter.com/cPd80ftT0e— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) January 11, 2017
Ruff gave an update on the IR’ed Jamie Benn, who’s “close but not ready.” [SportsDayDFW]
As of this writing, here’s the latest on Oleksiak and Patrick Eaves:
Lindy Ruff said Jamie Oleksiak (upper body) is going to be out "a little bit of time." Ruff said Patrick Eaves should be OK.— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) January 11, 2017
Here’s another look at Maj. Eaves catching an open bench door with a little help from The Most Hated Man in Hockey™:
Eaves hurt by the open door pic.twitter.com/ThTPQkvOVP— GIF Grand Maester (@myregularface) January 11, 2017
Elsewhere in Heika: Mike takes a look at the bright spark in a murky season that Devin Shore has been. [SportsDayDFW]
In case you’re keeping track:
With 40 games remaining the Stars need roughly 55 points (by my math) to make the playoffs.— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) January 11, 2017
Because coincidence works in weird ways: Moments after last night’s game ended, the Toronto Maple Leafs announced the trade of former Star Jhonas Enroth to Team Disney.
Last night in the Bloody Central:
- The Nashville Predators shook off their own overtime woes to secure a 2-1 OT victory over the Vancouver Canucks at literally the last second. [On the Forecheck]
- Elsewhere in extra minutes, Duncan Keith came through with the OT game-winner as the Chicago Blackhawks downed the Detroit Red Wings 4-3. [Second City Hockey]
- David Backes returned victorious to the Gateway City as he and the Boston Bruins beat the St. Louis Blues 5-3. [St. Louis Game Time]
The Blues did get to play a nice tribute video for their former captain (and, amazingly enough, with only one Jamie Benn fight to be found).
Meanwhile, will the Colorado Avalanche trade Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene to get the defensive help they desperately need? Who might be willing or able to pay their price? Elliotte Friedman looks closer in his latest 30 Thoughts. [Sportsnet]
On Monday night, Twitter genius Roberto Luongo earned his 448th win – and his 73rd shutout, and he did it against his former teammate and protégé, Cory Schneider. Lu has now passed Terry Sawchuk for the No. 5 spot on the all-time goalies list.
Roberto Luongo: funny on Twitter, all alone at fifth all-time in wins https://t.co/uJUwPVyUaF— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) January 10, 2017
Ready for every 2017 divisional All-Star team in four shareable graphics?
Now that the rosters are official, Matt Larkin takes a look at who got snubbed (hello, Zach Werenski), who coasted in on past effort (Jonathan Toews, looking at you), the potential best three-man units and more. [The Hockey News]
His long goal-less streak behind him, Auston Matthews is on top in NHL.com’s midseason Calder Trophy projections.
You’ll like this “Letter to My Younger Self” at The Players’ Tribune: The dreams of hockey heroism Henrik Lundqvist and his brother Joel playacted as children, and how they came true.
"In your first game, you’ll let in 12 goals ... In your second game, you’ll let in 18.— The Players' Tribune (@PlayersTribune) January 10, 2017
Don’t get discouraged." https://t.co/FBZC3fJW8z
In sadder news from Manhattan: Steven McDonald, the quadriplegic NYPD officer for whom the New York Rangers named their Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award, has died at age 59.
The Texas Stars begin a four-game road stand tonight with their final regular-season game against the Ontario Reign.
Finally: The KHL is heading into an All-Star break of its own, and they’ve chosen some truly incredible Power Rangers-looking uniforms to celebrate. There’s much more at the link. Enjoy.