Tyler Seguin had two goals, while Jamie Benn and Antoinse Roussel had the two others as the Dallas Stars skated to a complete 4-0 victory at home over the visiting Chicago Blackhawks.
It was a complete, practically perfect win for the Stars, in a way that is rarely seen. Every member of every line and defense pair successfully fulfilled their roles, while the team also scored full marks for their special teams performances.
Ben Bishop was absolutely stoical in net, never looking fazed or breaking a sweat as he turned aside all 24 shots that he faced, many of which came through screens, from in dangerous areas and off deflections.
It was an especially big game for Roussel, who welcomed his second child, Raphaelle, into the world just yesterday. Tonight was his first game with his new baby girl a part of this world.
Congrats to Alex and Antoine Roussel, who welcomed their second child, baby girl Raphaelle, into the world this morning! Mother and daughter are doing well. pic.twitter.com/RWomgdIFjt— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) December 20, 2017
The Stars opened the score in the first period mere seconds after a powerplay expired. Remi Elie, newly moved to the top line with Benn and Alex Radulov, won a puck battle to the left of Hawks netminder Corey Crawford before sliding the puck across the crease to Benn for an easy slam dunk in a gaping cage.
Both teams traded some physical pleasantries in the final minutes of the period, adding a little more fuel to the Central Division rivalry between the two teams.
Roussel made it 2-0 a minute into the second, perfectly deflecting a Dan Hamhuis point shot. It was likely a magical goal for the Flyin’ Frenchman, who had a special good luck charm on him during the game:
Roussel was still wearing the hospital bracelet this morning after the birth of his daughter on Wednesday. Said he was planning to keep it on during the game.— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) December 22, 2017
Seguin extended the lead to 3-0 only four minutes later on the powerplay. John Klingberg fed the puck over to Jason Spezza for a one-timer that was blocked by a Chicago defender, but the rebound went right to Seguin, who showed some exquisite patience and hands to tuck it around Crawford.
As if that wasn’t enough for the poor Hawks, the lead ballooned to 4-0 before the frame would expire, with Devin Shore taking the puck hard to the net and Seguin banging home the loose biscuit.
The Stars fell into something of a defensive shell in the third, letting the Hawks control the puck and hammer shots at the Dallas net, but Bishop stayed focused and the Stars did a good job of closing lanes and cleaning up the debris, keeping the game comfortably in hand.
Tonight was the type of win where you really can’t ask for much more from the team than they gave. If the Stars can manage to achieve this level of balance and effort on a consistent basis they’ll certainly produce more results like this one.