Well, I wouldn’t call it the prettiest win of all time, but a W is a W. The Stars combined some classic Ken Hitchcock hockey with some classic “team on the second game of a back-to-back on the road” hockey to earn the 2-0 victory and salvage a couple of points in regulation on their California road trip. Kari Lehtonen picked up his first shutout of the season in the victory. Backup Kari continues to shine with a .920 save percentage and a 2.27 GAA (per Hockey Reference, not sure if it’s updated for last night’s game).
The first period could be considered a success in the context of recent first periods, though the Stars did draw a couple of early penalties to really try and put themselves in a hole. Luckily, the Kings weren’t able to capitalize and the physical period ended 0-0. The highlight of the period for me was when Jim Fox, the Kings color commentator (I live in San Diego so unfortunately I had to watch the Kings feed), got very confused with a few minutes left and talked about how it was a “deceiving first period” because he looked at the scoreboard and thought the Stars had 15 shots (they had 2) when they actually had 15 hits. Not quite Craig Ludwig calling Corey Perry “Tyler Perry” level of entertainment, but solid nonetheless.
The second period was scoreless as well as the battle of the #32’s raged on. The Stars seemed to wake up a bit and had a few decent chances throughout, but Johnathan Quick had their number. The Kings were pretty flat in the middle frame, but in the last couple minutes put an uncomfortable amount of pressure on the Stars. Kari Lehtonen dropped his stick a couple times in the period.
The third period saw the Stars finally break through in the goals column after five-plus periods of being blanked. Josh Bogorad dropped this stat nugget that kind of blew my mind:
If you're thinking ahead...— Josh Bogorad (@JoshBogorad) February 23, 2018
The Dallas Stars have only played five regular season games in their history that were scoreless through regulation. Two of them have come vs. LA.
0-0 with 9:12 to play.
Only five games that have been 0-0 through regulation in over twenty-five years? Weird. Anyways, Tyler Seguin decided to not make it six when he won a clean draw just after the midpoint of the third, then turned around and casually tipped a Greg Pateryn wrister from the point to give the Stars a 1-0 lead:
The Kings weren’t able to get much going after that, and in a play that I’m sure Ken Hitchcock drew up, Jamie Benn won a key defensive zone faceoff, the Stars failed to clear the zone, and then Alexander Radulov scored an empty netter from deep (and “from his fanny!” according to Razor) to end this one at 2-0:
A business-like victory. The Stars are obviously trying to honor Dirk Nowitzki wth 41 SOG two nights ago and 41 hits last night as the Mavs could use all of the positive PR possible at the moment. Again, not the most aesthetic win of all time, but I think after the last two games, we’ll all take it. This sums it up pretty well:
Here’s a little more professional breakdown of the win:
As we all have noticed, the Stars haven’t really been winning any first periods lately. [The Athletic]
Sean Shapiro looks at why that might be the case:
These film room pieces are so much fun. https://t.co/PaY1tLa7ym— Robert Tiffin (@RobertTiffin) February 22, 2018
Here’s Hitch on some of his lineup changes prior to last night’s game:
Radulov. So hot right now. Radulov. Hat tip to our excellent new editor, Logan, for this one:
Some quick fun with charts, here is the Stars heat map without and without Radulov on the ice: pic.twitter.com/CvK4DHpjhz— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) February 23, 2018
Around the League
The Stars’ bit here still stings a bit:
Here's how all 31 NHL teams will screw up the trade deadline: https://t.co/TOZ84rEz4Q— DL (@davelozo) February 22, 2018
Good stuff from the Panthers:
Pretty emotional night for Roberto Luongo:
Neither Rick Nash nor Michael Grabner will play for #NYR tonight. Team closing in deals, so right now, this is just precautionary. Lettieri and Carey will be in.— Brett Cyrgalis (@BrettCyrgalis) February 22, 2018
UPDATE: Well, one domino has fallen:
This story has been percolating for a while now:
Montreal's Shea Weber is done for the season: https://t.co/eqNxS1NiY4— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) February 22, 2018
It’s that time of year when injuries really start piling up:
Unlike the Bluth Company, Jared Clinton of The Hockey News thinks the Stars should be buyers at the trade deadline:
Ralphie with the call on a heck of a finish:
Here's the way it sounded from @RalphStrangis & @ColbyCohen36. We're going to be talking about the Lamoureux twins for a looong time. Game-tying goal = Monique. Game-winning EPIC shootout goal = Jocelyne. And the save by Maddie Rooney. #TeamUSA wins #Gold https://t.co/XvDqrvSFic pic.twitter.com/F6KjHYTe71— Westwood One Sports (@westwood1sports) February 22, 2018
More electric trades are happening: