Winning three games in a row officially constitutes a win streak, the first of the season for the Dallas Stars. It’s a lot nicer than the four-game losing streak of last week. Although the game wasn’t a pretty one, the team is finally figuring out ways to win and bank some points after the rough start to the season.
This one was big for Corey Perry. He faced the only team he had ever suited up for in his career prior to this season. When asked after the game how it was, he said it felt weird for the first shift, but after that it’s just another hockey game and the team just wanted to take care of business.
Though Perry didn’t score against his old team, his line created a couple of good chances. John Gibson is a really good goaltender, and probably should have gotten more consideration for the Vezina Trophy last season with his performance on a team that didn’t help him out all that much most nights.
This was one instance in which the Stars not scoring more was probably more a result of Gibson’s goaltending performance rather than their own offensive frustrations. He had a number of quality chances in close to contend with throughout the game. He came up big and kept the game within reach for the Anaheim Ducks early on and in the third period when Dallas came out fast and hard.
This is the Denis Gurianov show and everyone at the American Airlines Center had a front row seat.
Just under three minutes into the game, Gurianov worked the puck loose in the neutral zone. He drove towards the net, fended off a defender, switched the attack to a backhand, and as he fell to one knee, released the puck, shelfing it over John Gibson’s shoulder. For a change, Dallas scored on the first shot of the game instead of getting scored on on the first shot of the game.
He notched a second one by pulling nearly an identical move with just under three minutes left in the first period to put the Stars up 2-0.
Dallas did have two power play chances in the first period, including a 1:13 5-on-3 advantage in which the Stars struggled to get anything beyond the perimeter — that is, after they struggled to get into the zone at all. The man advantage that looked much improved in the last game was back to pedestrian at best tonight.
While it was Anaheim taking turns going to the penalty box in the first period, it was Dallas’ turn to make the same dance in the second. Anaheim got two looks at the man advantage, the first of which they capitalized on as it was dying off. The scoring came off a broken play in which Ryan Getzlaf was left all alone just feet from Ben Bishop’s doorstep. He collected a pass and redirected right into a fairly wide-open net to cut the score down to just one.
Then, it was almost like the two teams decided to take the conservative approach to the game. Dallas stopped driving offensive looks, and the rest of the period just kind of floated by. Anaheim had few moments where they looked to press, but for the most part, the period was practically even shot-wise between the two sides.
Montgomery didn’t like the second period much more than the fans watching. “Our puck possession in the first two periods, especially the second, was not good enough.”
Although Anaheim had a power play in which they had some quality chances near the end of the second frame, the last 40 seconds of the power play that carried over into the third period didn’t give them much momentum.
Dallas, on the other hand, came out on fire. The puck possession was much better, and the team seemed to have the layers behind the puck carrier to help press the offense. While Anaheim had a lot of push, especially with the extra attacker pulled at the end of the game, Dallas managed the period fairly well.
What was a little disappointing, though, was that Dallas never got possession of the puck at the end of the game to give a few notable storylines a chance to live, namely:
- Corey Perry scoring in the first game against his old team.
- Andrew Cogliano scoring against his old team.
- Denis Gurianov first career NHL hat trick — and less than two weeks after he scored one in the AHL.
- Tyler Seguin finally scoring a goal against the Anaheim Ducks. It is a feat he has yet to accomplish in his career, which is getting ridiculously long now.
Although that would have been fun to cap the story of this win, the big thing is that they won — and that milestone can’t be understated for this team in October.