Did I say five games in a row? Because I meant six.
The Dallas Stars won their sixth consecutive victory tonight, and this time they didn’t have to mount a comeback! Thanks to a superb effort by Ben Bishop, the Stars shutout the Anaheim Ducks 3-0 just 24 hours after beating the Los Angeles Kings. It was both Bishop and the Stars’ second shutout of the season.
Of course, Bishop doesn’t deserve sole credit for the win. Equally important was the Stars’ power play, which has found new life after the Christmas break. Both Denis Gurianov and Alexander Radulov scored on the power play, and even Roope Hintz got a goal in while there was a man advantage*.
The win puts the Stars’ in sole possession of second place in the Central, two points up on the Colorado Avalanche with the same number of games played. They still sit seven points behind the St. Louis Blues for the division lead, but they’ve been the league’s hottest team over the past three months. They’ll have a chance to keep the winning streak going on Saturday when they finish up their California trip against the San Jose Sharks.
*Okay, technically it was the Ducks’ who had the advantage, and it was with the extra attacker, not a power play. Sue me.
The first period began very blandly — the first real highlight of the evening was when the Ducks honored Corey Perry’s return to Anaheim:
Corey Perry’s tribute video in Anaheim. pic.twitter.com/m3jM4JO1Es— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) January 10, 2020
Hampus Lindholm then decided to honor Corey Perry’s career in Anaheim even further, taking a high-sticking penalty against Jamie Benn. That was a big mistake, as less than a minute into the man advantage, Roope Hitnz and Denis Gurianov connected to snipe one past John Gibson:
Obviously, Gurianov wasn’t content with just the single goal. The young Russian nearly scored again just a couple minutes later after converting a turnover into a breakaway opportunity:
Gurianov NEARLY scores a beauty after turning on the afterburners. pic.twitter.com/VUeZuoTQaS— Dylan Nadwodny (@dnadders) January 10, 2020
Alas, the period would end without much more fanfare, although Andrew Cogliano was given a nice tribute as well:
Andrew Cogliano’s tribute in Anaheim. pic.twitter.com/xdFnazOEwy— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) January 10, 2020
Score: Dallas 1, Anaheim 0
Shots: Dallas 6, Anaheim 11
The Stars would get another power play opportunity early on in the second as Ryan Getzlaf headed to the box for interference. Anaheim successfully killed off the power play, but immediately afterwards Roman Polak accidentally hit Jason Dickinson in the face with a high stick. The refs mistook his stick for Max Jones’, and Dallas was back on the power play.
This time, the Ducks weren’t so fortunate. Ben Bishop made a signature “Bish-up” to Tyler Seguin, who of course can’t score against the Ducks but was nice enough to set up Alexander Radulov instead:
Unsurprisingly, the Stars scoring on an undeserved power play rubbed the Ducks the wrong way, which led to Nicolas Deslauriers dropping the gloves with Jamie Oleksiak. As far as the fight itself goes, I’d argue Oleksiak won, but the Ducks won the exchange by trading a fourth-liner for a top-four defenseman.
If Deslauriers was trying to create a spark, he succeeded. Polak soon went to the penalty box for high-sticking (arguably a make-up call), and while they failed to score, they began putting considerable pressure on Ben Bishop. Ryan Getzlaf hit the post shortly after the penalty expired, and then Anaheim went on the power play again thanks to a tripping call against Blake Comeau.
But Bishop stood tall, fending off shot after shot for the rest of the period to preserve the Stars’ two-goal lead.
Score: Dallas 2, Anaheim 0
Shots: Dallas 14, Anaheim 21
The final frame started with a bit of a scare, as Roman Polak and Max Comtois had an accidental knee-on-knee collision less a minute in. Comtois was on the ground for a bit in pain, but thankfully he was able to get up and skate off the ice on his own accord.
A few minutes later, things continued to get physical, only purposely this time. Josh Manson absolutely leveled Jason Dickinson — whose face is just a magnet for trouble — and not much later, Max Jones and Radek Faksa got into a kerfuffle which earned them each a roughing minor.
Josh Manson runs over Jason Dickinson. pic.twitter.com/EhzLUdDjBZ— Dylan Nadwodny (@dnadders) January 10, 2020
During the resulting four-on-four, Ryan Getzlaf squeezed the puck past Esa Lindell and Ben Bishop to find Cam Fowler, who had a wide open net. But Tyler Seguin managed to get his stick there first, knocking the puck away and preserving Bishop’s shutout. The Stars would later get their own scoring opportunity when Hintz created a turnover in the offensive zone, but Denis Gurianov failed to get a second past John Gibson.
A couple minutes later, both Mattias Janmark and Gurianov had psuedo-breakaways while streaking down the left side, but neither converted on the scoring chance. Surprisingly, Dallas continued to keep up the pressure, keeping Anaheim in the defensive zone rather than “turtling” in order to preserve the lead.
In a last ditch effort to score, Dallas Eakins pulled Gibson with more than three minutes left on the clock. But Ondrej Kase coughed up the puck in the defensive zone, and Roope Hintz found the empty-netter to put this game on ice.
(I mean, it was already on ice, but you know what I mean...)
Final Score: Dallas 3, Anaheim 0
Final Shots: Dallas 27, Anaheim 27