Dallas Stars Daily Links: The Stars Earn "A Gift From the Hockey Gods" In a 2-1 Win Over the Wild
Our Gang made the most of its luck with a poised Game 2 victory. Plus, odd goals galore, punctuated by feats of goaltending fortitude.
The Dallas Stars knew the Minnesota Wild were coming for them last night. They knew it, prepared for it, and prevailed.
Mike Heika writes that the team's composure is helping to ensure its talent has a chance to shine:
"I think we are playing our smartest hockey away from the puck," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "We've realized down the stretch here that it's important to play both ways, it's important to win games 2-1. We've come a long way as a group in playing the game the right way."
The oddball goal by Antoine Roussel that broke another scoreless second-period tie was indeed a gift, but it's how the Stars handled it that made their night:
Dallas got the benefit of the call, but it also handled the fortune with poise. The entire game was a test of their control. The linesmen early on were being picky on every faceoff, and the Stars appeared frustrated. They ended up winning 59 percent of the draws (40 of 68). Roussel was cross-checked hard in the first period and received no call. Minutes later, Ales Hemsky was called for what appeared to be a questionable slash. The Stars responded with maybe their best penalty kill of the year.
It was a strong statement about what this team has become. The reaction was the same to good luck or bad.
"That's been created this season," said goalie Kari Lehtonen, who stopped 25 shots and is 8-1-0 in his last nine starts with a 1.66 GAA. "We don't have panic in our game, and that's a good feeling. We just keep playing and keep grinding."
There's much more at Mike's place. [SportsDayDFW]
The Dallas Morning News has also posted some of the best photos from Game 2. [DMN]
You guys want to bask in this victory just a little longer, right? Yeah, pretty sure you want to bask.
Coach Lindy Ruff says the Stars got the game they'd prepared for from the Wild.
Jamie Benn talks about all the playoff-style hockey that led up to the actual playoff hockey the Stars are playing so well right now:
And Razor discusses try-storming, critical execution and the Antoine Roussel experience in the Game 2 Emporium.
Speaking of that Rooster goal, because we were, here it is for your endless-looping pleasure.
Sean Leahy of Puck Daddy was kind enough to post the NHL's explanation for its "good hockey goal" ruling.
NHL Situation Room explanation on that wild Roussel goal pic.twitter.com/nKlocSGTAH— Sean Leahy (@Sean_Leahy) April 17, 2016
The freak goal was just one reason why Allan Muir chose Rooster as the Third Star of last night's playoffs action. [Sports Illustrated]
Wild netminder Devan Dubnyk weighs in on what will probably end up being the most bizarre goal of this year's Stanley Cup playoffs. [Sportsnet]
This sequence shows why Kari Lehtonen was last night's First Star of the Game.
Have you seen how @DallasStars is rebranding Czech-mates Hemsky and Radek Faksa as the Festrunk brothers? That's because they are TWO WILD AND CRAZY GUYS.
The other wild and crazy guy is credited with the lone assist. #MINvsDAL pic.twitter.com/mmjwuxecPq— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) April 15, 2016
Here's how the hockey media are enjoying themselves in Dallas.
Day four in Dallas, this is about the only thing I haven't eaten on the room service menu. pic.twitter.com/ga8345OeYw— Gord Miller (@GMillerTSN) April 16, 2016
Meanwhile, Bob McKenzie says the Stars may find the "road less traveled" to make a deep run. [TSN]
Action! We has it. It's the playoffs. Here's what happened yesterday:
- When you come for the King, you'd better not miss: Henrik Lundqvist was back with a vengeance as the New York Rangers tied the series with the Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-2. [Blueshirt Banter]
- Likely Vezina lock Braden Holtby made 41 saves and Jason Chimera scored almost accidentally on a center-ice deflection as the Washington Capitals took a two-game lead over the Philadelphia Flyers, 4-1. [Japers' Rink]
- Joe Pavelski scored his third goal in two games to lead the San Jose Sharks past the Los Angeles Kings 2-1. The Sharks now hold a 2-0 series lead, and they haven't even played a home game yet. [Fear the Fin]
Here's a look at that Chimera apple, because seeing is believing:
Chimera scores on a fluky goal from mid-ice #CapsFlyers 2-0 pic.twitter.com/0KxhY0WMsh— CAPITALS HILL (@CapitalsHill) April 17, 2016
The Pens may have lost, but Phil Kessel scored a textbook tic-tac-toe goal:
Phil Kessel finished the prettiest goal play of the postseason so far: (via @PeteBlackburn) https://t.co/f0DzhF6T3D pic.twitter.com/4hNahfnTQu— SB Nation NHL (@SBNationNHL) April 16, 2016
Fellow Pen and longtime Star Trevor Daley opened up to Dave Molinari about how important it is to him to be a role model for younger players of color. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
Did the Chicago Blackhawks get Game 2 handed to them after officials called back Vladimir Tarasenko's second goal for the St. Louis Blues? The league's new blue-line cameras were the deciding factor. [NHL]
As it turns out, they're making history all over this year's playoffs:
Two Florida-based teams (@TBLightning and @FlaPanthers) each won a playoff game on the same day for first time in NHL history. @EliasSports— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 16, 2016
The Flyers have lost Sean Couturier for two weeks to the sprained shoulder he suffered after that big hit from Alex Ovechkin. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
And the Tampa Bay Lightning will probably have to finish their series without shutdown forward J.T. Brown after he sustained an upper-body injury while blocking a shot in Game 2. [Tampa Bay Times]
Yes, Corey Perry is trolling you on purpose. [SI]
And as it turns out, the preternaturally serene Nicklas Backstrom may be the Caps' biggest prankster. [The Hockey News]
Thomas Drance examines how former Star Reilly Smith has caught fire for the Florida Panthers. [Sportsnet]
Finally: The Stars have started creating tiny music videos for each playoff game. Here's their offering for Game 2. Enjoy.
Game two: #VictoryRisinghttps://t.co/8uNIDE2SVL— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) April 17, 2016