Dallas Stars Hold Off Nashville Predators in 5-2 Beat Down, Reach 100 Points for First Time Since 2006-07
And! They set a couple of records and hit the 100 point mark on the way.
A Central Division collision tonight in Dallas as the Nashville Predators come in to attempt to clinch a playoff berth against the Dallas Stars.
No luck for you, Predators.
Stars that did not have their best nights ever: Stars defensive savior John Klingberg. A bad pass in the first period on the power play ended up in the back of the net when Ryan Ellis intercepted. Through three periods, he was the worst possession player on the ice. None of the Stars covered themselves in glory possession wise. Over all the Stars had 40% CF 5 v 5. We won, which is great, but some attention should probably be paid to that stat.
Positives? Our bottom six continued to roll along, and Jamie Benn got a tally on the board to even things up early.
Benn's goal came on a breakaway when he (according to Daryl Reaugh) displayed the "patience of a preschool teacher" coming in and beat Pekka Rinne five hole.
Ryan Ellis took a a shot from Patrick Eaves right to the ear. For reasons unknown at this time, though he writhed around on the ice for some time and held his head after getting back up, the refs did not whistle the play down. Ellis played one 17 second shift in the second and didn't play after that.
Ryan Ellis takes a puck off the side of the face/head. Ouch. #Preds: pic.twitter.com/b8ZcdNyxP1— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting) March 30, 2016
Another fun thing that happened: Stephen Johns threw a pretty amazing check on James Neal, who ended up in Patrick Eaves' lap.
March 30, 2016
Neal was apparently so comfortable there he didn't get up for a little while.
1-1 tie headed into first intermission.
It looked like the tie would hold through the second period. Ten minutes in, just a bit of scrambly play and a lot of back and forth on the ice. Then Antoine Roussel gets a breakaway into the Predators zone and takes the shot on Rinne. Rinne stops that, but doesn't clean up his rebound, leaving recent call up Radek Faksa alone in front of the net with Rinne still out of position. Faksa gets his third of the year.
On the other end of the ice, Mike Fisher gets what was probably the try of the night (that didn't end up in the net) on Kari Lehtonen. Alex Goligoski cleans up the rebound, gets it out to Jason Spezza, and it's like a replay of the Jamie Benn goal from earlier, breakaway, patience of a saint, back of the net.
That's 30 for Jason Spezza for the year, the fifth 30 goal season of his career. I think he likes Dallas. And! He joins Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn with the 30 goal club, which marks the first time since the 2011-12 season that three 30 goal scorers played on the same team.
With five minutes left to go in the second period, Viktor Arvidsson scored off a feed from Ryan Johansen to bring the Predators within one.
The score was 3-2 heading into second intermission.
The third period felt like a special teams battle, because it kind of was. Patrick Eaves gets an elbow to the face from Colton Sissons in front of the Predators bench early in the third. Eaves was less than thrilled with this turn of events. He doesn't fight much, but when he does, he does it well.
While they're serving in the box, the Predators get called for too many men. Two seconds after that penalty expired, Roussel and Shea Weber exchange some words that ends with a cross checking call against Roussel and an embellishment call against Weber. And THEN, while that 4 v 4 play is happening, Jamie Benn gets called for "holding" on James Neal.
this is what he is reacting to pic.twitter.com/zV73vnT2zY— Stephanie (@myregularface) March 30, 2016
No word on how that didn't end up as an embellishment call.
With two minutes left to go, the Predators pull Rinne for the extra attacker. Patrick Sharp scores his 19th of the season from center ice. After the face off, they pull Rinne again, and Jamie Benn scores his 39th of the season on the empty net.
Two cool things happened with that goal.
With 22 regular season empty net goals, the Stars currently hold the all-time single-season record.
With 39 goals scored this season, Jamie Benn pulls even with Brett Hull and Joe Nieuwendyk for a three way tie for second place in most goals scored in a single season.
And! Finally. With the win, the Stars hit 101 points, which is the first time the club has broken 100 points since the 2006-07 season.