Key Numbers Tell Tale of Dallas Stars Win Over Penguins

Undefeated and tied for first in the division. That's about what we expected, right? Sure, it's early, but let's take one night to bask in a shutout win. Let's also look at a couple of interesting numbers from the victory.

Rumors of the Stars' pre-season demise seem to have been overblown. At least for one night. Rather than roll over in the face of Sidney Crosby's high-octane Penguins, the Stars rolled up their sleaves and skated to a resounding season-opening victory. The big number was 3-0, the score, or the two points our boys banked in the standings, but a couple of other numbers stood out.

15 - As in, it took Ales Hemsky fifteen more games last season to register his first goal. The veteran winger also showed a high level of compete and ample chemistry with linemates Antoine Roussel and Mattias Janmark. He won't average two points a game all season, but if he can just be steady, the Stars will benefit.

18:22 - Minutes played by Jamie Benn. It's a good number for the captain as he works his way back from offseason surgery on both hips. The captain very nearly scored a beauty goal in the first, and showed why it really is a shame his playmaking abilities do not get more press (oh my goodness the curl-pass to Tyler Seguin deserved a goal). His power play tip was also a tasty bit of skill. Things will get better.

3 - Shots on goal from Valeri Nichushkin, all in the second period. The big Russian wasn't quite the game-breaker we hoped for right out of the gate, but he seemed to improve as the game went on. Remember the injury and how long he was off the NHL ice. I'm still bullish about the big Russian's season.

2 for 5 - Weird. For large stretches of the game, the Stars' powerplay was a stilted, punch-less mess. Both units struggled to get the puck into the offensive zone, and even with they did, went long stretches between meaningful scoring chances. Then again, two goals is a good night by any metric. Maybe we're just going to get a quick-strike unit this year.

1:39 - That's all it took for Mattias Janmark to register his first career goal. Coach Lindy Ruff showed a great deal of trust putting the rookie at center. If we consider both of his primary linemates (Hemsky and Roussel) entered the season with something to prove, that trust is even more impressive.

0 - No goals from the guy I anointed as this season's NHL scoring champ. Is there cause for concern? Nope. Sure, Seguin only managed a single shot on net, but blocked bids and near-misses aren't reflected in the standard box-score. A couple of those were opportunities you have to think go in by mid-season.

28 / 29 - Shifts from John Klingberg and Johnny Oduya, respectively. One is the sophomore Stars fans hope doesn't slip, the other is a big deal free agent. Hard to argue with the end result after night one.

0 - All of the teeth-gnashing, all of the worry, and Antti Niemi puts up a welcome-to-the-team-shutout. For one blissful, glorious night the Stars won't have to put up with questions about whether or not the goaltending is going to hold up. He was good. Real good.

37 - If there is a cold water moment, it's the fact the Penguins tilted the ice in terms of shots on net (though not necessarily shot attempts) for large stretches last night. Yes, full marks for a good win, but this is not a Stars squad built to lean on goaltending. They'll take it, I'm sure, but that number is going to need to come down if the Stars are going to return to the post season.