Game Review – 1/10/09 (DAL at PHX)

by Chelsea

Game:

Thanks to some serious lack of offense, we were treated to basically three hours of Ralph and Razor’s Goalie Exhibition.

On one end of the rink was Ilya Bryzgalov, claimed off waivers from Anaheim in November 2007.

On the other was Marty Turco, drafted, farmed, and raised to magnificence by the Stars.

While, at first glance, it was perfectly reasonable to expect a 3-2 game from the two goaltenders, the reality was that they’d built up walls between the pipes and dared someone to get something through. 

The first period was uneventful at best. There was only one penalty, a hooking minor called on Stephane Robidas at 19:35, and no scoring. James Neal and Loui Eriksson both had chances on Bryzgalov, but they were distance shots that he was able to get a piece of and hold the game scoreless.

The second period belonged to the goalies, though, and brought the audience to a single conclusion: these netminders would not soon be cracked, and whoever managed to get something by them would probably win the game.

Despite a myriad of penalties (Kyle Turris at 3:07, Robidas again at 6:08, and Steven Reinprecht at 18:31) and following power play opportunities, the game continued at a 0-0 tie.

Bryzgalov and Turco both came up big in the period, matching each other in big saves. When the Phoenix goalkeeper gobbled up a juicy rebound on the Stars PP, Turco raised the bid by shutting the door on a Martin Hanzal breakaway attempt. 

The second period ended scoreless, and during intermission we were treated to an interview with Steve Ott. He looked a little worn out, the blood on his jersey a testament to how hard the teams were going at each other, and assured Razor that getting a goal would make it all feel better.

Third period started, and we were treated to the climax of a great goaltender battle.

Turco began the challenge by shutting down the Coyotes power play after Trevor Daley got two minutes for holding at 5:52.

Bryzgalov responded by putting the lock on Loui Eriksson, who tried to redirect a centering feed into the net. 

At the other end of the ice, it was the Marty Turco show again, when he stopped an initial shot and let his rebound loose out in front. When Turris grabbed the puck and tried to put it in the open net, Turco absolutely robbed him with a larcenous glove save. 

The game went into overtime and out again with nobody scoring, giving shutouts to both goalies. It was Turco’s first of the season, and first road shutout in over 80 games.

The shootout was painful, as always. Richards, Lindstrom, and Eriksson were all stopped, but Mueller scored, putting the Coyotes up one after two rounds. Ribeiro scored in the third, utilizing his between-the-legs trick (and a bit of luck) to get the puck in the net. Turco stopped Jokinen with a steady glove save, putting the game in sudden death shootout mode.

Neal and Reinprecht both scored in round four.

Unfortunately, Modano tried his typical high glove side shot and was stopped, but Turris managed to fake out Turco with some forehand to backhand trickery, and Phoenix won the game 1-0.

Notes:

  • The three stars, in order: Bryzgalov, Turco, Turris
  • The shutout was Turco’s first in 46 games and 34th of his career.
  • Neal’s shootout goal was his second on his second career attempt. That’s 100%, or for the people that like comparing him to the Dallas captain, the exact same amount of goals and attempts as Brenden Morrow.
  • Joel Lundqvist returned to the lineup, on a line with Richards and Eriksson, and said after the game that he felt pretty good. 
  • Chris Conner and Doug Janik were the healthy scratches.
  • The Stars outshot the Coyotes 38-28 and won 57% of the faceoffs.
  • The Coyotes outhit the Stars, however, 36-20. 9 of those hits were from Neal and Ott alone.
  • Conclusion: Was it Bryzgalov just in the zone, or is there something wrong with our offense that makes good goalies look like great ones? The PP is struggling again and it’s almost starting to look like the Stars just can’t hit the net from any distance. Who cares if you outshoot the opponent every game if all 40 shots go straight to the goalie?

SHR +/-:

Nicklas Grossman: one for solid defense; +1
Stephane Robidas: minus-one for the dumb penalty but one for the penalty that saved a goal; +0
Matt Niskanen: one for solid defense; +1
Trevor Daley: minus-one for the dumb penalty; -1
Mike Modano: minus-one for lack of shootout creativity; -1
James Neal: one for the shootout goal, one for style, and one for leading in hits; +3
Loui Eriksson: one for leading in shots on goal and one for looking hurt on the bench but nearly scoring on the following shift; +2
Steve Ott: one for being energetic and fearless; +1
Marty Turco: four for the shutout, one for all the big saves, but minus-one for being easily tricked in the shootout; +4
Joel Lundqvist: two for being healthy and one for reminding us all why we need him; +3
Mike Ribeiro: one for the shootout goal; +1
Brad Richards: one for dominating in the faceoff circle; +1

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