Game Review – 2/13/09 (DAL vs VAN)

by Chelsea

Game:

For the third time in the last five games, the Stars played hard and still gave up the first goal. For the second time in those games, they picked themselves up and battled on to pull out the win.

For the fourth time in the six February games, the other team would only manage to get one goal by Turco before he locked it down. If he’s tired, it isn’t showing.

Unfortunately, it was also the second time in as many games that the Stars offense struggled. With the top players coming off up up to 8-game point streaks, nothing was going in. After getting shut out in their last game, it took the Stars half-way through the second period to finally get a goal. The posts were not cooperating, rejecting at least a couple of Jere Lehtinen’s shots. Both Modano and Neal missed open nets.

In fact, 1/3 of the points they picked up in assists and goals came from Matt Niskanen and Marty Turco. Not exactly known for their offensive capability. Meanwhile, points leaders like Brad Richards and Mike Ribeiro were held off the board entirely. 

Though, I attribute that to the fact that it was unofficially Swedes Night in Dallas. There were nine Swedish players between the two teams, and they were the ones that produced the most. Loui Eriksson lead them all with a goal and an assist for the night, including his set-up of fellow Swede Joel Lundqvist, who scored his first of the season. Meanwhile, Vancouver’s Swedes combined for 9 shots on goal and 5 hits. 

Speaking of hits, the Stars outhit the Canucks 45-34. I don’t keep track, but that’s got to be one of the highest hit totals for Dallas all season. Five players (Ribeiro, Lundqvist, Sutherby, Neal, Barch) had at least five hits. Ribeiro’s check on someone (Ohlund?) at the end of the first definitely should have been put on the highlight reel.

In the end, though, it really came down to the goaltending. 

LaBarbera was excellent again, filling in for Roberto Luongo. Luckily for us, though, Turco was one goal better. It’s very nice to be able to say again that Turco stole a game for us. With the kind of pressure that Vancouver was applying, it’s clear that we would have lost that game had it not been for his netminding. When he’s on his game, he’s practically unstoppable. However… when he lets in the third shot that the opposition takes, there’s still that little catch, and you can’t help but wonder if he’s suddenly back to being that Turco again. 

It was a good win though. Despite the struggles offensively, the team stayed together and earned their two points. Turco and Eriksson were game-winners in every sense of the word.

Sidenote: Tobias Stephan played his third game with his (hopefully) temporary AHL team, stopping 21 of 22 shots to help his team to a 4-1 win. He’s now 3-0-0 since being sent down, and was named second star of the game. 

SHR +/-:

Stephane Robidas: minus-one for his penalty trifecta; -1
Matt Niskanen: two for the assist and one for an all-around good game; +3
Mike Modano: two for the assist and one for being the only center that won most their faceoffs; +3
Krys Barch: one for delivering five hits; +1
James Neal: one for effort, one for delivering six hits, but minus-one for being able to only hit the post now and never the net; +1
Brian Sutherby: two for delivering a team-high seven hits; +2
Loui Eriksson: three for the goal and two for the assist; +5
Steve Ott: one for delivering five hits; +1
Tobias Stephan: two for his awesomeness in the AHL; +2
Marty Turco: three for the good goaltending, two for the assist, and one for stealing the win; +6
Joel Lundqvist: three for the goal, one for finally getting it, and two for the look he gave Ric when he brought up how long it’d been in the postgame show; +6
Mike Ribeiro: one for delivering five hits but minus-one for losing so many faceoffs; +0
Brad Richards: minus-one for being absolutely awful at taking faceoffs; -1
Fabian Brunnstrom: one because we’re still so happy that he’s back to playing again; +1

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