Game Review – 3/12/09 (DAL vs CAR)

by Chelsea

Game:

The Carolina Hurricanes (and ex-Star Jussi Jokinen) were coming into Dallas on what could have been a record-breaking night. The Stars, in their loss to Montreal, tied the franchise record from 1970 for most losses in a row on home ice. A loss to the ‘Canes would have set a new record. It also would have been the first time that the Hurricane franchise managed a win in Dallas since they moved to Carolina.

All that considered, the Mo-Show picked a good night to take their previous public criticism to heart. Morrison and Modano, coupled with rookie James Neal, came off the bench for the first time looking energetic and determined. As a Stars fan, it was just a good feeling to see Modano play with that kind of fire again. 

As that line started clicking, the top line of Ott-Ribeiro-Eriksson looked almost more relaxed and less frantic, finishing the game with a combined 6 shots on goal and 5 takeaways. It was that line that scored, albeit somewhat accidentally, Dallas’ first goal of the game.

In the first period, Carolina came in and scored a painful shorthanded goal against the Stars (only the second given up all season) when Eric Staal and Rod Brind’Amour broke out 2-on-1 with Ribeiro defending. Ribeiro did his best, but ended up sliding into Turco in an attempt to block a pass, and they scored. 

Ribeiro made up for it at the beginning of the second when he did his best to pass the puck to Loui Eriksson and ended up sending it into Carolina’s net off Tim Gleason’s skate. It was the kind of luck that a team needs to get every now and then, that reminds them that nothing is impossible. As Tippett said, it’s the kind of a luck a team makes for themselves through hard work. Like a reward for sticking with the fight when nobody would have blamed them for letting the season’s adversities take them down, suddenly luck was on their side again.

Suddenly secondary scoring was back. The fourth line of Barch-Bégin-Conner had been applying heavy pressure with an effective combination of speed and tenacity, and they were also rewarded. Barely five minutes after Ribeiro’s goal, Conner put a shot on net that Ward stopped, but lead to a scramble for a loose puck. Bégin fought for the puck, resembling something like a rabid dog, knocking ‘Canes out of his way and popping the puck over the overwhelmed netminder. It was his first goal and point as a Star.

The Modano line, as mentioned above, was firing on all cylinders for the first time since being called out publicly by their head coach. While Neal recently did manage to recall his brain from Montreal, where it stayed after the All-Star break, it was Modano and Morrison that pulled together to score what would become the game-winning goal.

Though Morrison was always pleasant in interviews, his play on the ice did nothing for us except explain why he’d been put on waivers in the first place. However, he displayed an impressive amount of skill to pull off a precision deflection of a blazing Modano shot to put the puck in the net behind Ward for the third time in less than ten minutes. It was also his first goal and point as a Star.

With the Stars holding on to a 3-1 lead, the Hurricanes picked up the pace. Luck stepped in again, as two of their shots rang off the Dallas posts, including one that hit the inside of the post and yet bounced straight out of the net. Turco struggled a bit to keep up with the force that became the Hurricanes, but was aided not only by his posts, but by the ‘Canes themselves as they continually missed the net on golden opportunities.

This carried over into the third period, and Turco began making some sharp saves to hold on to the Dallas lead. It took a pair of penalties from the Stars (d’oh! moments from Fistric and Daley that lead to nearly four minutes of continual PK time for their team) for Carolina to wear them down enough to put another one past Turco.

Ray Whitney’s goal, at 13:45, was the last one they got. Despite the Hurricanes going empty net with a minute to go, the Stars hung in and protected their lead. For the first time in weeks, the Dallas crowd was witness to a win from the home team. 

Notes:

  • The three game stars, in order: Bégin, Ribeiro, Staal
  • Our game stars, in order: Modano, Ribeiro, Bégin
  • Matt Niskanen led the team in shots on goal with 4.
  • Bégin led in hits with 7. Robidas was second with 6.
  • Trevor Daley led in blocked shots with 4.
  • Conclusion: The Stars got points from three separate lines, including the ones they count on the most and one that really stepped up. While the final stretch of the season is going to be hard-fought, if they can keep up that kind of effort and regain some healthy bodies, the playoffs are definitely not out of reach.

SHR +/-:

Nicklas Grossman: two for the assist and one for maybe being the best PK’er for the Stars; +3
Matt Niskanen: two for the assist and one for an all-around strong game; +3
Trevor Daley: one for leading in blocked shots but minus-one for the boneheaded penalty; +0
Mike Modano: two for the assist and one for a great game; +3
Brandon Morrison: three for the goal and one for finally being an impact player; +4
Krys Barch: one for a good game; +1
James Neal: one for leading the team in takeaways; +1
Loui Eriksson: two for the assist and one for that hugely entertaining BaD segment that distracted me mid-review; +3
Landon Wilson: one for a good game; +1
Chris Conner: two for the assist; +2
Mark Fistric: one for a good game; +1
Marty Turco: one for a good game; +1
Steve Bégin: three for the goal and one for perseverance; +4
Mike Ribeiro: three for the goal; +3

Honorary points to Jussi Jokinen and Turco’s post.

Advertisements

One Comment to “Game Review – 3/12/09 (DAL vs CAR)”

  1. Ah! I would have given Loui +5 for the Ticket interview. When he said “meatballs” I thought I was going to die! They said something about a camera man being there so I have hopes of seeing it somewhere soon!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: