Thursday, 2 February 2017

NHL - Stars Round Up - January 19-31, 2016

Stars @ NY Islanders 0-3 - Thursday, January 19, 2017
New York Islanders captain John Tavares scored twice in a 3-0 win against the Dallas Stars at Barclays Center to give Doug Weight his first victory in his debut as coach. Weight, 45, was named coach Tuesday when Jack Capuano was fired with the Islanders in last place in the Eastern Conference. He preached puck management the past two days since taking over, and the Islanders responded by outshooting the Stars 36-23. Thomas Greiss made 23 saves for his second straight shutout, and defenseman Calvin de Haan scored an empty-net goal for the Islanders (18-17-8). Greiss is the first Islanders goaltender to get back-to-back shutouts since Jaroslav Halak on Nov. 8-11, 2015. Greiss, who was making his eighth straight start, made 32 saves in a 4-0 win at the Boston Bruins on Monday. He has two shutouts this season and six in his NHL career. Kari Lehtonen made 33 saves for the Stars (19-20-8) and was a big reason the Islanders finished 0-for-7 on the power play. Tavares scored the first shorthanded goal of his NHL career with 3:06 left in the third period to give the Islanders a 2-0 lead. De Haan scored with four seconds remaining. Tavares scored from the slot 13:31 into the first period to give the Islanders a 1-0 lead. Greiss made 10 saves in the first; his best was against Tyler Seguin at the left post during a Dallas power play. Dallas is 3-12-4 in the game following a victory; the Stars won 7-6 at the New York Rangers on Tuesday. They haven't won back-to-back games since Dec. 27, when they won the second of three straight.

* Tavares' shorthanded goal, his 18th goal of the season, came on a breakaway 16:54 into the third period.
* The Stars entered the game having allowed a League-high 40 power-play goals. ... Weight said Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (upper body) could return to the lineup against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday. ... Tavares had a game-high six shots and finished 14-of-21 (67 percent) on faceoffs. ... Islanders center Casey Cizikas returned to the game after needing stitches on his face after taking a high stick from Jamie Benn 3:56 into the third. ... The Islanders are 0-for-21 on the power play in their past six games.
"It's frustrating; we need to pick up points. We're in a dogfight and there are a lot of teams in that pack with us. We have to win some games, and have to learn how to win consecutive games and find a way to get points." Jason Spezza
Washington Capitals 4-3 OT - Saturday, January 21, 2017
Jay Beagle scored 19 seconds into overtime, and the Washington Capitals extended their point streak to 13 games with a 4-3 win against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center. Beagle won the faceoff to start overtime and then drove hard to the net to finish a pass from Evgeny Kuznetsov. The Stars planned on having Radek Faksa take the overtime faceoff, but he was unavailable because of a lower-body injury. Washington (31-9-6) is 11-0-2 during its streak and won in Dallas for the first time since Oct. 25, 2008. The Capitals scored two power-play goals to tie the game after Dallas led 3-1 in the third period. Washington tied the game 3-3 at 5:26 when T.J. Oshie tipped Matt Niskanen's point shot past Kari Lehtonen. Alex Ovechkin made it 3-2 at 3:18 on a slap shot from the top the right circle. Andre Burakovsky gave Washington a 1-0 lead 2:17 into the first period. Lehtonen made the first save, and the puck sat outside the crease before Stars right wing Brett Ritchie hit the puck right to Burakovsky. The Stars tied the game 1-1 at 6:26 of the first period on a deflection by Adam Cracknell. Jordie Benn took the shot, and the puck bounced out of the net immediately, but a review confirmed the goal. Dallas took a 2-1 lead at 6:47 of the second period when Patrick Eaves scored his Stars-leading 17th goal on a rebound. The Stars pushed their lead to 3-1 at 15:59 of the second when Jamie Benn scored on the power play. The goal was waved off for goalie interference, but the Stars challenged the play and Benn was awarded his 12th.
* Beagle's goal was his 10th of the season.
* Stars forward Jamie Benn broke his nose on a high stick by Dmitry Orlov in the second period and returned in the third period wearing a visor. … Capitals defenseman John Carlson missed his third consecutive game with a lower-body injury.
"Emptied the tank and disappointing loss. It was a heck of a hockey game from the standpoint of physicality, trying to, you know, play in the offensive zone. I think that first power play was just one that was a tough one. It just got through our goaltender and that gave them a little bit of life."
"Faksa had the best (faceoff percentage), but he wasn't available, he had gone back to the dressing room. So we went with [Jason] Spezza and two defensemen in case we lost the draw. And our defense got outmuscled, just straight out outmuscled." Lindy Ruff said.

Wild @ Stars 3-2 SO - Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Chris Stewart scored in the fifth round of the shootout and the Minnesota Wild defeated the Dallas Stars 3-2 at American Airlines Center. Stewart beat Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen with a backhand shot after Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk stopped Jason Spezza to open the fifth round. Dubnyk made 35 saves and Minnesota (31-11-5) extended its road point streak to 12 games. The Wild haven't lost a regulation game on the road since Nov. 29 against the Vancouver Canucks. Dallas (19-20-10) had the best scoring chance in overtime, but Cody Eakin missed the net on a 3-on-0 break with 1:17 remaining. It was the Stars' first shootout of the season. The Wild are 2-2 in shootouts. Jason Pominville scored on a 2-on-1 at 13:35 of the first period to give Minnesota a 1-0 lead.

Pominville picked up a loose puck after Patrick Sharp missed the net and carried it into the zone on a 2-on-1 with Zach Parise before sending a wrist shot over Lehtonen's shoulder. Koivu gave Minnesota a 2-0 lead on the power play at 4:38 of the second period. Koivu beat Lehtonen (31 saves) with a one-timer off a pass from Nino Niederreiter. Tyler Seguin scored his 17th goal of the season at 9:38 of the second period to make it 2-1. Jason Spezza forced a turnover in the Wild zone and Antoine Roussel set up Seguin on a 2-on-1. Patrick Eaves tied the game 2-2 during a 5-on-3 power play with 21 seconds left in the second period. Eaves batted a puck out of midair and past Dubnyk after Jamie Benn's pass had been blocked by Wild defenseman Marco Scandella.

* Koivu's goal in the fourth round tied the shootout and gave Stewart a chance to win it for Minnesota.
* Eaves' goal with 21 seconds left in the second period tied the game and required extreme eye-hand coordination to knock the puck out of mid-air.

Stars Quotes
"Missed opportunities. I thought our overtime was our best of the year. But again, we found a way to give a point away."
"When you're struggling, you've got to put your best foot forward. And try to earn your wins, try to outwork the other team, try to win the small games inside the game. The 1-on-1 battles, the 50/50 battles, backchecking battles, and I thought as the game went I thought we just got better and better." Lindy Ruff said.

Wild Quotes
"Mikko (Koivu) went in there and went in on the same angle, so I thought I'd come in and try it low blocker and beat him. I've been pretty good on shootouts and breakaways lately, so I knew I'd get out there if it got too deep." Stewart said.
"I just turned my head and didn't even want to look, and then I heard the crowd not cheering. I said what the [heck] happened there … there was a 3-on-0 and there's only three men on the ice, you've got to think something bad is coming up." Bruce Boudreau said.
"It's going to happen. Their power play is good and we took a couple penalties and they had a 5-on-3 and got some life and scored. We have that attitude where we know we can win any game whether we're up or down. You look at our track record on the road lately, and it's been pretty good." Pominville said.
"Sometimes that's what you've got to do on the road. It really doesn't matter how you get the win as long as you're in the game. For sure, we need to learn from the things that we did. Things happen. Sometimes you get penalties. Tonight, (the) PK was working for the most part. I thought (in the) third period, we played smart. We didn't give them much. We'll take it. It's never easy to win on the road, so that was a good road game." Mikko Koivu

Buffalo Sabres @ Stars 3-4 - Thursday, January 26, 2017
Patrick Sharp scored two goals, and Kari Lehtonen made 21 saves in relief to help the Dallas Stars to a 4-3 win against the Buffalo Sabres at American Airlines Center. Lehtonen, who replaced Antti Niemi to start the second period, made 16 saves in the third. Lehtonen was told at the end of the first period that he'd be going in after Niemi allowed two goals on five shots, and he said that benefited him after he dealt with dehydration issues at practice earlier this week. Lehtonen made his biggest saves in the third period. At 9:02, he stopped a Rasmus Ristolainen slap shot from the top of the right faceoff circle with his right pad, and defenseman Esa Lindell swatted the rebound out of midair from inside the crease. At 11:06, Lehtonen smothered a Sam Reinhart backhand shot from the left circle between his left arm and body while going down near the goal line. Video review was inconclusive in determining whether the puck crossed the goal line. A video review after time expired determined the puck did not cross the goal line on a play at the Dallas net with 11 seconds remaining.
Approximately half of the Stars were back in the locker room during the review, hoping the game was over. Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin scored for the Stars (20-20-10), who won for the first time in four games. Evander Kane had two goals and an assist for the Sabres (20-19-9), who had their three-game winning streak come to an end. Kane scored on a rush 3:44 into the game when he outskated Dallas defenseman John Klingberg and lifted a wrist shot past Niemi to give Buffalo a 1-0 lead. Kane helped the Sabres take a 2-0 lead on the power play when he set up Matt Moulson's power-play goal at 9:30 of the first. Sharp made it 2-1 when he scored through a Lauri Korpikoski screen of Buffalo goalie Anders Nilsson at 10:59 of the first. Benn tied the game 2-2 42 seconds into the second period when he beat Nilsson between the legs on the power play. The Sabres challenged the goal, claiming it came after the Stars were offside, but video review was inconclusive. Sharp scored his second goal of the game to give Dallas a 3-2 lead at 13:16 of the second on a wrist shot that beat Nilsson to the stick side. Dallas pushed its lead to 4-2 at 15:24 of the period when Buffalo defenseman Cody Franson put the puck into his own net. Seguin was credited with his 18th goal. Kane made it 4-3 when he scored his second goal with 1:05 remaining in the second on a point shot with Brian Gionta screening Lehtonen. It was the last game for each team prior to the 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend.

* Nilsson got a piece of Seguin's shot from close range with his glove while on his stomach, but Franson put the puck into his own net for what proved to be Seguin's second game-winner of the season.
* Kane scored the first of his two unassisted goals when he took the puck end to end, skated past Klingberg in the Dallas zone, and lifted it past Niemi.
* Stars rookie defenseman Julius Honka was in the lineup for the first time since Dec. 8.

"It's nicer than jumping in there cold. You have time to stretch out and get ready, and I was warm now." Lehtonen said.
"I was in the room trying to get good karma going already starting to get undressed. That was wild." Devin Shore said.
"He's starting to look like the old Patrick Sharp. The second shot was a real good effort getting up ice and putting it in the right spot."
"They were hard reviews. Even the offside one, there was no definitive view that says it's offside, onside. … The last one, we finally got a view where it looks like it wasn't a goal. It was -- you can print -- [darn] close." Lindy Ruff said. 

Toronto Maple Leafs @ Stars 3-6 - Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Dallas Stars scored five times in the first period of a 6-3 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at American Airlines Center. Dan Hamhuis, Devin Shore, Brett Ritchie and Tyler Seguin each had a multipoint game, and Dallas (21-20-1) extended its point streak to four games. Kari Lehtonen made 40 saves, including 14 in the third period when Toronto (23-16-9) had a 14-1 shot advantage. Shore scored 2:53 into the first period on a drive to the net. He outskated Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner and tucked a shot around goalie Frederik Andersen's right pad for a 1-0 lead. Radek Faksa scored on the rebound of a Patrick Sharp shot 1:44 later to make it 2-0. Dallas pushed its lead to 3-0 when Lauri Korpikoski scored on a backhand shot at 11:18. Andersen was pulled and replaced by Curtis McElhinney after making five saves on eight shots.

* Shore, who grew up a Maple Leafs fan in Ajax, Ontario, dropped his shoulder and skated around defenseman Jake Gardiner on the backhand before going to his forehand to beat Andersen from in close.
"It felt really good. It was exciting. I grew up watching them, I was definitely excited for this game," Shore said.
"Honka actually made a similar play on his first point this season, just walked the wall, so I was looking for the pass," Ritchie said.

"I thought we came out with a lot of energy, skated well. We played probably the best first period all year."
"I thought Kari [Lehtonen] played very well. Made many timely saves. I thought we got sloppy at times in the second, and he had a couple real good saves to keep it where it's at. And I thought he had some real good saves in the third period again." Lindy Ruff said.
"Just one shift at a time. You know they're going to come hard, and we're trying to defend. It's just tough to play in that situation, but as a goalie it's going one shift at a time and trying to win that shift."
"I wasn't worried the first couple minutes because I thought their guy just pushed me into the net before the puck. But the replays revealed some more stuff. Yeah, it was good because there would have been lots of time left." Lehtonen said.

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