The Dallas Stars hosted central division rivals the Minnesota Wild for the 2nd time this season. It was also ‘Retro Night’ in Dallas original 1993-94 jerseys were worn during warm-ups and the AAC created a retro scoreboard and video screen to take us back to when it all began. Stars alumni Dave Gagner, Russ Courtnall, Paul Cavallini and Craig Ludwig also took part in a ceremonial puck drop to kick things off and Renuinion Arena announcer Bill Oellermann took to the mic once more to announce the calls during the game. It was set to be a special night from the get go.
The 1st period was scoreless with both teams playing a defensive and tight game, Lehtonen & Stalock both faced few shots in the first but came up big when needed. In the 2nd Zucker high sticks Kari in the face pulling his mask off awarding the Stars the first power play of the night Klingberg had a good opportunity straight of the face off followed up by Seguin who receives a pass from Benn from behind the net for a slapper that was going five hole, but was denied by Stalock. The second power play unit then came out for the Stars and with some traffic in front of the net Klingberg gets a shot away from the point that Janmark deflects for his 15th of the season to give the Stars a 1-0 lead on the power play.
After the power play the Stars keep the pressure on, Johns steps up in neutral ice, creates a turn over and starts a 2 on 1 for himself and Faksa, Johns unleashes a slapper from the circle that beets Stalock short side giving the Stars a 2-0 lead. The Stars now looking by far the better team with 74% of face offs going in the Stars favor and the shots evened up.
The Wild getting frustrated with the big push from Dallas end up with Suter taking a penalty putting the Stars straight back on the power play. Once again Klingberg starts things off at the point and Jamie Benn picks the puck up on the edge of the crease and tallies his 21st of the year and putting the stars up by 3 in as many minutes.
The Stars now lead 3 to nothing, they are ahead on the shot board and still dominating in the circles at 77% of faceoffs won and lead in hits too. With the game firmly under Dallas control the top line comes down the ice, Radulov leading the rush pushes down to the goal line, stops, drops the puck back to Benn who slides it over to Seguin who drills it home making it 4-0. This was my favorite play of the night, it looked unstoppable and the chemistry for those three players continues to grow.
With 3 minutes left in the 2nd Spezza fore checks hard and takes the puck from the Wild in front of the net and wrists another past the Minnesota netminder, however, the referee waved off the goal and dishes out a hooking penalty to Jason Spezza putting the Wild on their first power play of the night.
The Wild start the 3rd with Dubnik coming in to replace Stalock.
Six minutes in to the 3rd the Wild send a long and perfect pass from their own zone to the far blue line where Zucker picks up the pass in full stride and wrists one home for the Wild to get them on the board & ending the shutout bid for Kari.
With 11:50 to go in the game Radulov makes a hit in the end zone forcing a turnover where Tyler Seguin then sets Radulov up who walks in and puts another one in the net for the Stars restoring the 4 goal lead.
With just 5 minutes to go the game started to slow with both teams clearly wanting the clock to run down, the game goes end to end with no real scoring chances until the 1000+ game man Dan Hamuis hammers one from the point that finds the back of the net giving the stars a 6-1 lead and Dan his 2nd of the year.
SHOTS: 38 – 31 DAL
PP: MIN 0/2 – DAL 2/2
F/O: 67% DAL
Blocked Shots: 21 – 18 MIN
HITS: 24 – 24
A fantastic game for the Stars who shine on the power play, dominate in 5 on 5 and played a full 60-minute game improving their home record to 18-8-0 and pick up their 30th win of the season.
Next: Home vs NYR (25-22-5)
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