On a night which posed as a huge test to this often struggling Dallas Stars team, the Avalanche brought fast, sustained and positional hockey to the AAC. For the first two periods, the Stars looked downright mismatched. It was the same old song early on as the Avalanche went on a two man advantage and Kari Lehtonen was Kari Lehtonen, bailing the team out.
Midway through the first, the Stars could not hold off the Colorado onslaught as Paul Stastny opened up scoring for the Avalanche. The Stars, being severely out shot in the first period, had trouble keeping up with Colorado's young speed and talent. Late in the second period, the Avalanche would add to their lead with a stoppable goal scored by Gabriel Landeskog. I say stoppable, but all that really means is it's probably the one of the only goals this season which can be categorized as such for Kari. The score could have easily been 4-0 at this point.
The Stars showed up in the third period, displaying chemistry, shots on goal, and clean set ups in the offensive zone. Alex Goligoski netted his second goal in three games as he stunned one past Varlamov. Seguin and Peverly did the grunt work to set that one up. Late in the third, the Stars would tie it up from yet another top line set-up with Seguin getting the goal (Peverly, Benn). Dallas would not be able to hang on until the shootout as Stastny would pull a very nifty move late in overtime to rip one past Kari.
-Kari Lehtonen yet again stood on his head to keep the Stars in this one. He actually might have a save of the year candidate from this game. See video at bottom of the page.
-Tyler Seguin had one of his best games as a Dallas Star. Not only did he tally two points and essentially lead the Stars into overtime, but he could have been one of the Stars' best defenseman tonight as well. Seguin was playing very well away from the puck.
-The Stars' breakout is atrocious. There seems to be no plan...wingers will post up in the neutral zone and defensemen will have nobody to pass it to, then forwards will realize to swing low and then a terrible pass is made; it's like they have no set break out. Do they? Maybe, but they are not executing, at all.
-Lindy Ruff is shuffling lines, big time. It may not look like it with the initial morning skate report on game days, but Erik Cole went from top line to fourth in a jiffy last night. We saw Whitney on the top line, as well as Peverly. Nichushkin (#NichushkinWatch) was moved around quite a bit as well. In-game shuffling is something to pay attention to. not just the 20 you see before the game.
-It was unfortunate to not steal a win, but the Stars were lucky to get a point in this one. These OTL's could be huge down the stretch. So would wins though.
-Arena attendance was disappointing, especially for a Friday night against the Avalanche. Home ice advantage is more than just face-off advantage or line change matchup advantage. I know it takes a product to draw a crowd, but there could not have been over 14,000 people in the AAC last night (15,223 was official attendance).
-All in all, thanks to all who joined Stars Insider at our first of two group games this season (who knows, maybe more)! It was a pleasure meeting/hanging out with all of you.
-Join us Tuesday night as we will be having an unofficial watch party for Stars vs. Bruins at Rugby House Pub in Plano. There will be ticket giveaways for both the Dallas Stars and the Allen Americans!
Here's some Kari Lehtonen Larceny: