After a rough past couple of games, the Dallas Stars finally found a spark in their game, more specifically, their offense. Tied 1-1 with the Anaheim Ducks heading into the third period, the Stars gave up an early goal, giving the Ducks the lead, but then things clicked. Dallas went on to score five straight unanswered goals and won the game by a score of 6-2. Tuesday’s win, the first of a five game home stand for the Stars, proved to show that the team may be heading into a positive turning point.
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) December 14, 2016
The last game in which the Stars scored more than two goals was on Dec. 8 in a 5-2 win over the Nashville Predators. Since then, Dallas has scored a combined three goals in two games; two against the Philadelphia Flyers last Saturday and one against the Chicago Blackhawks Sunday. As for Tuesday night at the American Airlines Center — well things changed, and for the better.
All six of the Stars’ goals came from different players, with 11 players contributing at least a single point. Dan Hamhuis, Radek Faksa, Jamie Benn, Patrick Eaves, Adam Cracknell, and Stephen Johns all had tallies. Johnny Oduya, Tyler Seguin, Jiri Hudler, Jason Spezza, and Jordie Benn all had helpers. Notable performances included the captain Jamie Benn (one goal, two assists), Jordie Benn (two assists) and Tyler Seguin (two assists).
— Shayne Pasquino (@shaynepasquino) December 14, 2016
The offensive effort was there Tuesday, as the Stars were constantly in Anaheim’s zone. The Stars accounted for 27 shots on goal — their most since a 5-2 win against Nashville. The Stars’ top contributors in Seguin, Benn, and Eaves all performed well and lead the way. One of the better parts of the win, however, was the fact that points came from all over the roster, from first line players to third and fourth. If Dallas wants to make the most of the five-game home stand and get back on track, that effort needs to stay consistent.
“I thought it was a good sign for our team to be so resilient to come back in the third,” Dan Hamhuis said after the game, according to Mark Stepneski of Stars Inside Edge. “It’s a process. We just want to keep doing the right things over and over. It’s hard to score pretty goals in this league now. It’s a matter of percentages and being in their end more and funneling pucks to the net.”
Jiri Hudler Gets His First Point as a Star
Jiri Hudler, who signed with the Stars this summer, had missed all but four games so far this season with a mysterious illness. Hudler was deactivated off the injured reserve list on Dec. 9 and finally got back in the lineup on Sunday in Chicago. However, he was held pointless. During Tuesday’s game, Patrick Eaves scored at 10:51 of the third period to extend the Stars’ lead to 4-2. Hudler had the lone assist — giving him his first point in a Stars uniform. Registering his first one will be a a great moral booster for Hudler and should serve as a great stepping stone to even more tallies on the score sheet. Hudler is looking to prove his worth to the Stars in order to be re-signed, so there’s no better way to do it than to rack up points.
Jiri Hudler with an assist on the Eaves goal, his first point as a Dallas Star.
— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) December 14, 2016
Stars Need to Stay Hot
Before Tuesday’s blowout win, the Stars had dropped six of their last eight games. They were inconsistent in everything from special teams to goaltending to scoring. They needed a spark to mark a turnaround and the 6-2 win can very well be that spark. Thursday marks the second game of the home stand for Dallas, where they will face off against the New York Rangers, whom have established themselves as one of the top competitors in the National Hockey League this season. It will be a battle for sure, and the Stars will need to bring it on offense. The Rangers average 3.50 goals per game, compared to the Stars 2.50.
The Rangers are coming off a 2-1 loss at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks and will be looking to get back in the win column. If the Stars are looking to do the same, Benn and Seguin will have to be their usual scoring selves, as well as the rest of the team. Count on guys like Eaves, Klingberg, and rookie Devin Shore (who has had three points in his last five games played) to also help out.