Brought to you by: Big Shucks
We are at the midway point, and the Dallas Stars are starting to hit their stride.
The season’s first month and a half was a challenge for the team, to say the least. But now all seems okay as Ken Hitchcock’s team sits in the top Wild Card spot and very much in the thick of things in the Western Conference.
Now at the bye week, the Stars are on a hot streak. Winners of six of their last eight, the Stars are four points clear of Minnesota, who sit just outside the playoffs, and three points away from the third spot in the division.
Most importantly, they are winning in their conference. Five of their last six wins have been against teams in the Western Conference.
Just before the bye week, they finished up their home-stand.
The score sheet was busy on Friday when the Stars hosted the New Jersey Devils. A first period clean sheet was near, but a late penalty gave the Devils’ a power-play. New Jersey’s Brian Boyle scored with just 14 seconds left in the first frame. Yet, Alexander Radulov continued his highly productive home-stand and evened the score off a New Jersey defensive zone turnover. Brett Richie got back on the score sheet with a clever deflection on the power-play that gave the Stars the lead they would not surrender. Tyler Seguin and Mattias Janmark added much needed tallies while Ben Bishop saved 39 shots. The Stars held off the Devils, 4-3.
In the final game before the bye week, the Stars hosted their longtime rival Edmonton Oilers for the final time this season. It has been a different season for the Oilers. The Connor McDavid led Oilers are third to last in the conference and had lost five of their last six games.
It was more of the same for the Oilers on Saturday in Dallas. Three quick goals by all three members of the first line (Radulov, Benn and Seguin) put the Oilers a hole they would not be able to climb out. The lone tally in the second period by Janmark chased Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot. Leon Draisaitl’s third period goal spoiled Bishop’s shutout and John Klingberg’s sixth goal of the season cement the 5-1 victory.
One game this week as the Colorado Avalanche come into Dallas against the Stars fresh off their six-day layoff.
Upcoming Schedule – All Times Central
1/13 vs Avalanche 8:00 p.m.