Finishing Games: Key to Stars Early Success

Tyler Sequin added to his scoring total for the season (9) with a hat trick against the Boston Bruins. Photo Courtesy: Dominic Ceraldi
Tyler Sequin added to his scoring total for the season (9) with a hat trick against the Boston Bruins. Photo Courtesy: Dominic Ceraldi

By Stephen Elliott

The Dallas Stars continue their “victory green” ways as they complete a four game road stand with a 4-1 win against the Red Wings, Sunday. The victory was their third straight and sixth in their last seven games.

On Monday, the Stars fell to the Toronto Maple Leafs with new coach Mike Babcock. The Stars scored one goal and were shutdown by Maple Leafs’ goalie James Reiner as he saved 43 shots. The Stars had a quick turn around the night after as they faced the Boston Bruins. Games like these in past slipped away from the Stars. However, the Stars won their first latter game of a back-to-back by surpassed the former Star Loui Ericsson, who notched two goals on the night, with a 5-3 victory over the Bruins. The Stars scored three on the power-play as Seguin picked up three of his own against his former team. The Stars scored four unanswered after giving up the first goal of the game in the 2nd period. Radek Faksa’s first NHL goal broke the tie in the third period as it proved to be enough in a 4-1 final. The Stars never looked back after an early two goal lead which featured Valeri NicHushkin’s first goal of the season.

The Stars success is attributed to their ability to win third periods. In their three-game winning  streak, the Stars have outscored the opposition seven goals to one in the third period. The one goal against shines as the surprising success. Kari Lehtonen’s vulnerability after giving up yawning rebounds early in games (keep your eye on that as the season progresses) disappears after the second intermission. The forecheck pressure amplifies forcing turnovers and power-play opportunities.

The Stars are still at the top five in scoring categories, the most impressive being goals for and against difference. Their 0.86 is third in the NHL behind the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadians (third and first in points, respectively). This statistic means these teams are scoring more than their opponents equaling wins.

After the first 15 games, the Dallas Stars put themselves on the NHL radar. They have the second most points in the league while dealing with constant lineup changes due to injuries. The Stars face two Western Conference Playoff teams from last year in their next two out of three at home, Lehts (I know, I know corny) see how they fair against conference competition.

Upcoming Schedule – All Times Central
11/10   vs Toronto    7:30pm
11/12   vs Winnipeg  7:30pm
11/14   vs Minnesota 7:00pm