The Dallas Stars 17-4-0 mark (24 points) is the best in the NHL and the best 21-game start in team history.
The Stars finished their week with a win at home against the Sabres, Saturday. The win was their 5th straight and second in less than a week against Buffalo.
Sandwiched in between was a road victory against Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals. The win was the Stars 13th in 14 games against the Eastern Conference.
The week began with a 3-1 victory against the Sabres on Tuesday. Niemi saved 24 and posted his 7th win of the season. The Stars spent the latter half of the 3rd period on the penalty killed, but separated themselves on a Tyler Sequin empty net goal.
Lehtonen got the nod in the Capitals game, Thursday. This was the first major physical test against the Stars this year. Washington hit the Stars 19 times that forced turnovers. The scoring went back and forth until Spezza broke the 2-2 tie late in the 3rd. Lehtonen stopped 33 and earned his 9th win in 10 games.
Niemi and the Stars shutout the Sabres, Saturday, as Antoine Roussel ‘s first period goal proved to be enough. The game was moving along slowly when Jamie Olesksiak pummeled Nicolas Deslauriers in a head-trauma filled fight. Dallas’ power play struggled early but finished with a goal by Jamie Benn in the 3rd period.
The Stars face another Eastern Conference opponent before matching up against Central Division opponents. Dallas has a small sample size against the conference, so these next inner-division games will be good tests.
As mentioned above, Patrick Eaves returned to action against the Sabres, Tuesday for the first time since injuring his knee in the Oilers game back in mid-October. Patrick Eaves fill in with the Spezza line and Lindy Ruff says he balances their lines.
“He’s a shooter, so he should fit well with Spezz,” Ruff said. “He plays a two-way game, he plays the game the right way, he knows where to be, and he is a camping at the bit to get back in there.”
Jason Demers didn’t complete the second game against the Sabres as he left the with a lower-body injury. The status of his injury is still up in the air.
Upcoming Schedule – All Times Central
11/24 vs Senators 7:30pm
11/27 vs Canucks 7:30pm
11/28 @ Wild 7:00pm