Sorry, guys, I’ve been real lazy about game recaps. At first, it was laziness. And then, I injured my knee after Thursday night’s game, and was still in pretty intense pain after Friday night’s game. Game recaps were not first on my list of things to do. Anyway, now that I’m feeling slightly better, I figure I’ll write up a short recap before bed.
On Tuesday, the Stars faced the Oilers, only eight days after defeating the team in a shootout, 5-4, at home. As is often happening with the Oilers this season, the game ended in another shootout, once again going the Stars way. Marty Turco and Dwayne Roloson both played extremely well (33 saves for Marty, and 35 for Roloson). Both teams had some quality scoring chances, but the goaltenders had answers for all of them. Both goals (Dustin Penner on an Oilers power play, and Jeff Halpern from a beautiful pass by Modano) were scored in the first period, and the second periods remained scoreless, as did overtime.
I was watching with a non-hockey-loving friend, and when shootout started, I made a comment about how it was time for Russian to get his first shootout goal of the season. It’s like I’m psychic or something, because it totally happened. Three Stars of the game were as follows:
1. Marty Turco
2. Dwayne Roloson
3. Sergei Zubov
Next up, the Stars faced the Canucks, for the first time since their first round playoff exit last season. It didn’t exactly go the way Stars fans were hoping. I know I was hoping for some hardcore retribution, some massive 8-2 win. Yeah, that didn’t happen.
It was still an entertaining game, however. Marty Turco and Roberto Luongo are definitely an awesome pair of goaltenders to watch (and we all know how I feel about goalies). There were no goals in the first period, and only one in the second, from Canucks rookie Mason Raymond. The third period was far more active, with two goals from Daniel Sedin (I hate those crazy Swedish twins), one from Jussi Jokinen, and another from Antti Miettinen. A very well-played game, though, from both sides. Hopefully not too many Stars fans pressed the panic button. Random interesting fact: that was only the third game this season where the Stars did not score in the first period. Three Stars for this one were:
1. Daniel Sedin
2. Roberto Luongo
3. Brenden Morrow
To wrap up this West Coast road trip, the Stars faced my second favorite team, the Calgary Flames. It was goalie Mike Smith’s first start in six games, and he hadn’t won a game since November 25, that insane game against the Rangers. He didn’t disappoint (although we joked about putting a shock collar on him or something, to get him to get up off the ice faster), making 22 of 24 saves. Mike Ribeiro stepped it up a notch (if that’s possible to think, considering how well he’s been playing this season), scoring the first goal of the game, and the game winner just one minute into overtime. Trevor Daley played better than I’ve seen him play any game this season – he came up with a big save in the third, when Smith was down on one side of the crease, and Alex Tanguay shot in the rebound. Daley dropped down and made the save. Good job, Trevor. Have a cookie.
Antti Miettinen got a hooking call with less than two minutes left in regulation, forcing the Stars to bring out their penalty kill for the final minutes of the game and the beginning of overtime. Thankfully, their 4th ranked penalty kill (or something like that) thrived, and as soon as Miettinen came back on the ice, the Stars went on the offense, allowing Ribeiro to slip one past Kiprusoff. Aww, Kipper. Have a cookie. I still love you. Random note: I was considering purchasing a Kiprusoff jersey, until I realized that I would never really get the chance to wear it. If someone else were to buy me one, though, I wouldn’t complain. Hope you’re reading this, Dad.
Three Stars for this were the wackest I’ve ever seen:
1. Alex Tanguay
2. Niklas Hagman
3. Dion Phaneuf
Um, okay. While I like Tanguay and Phaneuf well enough, what about Ribeiro, with his two goals (including the game winner)? Or Russian, who clocked almost 27 minutes of ice time and one assist? Whatever.
I’d call this a successful road trip for the Stars. They got 6 points, placing them firmly in the Pacific division lead with 44 points (San Jose follows with 41, having lost 5-2 to Anaheim tonight). The Stars are quite successful on the road this season, at 11-7-2. At home, they’re 9-5-2, which still isn’t horrendous.
Next up, the Stars face the Canadiens, Ribeiro’s old team, coached by former Star (and Brenden Morrow’s father-in-law), Guy Carbonneau. The Untypical Girls will be there (I’ll be there, either with crutches, or stumbling around while leaning on my friends), and if you see any text messages on the Stars shoutout board that wish Chris Conner a happy birthday? They’re probably from us. Scratch that – they’re probably from Jenlo. She’s hell-bent on getting that message up there, after our birthday wishes to Hagman weren’t put up.