First off, Happy Thanksgiving to those in America! What a great way to start the holidays, with a 4-3 win against the Wild. We owe a lot of thanks to Lady Luck, who helped the Stars get their first win in a while. Going into last night’s game, the Starss were 0 for 12 on the power play over their last 2 games, and would be going up against the leagues #1 penalty kill. It was going to be a tough one, but the Stars always managed to play well against the Wild.
The start of the first period was a lot of back and forth between the Stars and the Wild, both teams fighting for puck posession and being the first team to force momentum in their own direction. James Neal got the scoring started with his first road goal of his career just under 9 minutes into the first period. Then, just a minute later Belanger of the Wild tied it up with a wrister from Marty’s left. Landon Wilson took a penalty jut over 11 minutes into the game, and with just 20 seconds the Wild got a 2-1 lead. Miettinen passed the puck across to Koivu, Marty braces to stop a shot from Koivu and seeing this Koivu passes to Nolan who gets the puck into a practically empty net.
The Wild went into the second period with the same momentum, making it 3-1 when Brunette gets his 7th of the season almost immediately off the draw. Lady luck then stepped in just over 6 minutes into the second. Koivu shot the puck towards the net and everyone thought it had gone in; the goal horn sounded and the ref is crazily pointing. They go to review, only to find the puck bounced between the posts and out and never crossed the line. Talk about something the Stars needed. The Stars used that call to try to force momentum in their directions, working hard to win puck battles and actually playing as a team while in front of Turco. It finally paid off, with just a little over 2 minutes left Neal gets a breakaway and gets one past Backstrom while flying over him to put the Stars just one goal behind.
Going into the third, Lady Luck made a second appearance. Just under 4 minutes in, Marty stumbled while getting his balance after making some saves and used the net to set himself right, unknowingly knocking it off. He comes out to stop a shot, and Koivu shoots the puck into what appears to be an empty net, only to have his second no goal of the night called. Could he be getting Morrow syndrome? Who knows. Then 8 minutes in, Brad Richards gets one in the net to tie it at 3. Then, with exactly 7 minutes remaining, Loui Eriksson deflects a shot from Stephane Robidas past Backstrom to give the Stars their second lead of the game. We hung together and played like we actually trusted each other again, and was able to finally get another win.
The three Stars of the game were
- James Neal
- Eric Belanger
- Brent Burns
I have to wonder why Loui Eriksson was not on this list, he did have a goal and 2 assists.