Tuesday night the Dallas Stars captured their first road win of the year against the Montreal Canadiens. The Stars are 1-1 through the first two games in their six game road trip. After falling short 4-2 in the motor city the team stepped up and beat the Habs 4-1.
A Game of Emotion
Tuesday’s contest at Bell Centre was more than your average hockey game. It featured a number of storylines to watch as Jason Spezza reached a milestone playing in his 1,000th career NHL game. He becomes only the 16th active player to do so and the 326th player in NHL history to accomplish the feat.
Alexander Radulov returned to the place he called home during the 2016-2017 season. During the game, he was showered with boos from the Canadiens fanbase. In addition, head coach Jim Montgomery returns to the town he grew up in, coaching against the team he grew up watching.
Lastly, we had the fourth edition of the Benn Bowl as Stars Captain Jamie Benn got to go against his brother Jordie Benn who is a defenseman for Montreal. The two were on the same team in Dallas for numerous years until the Stars traded Jordie to the Habs late 2016-17 season.
The Finnish Defenseman
The players on the Stars blueline have now accounted for 10 of the teams 34 goals on the year. Against the Canadiens, a pair of Fins scored the first two goals in the game as Esa Lindell picked up his first of the year and coveted rookie Miro Heiskanen picked up his second of the year on a wicked wrister from the slot. It is never a bad thing to have your defense provide help in the goal scoring department especially with the Stars being known to have a lack of depth scoring.
Devin Shore recorded his first ever three point game after picking up his 2nd goal of the year and adding two helpers to go along with it. Shore got the offense started for the Stars this year when he was the guy who scored the Stars first goal of the year against the Arizona Coyotes. He now has points in 4 of 5 games and in those five games he has seven points. Shore has recorded 30 point seasons in back to back years with the Dallas Stars and so far he is on pace to pass that mark. The former 2nd round pick looks like he is starting to find his stride early in his 4th season.
Stars special teams stepped up big in this game especially early in the game. The Stars were 4-for-4 on the penalty kill and Radek Faksa managed to pick up the Stars 3rd goal while being short-handed. The power play was only 1-for-6 but it felt like they converted twice even though the penalty expired a few ticks before Miro Heiskanen netted the 2nd goal of the game. The Stars power play and penalty kill both sit in the top 7 in the NHL and a successful special teams makes for a successful team overall.
The Stars next game will take place on Thursday when they travel to Scotiabank Arena where they will face the 8-4 Toronto Maple Leafs who are one of the top 5 offenses in the NHL. The last meeting between the Stars and Leafs was October 9th when the Leafs beat the Stars 7-4 at American Airlines Center.
The goal for the six game road trip was to go 3-3 and the Stars are currently on pace to do just that. With some tougher offenses coming up in the next few days the depth scoring is going to need to continue in addition to the big four trying to find their way back on the score sheet.
Cover photo credit: NHL.com Chris Bugajsky covers the Dallas Stars for Full Press Coverage. Follow Chris on twitter @CBugajsky14.