Coming off of a close loss against Patrick Roy’s Colorado Avalanche last Friday, Lindy Ruff and the Stars made their way to Ottawa to take on the Ottawa Senators looking for a win, which they found at the end of T a shootout, thanks to their faithful captain Jamie Benn.
The game was full of several tense and exciting moments, some of which include 18 year old rookie Valeri Nichushkin’s first NHL goal, Ottawa goaltender Craig Anderson sustaining an injury in OT after Nichushkin tripped and fell on him, resulting in Anderson being wheeled off the ice on a stretcher, and the suspense filled shootout which resulted in the Stars getting the 4-3 victory on the road.
There were several first period penalties, none of which resulted in either team scoring on the powerplay. The first penalty was about six minutes into the period and was given to Ottawa’s Patrick Wiercoich for holding. About a minute later the Senators were back at even strength as Dallas rookie Alex Chiasson picked up two minute for high sticking. Another Ottawa penalty came halfway through the period as Patrick Wiercoich was once again sent to the sin bin, this time for hooking. It wasn’t until the last few minutes of play in the first that the first goal came as Ray Whitney as he sent the puck over the shoulder of Craig Anderson and into the back of the net, assisted by Tyler Seguin and Alex Chiasson. That goal was the last of the period, ending the first with the Stars leading the game 1-0.
The game resumed after a great first period of play with the Stars in the lead and the Senators looking to close the deficit. That deficit that the Sens were looking to close was only made larger as 18 year old rookie forward Valeri Nichushkin scored a beautiful goal, sending the puck into the upper left corner of the goal and giving the Stars a 2-0 lead. Nichushkin’s first NHL goal was assisted by Brenden Dillon and Cody Eakin. The Stars found themselves on the powerplay once again as Ottawa right winger Chris Neil got a four minute double minor for high sticking. Despite having the upper hand for four minutes, the Dallas Stars were unable to generate a powerplay goal. The Senators picked up a goal on behalf of Erik Karlsson, assisted by Bobby Ryan and Kyle Turris. Alex Chiasson was sent away for two minutes on a hooking penalty, which the Stars were able to fight off, but it was Alex Goligoski’s roughing penalty a little later that they were not so lucky as Jason Spezza got a shot past Kari Lehtonen with the help of Kyle Turris and Erik Karlsson, evening up the game to end the second period at 2-2.
The Stars came into the third period looking to get the upper hand on the Senators and that’s exactly what they did early on in the period when their fighting frenchman Antoine Roussel scored an unassisted goal when Ottawa defenseman Mark Borowiecki accidentally knocked the puck into his own goal. Luckily for the Senators, Bobby Ryan was able to score for his team with only nine seconds left in the period, being assisted by Milan Michalek and captain Jason Spezza. The period came to a 3-3 end shortly after that goal, leading into overtime.
Overtime was a fight between both teams, each trying to get the upper hand and score a game winning goal, but neither was successful. The most notable part of the overtime was when Ottawa goaltender Craig Anderson sustained what appeared to be a pretty serious injury as Dallas’ Valeri Nichushkin tripped and fell on Anderson, cranking his neck back into an awkward position and led to Anderson being taken off of the ice on a stretcher. OT came to a scoreless end, taking the game into the always suspenseful shootout.
First up in the shootout was Ottawa’s Milan Michalek, who was unsuccessful at scoring against Kari Lehtonen. Next up was Tyler Seguin for Dallas, whose shot was close, but bounced off of the shoulder of Anderson’s backup Robin Lehner. Ottawa sent out their captain Jason Spezza next, who had already picked up two points with a second period goal and an assist, but he proved to be no match for Kari Lehtonen, who knocked the shot away with his glove. The Stars also sent their captain out as the next shooter, Jamie Benn, who started out his shot by going to the far right as usual and swooping in to take the shot. This proved to be successful as he sent the puck flying past Lehner and putting the Stars in the lead. Bobby Ryan was the last hope for the Senators, but was once again no match for Lehtonen, who remained solid and once again knocking the puck away, determining the 4-3 win for his team.
Both teams played very well in this game, making it a very great game to watch. Despite getting the win, the Stars defense was still lacking and hasn’t seemed to improve much. The defense has been the weakest point for the Stars this season and hasn’t shown too many signs of improving. The offense played very well and pulled off some great goals, most notably Valeri Nichushkin’s first NHL goal, something Stars fans have been looking forward to and anticipating all season. Overall the Stars played well and have many fans looking forward to their next few games.
A new star is rising in Dallas.
As far as Craig Anderson’s condition goes, it is good to hear that he was not taken to the hospital and is currently mobile after taking a kneed to the head from Nichushkin’s fall.
You can catch the Stars as they take on Tyler Seguin’s former team, the Boston Bruins this Tuesday at 6:00 pm (CT) on FSW+ and NESN.