Jan 20, 2013; St. Paul, MN, USA; Dallas Stars goalie Cristopher Nilstorp (41) makes a save on Minnesota Wild forward Dany Heatley (15) during the first period at the Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Stars Begin 2013 Season: Recap of First 2 Games


The puck has dropped on the 2013 Dallas Stars’ season and the sprint is on for the Stars, just like it is for the other twenty-nine NHL teams.  With having to play 48 games in less than one-hundred days, every game is critical if a team wants to make the postseason.

Jan 20, 2013; St. Paul, MN, USA; Dallas Stars forward Jaromir Jagr (68) during the first period against the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Stars 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Stars are two games into the campaign, and so far they have a 1-1-0 record.  They opened at home with a 4-3 win over the Phoenix Coyotes, and they did it with their major offseason acquisitions all contributing.  The ageless wonder Jaromir Jagr had a hand in all four goals, scoring two goals, including one power play goal, and recorded two assists.  Ray Whitney, who is pretty old himself at 40 years, scored a goal and an assist.  Derek Roy, who the Stars got from Buffalo, recorded an assist.  Loui Eriksson, the Stars leading scorer, also got a goal and an assist.  The Stars were on their game Saturday night.  The Coyotes kept battling and the game went back and forth, but thanks in large part to all of the guys the Stars added during the offseason, they won the game.  They probably wouldn’t have won this game last year with the roster they had.  The power play unit, ranked dead last a year ago looked revived, at least for one game.  The unit went two for four on the power play with Jagr and Whitney scoring the power play goals.  That is a big reason why the Stars got Jagr, to help boost the power play unit.  At least for one game, he and the Dallas Stars succeeded.

Jan 20, 2013; St. Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise (11) celebrates his goal during the first period against the Dallas Stars at the Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

With the shortened season, back-to-back games are going to be a common occurrence in the NHL.  The Dallas Stars had to hit to the road for their second game against the Minnesota Wild. Whether it was a result of having to travel or play two games in two days and the players aren’t used to it so early in the season, the Stars just didn’t have it, losing 1-0 to the Wild.  Zach Parise scored the lone goal of the game, his first as a member of the Wild.  The Stars had twenty-four shots on net, but they only had a few that Wild goaltender Josh Harding really had to work for.  The Stars power play, which was so good in the opening night, couldn’t get anything going: the Dallas Stars went 0 for 4 on the power play.

On the positive side, Stars backup goalie Cristopher Nilstorp, played very well: he stopped 31 of 32 shots.  The Dallas Stars should feel very comfortable having him back up Kari Lehtonen.  With teams having to play so many games in such a short time span, it wouldn’t be surprising to see backup goalies play more games this year, especially on the back end of a back-to-back games, to keep the starting goalies healthy and fresh.

There are four games this week for the Stars, a game every other night.  Every game this week is against a Central Division opponent.  Tonight’s (Tuesday) opponent is the Detroit Red Wings at 6:30 PM CT in Detroit.  The other games this week include:

  • Thursday, January 24 VS Chicago 7:30 PM CT
  • Saturday, January 26 VS St. Louis 7 PM CT
  • Monday, January 28 @ Columbus 6 PM CT

 

These will all be good tests for the Dallas Stars.  Every game is important, but with three of the four teams this week making the playoffs (excluding Columbus), this will be a good way for the Stars to gauge just how close they are to being a playoff team.

 

The season has started, the spring is on.  The Stars have some deals on tickets to get fans back into the arena and cheer on the Stars.  Take advantage of it and go see this team.  Hockey is back, got to love it.  Of course, as well all know how the Stars do this week and the entire season, is truly written in the stars.

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Tags: Dallas Stars Minnesota Wild Phoenix Coyotes