It was as difficult as expected, but the Dallas Stars were able to pull the upset tonight at the United Center.
The Stars were outshot, outplayed and dominated for much of the game against the Chicago Blackhawks, but a quick start with three goals in 25 minutes and a penalty shot in the third period were enough to lift the Stars over the reigning Stanley Cup champions on their route to a 4-3 win on the road.
Credit needs to be given where it’s due and this win wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for a stellar performance by Kari Lehtonen. The Finnish goaltender stopped 50 shots against one of the NHL’s most powerful offenses and while the defense did its job, Lehtonen kept his team late in the game despite suffering three goals in the second period that could’ve swung the momentum of the game.
There were some positives on the offensive side of the puck as well. Antoine Roussel continues to produce and rookies Alex Chiasson and Valeri Nichushkin both found the back of the net in the first period. Despite the fact that the Stars only managed to put 18 shots against Corey Crawford, they were very opportunistic to take advantage of their chances.
The Stars were even prolific in the power play, an area that has been their Achilles heel this season. They scored one of their three chances and they will need to keep producing in those situations if they want to maintain themselves into close games like the one held today.
It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t pretty, but the goal was to get the win and the Stars did it. Considering they got it without Tyler Seguin and Stephane Robidas, tonight’s performance should give the team a huge boost of confidence towards the next weeks of the season.