Anyone wondering how the Olympic break would affect the Dallas Stars didn’t have to wait long for the answer. It only took two shots for the Stars to go up two goals against the Carolina Hurricanes. Not looking back, the Stars rode that lead to a 4-1 routing of the Canes.
Captain Jamie Benn, riding high on the success of his Olympic play, led his team from the first whistle and never missed a beat. When all was said and done, Benn had a three-point night, including a short-handed goal. Benn has now extended his point streak to nine games with seven goals and nine assists.
This was a game where everything went right for the Stars. The Canes were held to 30 shots and had limited scoring chances, making this game a cakewalk for Dallas goaltender Kari Lehtonen. Dallas was able to move the puck well and set up some dazzling plays in the Canes end. It was a full team effort and an excellent start to the remainder of the season.
If there was any part of the Stars game that will need to be better in the future, it was their power play. Dallas had some good looks when they were up a man, but they were unable to score on a whopping seven power play chances. Of course, the Stars more than made up for that by scoring two of their four goals short-handed.
There was also a small bit of controversy in the middle of the third period. Dallas’ Antoine Roussel, known for his gritty play and willingness to drop the gloves, took an unnecessary collision with Canes’ goalie Anton Khudobin on a breakaway that resulted in a five-minute major penalty. Roussel made no attempt to slow up or avoid contact with the goalie. That sort of reckless play is not only leads to injuries, but it could have easily led to a goal and a shift in the game’s momentum. Fortunately, Khudobin was okay, but it’s the sort of thing that teams remember.