Avalanche rally, beat Stars in shootout 5-4

February, 27, 2015
Feb 27

DALLAS -- Ryan O'Reilly scored on the first shot of a shootout, and it was enough for the Colorado Avalanche to beat the Dallas Stars 5-4 on Friday night.

Colorado's Semyon Varlamov stopped all three Stars shots in the shootout after O'Reilly lifted the puck over Dallas' Kari Lehtonen and in off the crossbar.

Nate Guenin had a career-high three points with a goal and two assists for the Avalanche. They rallied from deficits of 3-1 and 4-3 in the third period.

Cody Eakin had two goals and an assist, but the Stars lost their fifth straight game (0-3-2) They also were 0-3-2 against Colorado this season.

For Colorado, Tyson Barrie also had a goal and two assists. Gabriel Landeskog had one of each, Matt Duchene assisted twice and Jarome Iginla scored a goal.

Jason Spezza and Antoine Roussel also scored for Dallas.

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Lowry, Hutchinson lead Jets in 4-2 win over Stars

February, 24, 2015
Feb 24

WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Adam Lowry put in his own rebound to break a second-period tie as the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Dallas Stars 4-2 on Tuesday night.

Bryan Little, Dustin Byfuglien and Michael Frolik, with an empty-netter, also scored for Winnipeg. Michael Hutchinson made 26 saves for Winnipeg and has points in his last six starts (4-0-2).

Erik Cole and Jason Demers supplied the offense for Dallas, winless in its past four games and slipping out of the playoff picture in the Western Conference.

Jhonas Enroth stopped 21 shots for Dallas. He got the start after giving up six third-period goals in the Stars' 6-2 loss to Minnesota last Sunday.

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Analytics still a hard sell in the NHL

February, 23, 2015
Feb 23

Dallas Eakins Jonathan Kozub/NHLI/Getty Images"I can't wrap my head around why the analytics guys hate the old-school guys and the old-school guys hate the analytics," says former Oilers coach Dallas Eakins, an analytics proponent.

When the Edmonton Oilers hired Dallas Eakins in June 2013 to kick-start their youth movement, he was seen as the archetype for the new breed of NHL coach. Eakins, 46, was a former NHL player, a successful American Hockey League head coach and well-versed in the world of advanced stats.

In fact, Eakins considers himself an analytics proponent. Last summer, Eakins championed the hiring of prominent analytics blogger and vocal Oilers critic Tyler Dellow for a role in hockey operations. With Dellow's input, Eakins tweaked the way the Oilers played in order to improve their Corsi, an advanced stat that measures possession. Edmonton saw a significant improvement in Corsi percentage under Eakins from last season to this season.

The wins column was another story. After the Oilers lost 15 of 16 games, Eakins was fired in December, just 18 months after he was hired. In one of his first interviews since leaving Edmonton, Eakins spoke with ESPN The Magazine's Craig Custance about the challenge of selling analytics in a sport that remains resistant to change.

Custance: What's the hardest part about selling analytics in hockey?

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ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Zach Parise scored twice and the Minnesota Wild set a team record with six goals in the third period of a 6-2 victory over the Dallas Stars on Sunday night.

The Wild are an NHL-best 11-1-1 since the All-Star break, outscoring the opposition 40-18 during that stretch to get into playoff position for the first time since Nov. 24.

Mikko Koivu, Stephane Veilleux, Matt Dumba and Mikael Granlund also had goals for the Wild during the highest-scoring period in franchise history.

Making his 17th straight start since being acquired from Arizona in mid-January, Devan Dubnyk finished with 18 saves to improve to 13-2-1 with Minnesota.

Jason Spezza scored twice for Dallas, which is 0-2-1 in its last three.

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DALLAS -- Niklas Kronwall scored 36 seconds into overtime and the Detroit Red Wings defeated the Dallas Stars 7-6 on Saturday night after overcoming a pair of two-goal deficits in a wild third period.

Trevor Daley, Cody Eakin and Erik Cole scored in a 3-minute span of the second to give Dallas a 4-2 lead.

But then Jakub Kindl had two goals 45 seconds apart in the third to tie it 4-all in his return to the Red Wings.

Curtis McKenzie and Shawn Horcoff gave the Stars a 6-4 advantage before Justin Abdelkader's power-play goal and Pavel Datsyuk's second of the game tied the score again.

Horcoff's goal chased Jimmy Howard from the game after he gave up a season-high six goals while making 26 saves. Jonas Gustavsson stopped two shots for the Red Wings.

Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen had 29 saves but allowed a season-high seven goals.

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Sharks beat Stars 5-2 on Desjardins' 2 goals

February, 19, 2015
Feb 19

DALLAS -- Andrew Desjardins scored two second-period goals and the San Jose Sharks held off the Dallas Stars 5-2 Thursday night.

Antti Niemi made 37 saves for the Sharks, who had lost two straight. The victory vaulted them into a tie for seventh place in the Western Conference with Calgary, tied for third in the Pacific Division.

The Stars had won four of their previous five games. They fell six points behind Calgary and San Jose in the race for the final wild-card berth.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic scored the Sharks' first goal. Patrick Marleau and Tommy Wingels scored into an empty net after Dallas cut a 3-0 deficit to 3-2 on goals by Trevor Daley and Erik Cole.

Tomas Hertl and Joe Pavelski had two assists for San Jose, and Jamie Benn had two for the Stars.

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Elevated Plays Of The Week

February, 19, 2015
Feb 19


Check out some of the best goals, hits and saves from this week in the NHL, including Patrick Kane's shootout goal.

ST. LOUIS -- Jamie Benn had his first career hat trick and Kari Lehtonen was stingy in net again in the Dallas Stars' 4-1 rout of the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night.

Blues coach Ken Hitchcock yanked goalie Brian Elliott in favor of Jake Allen after the Stars took a 3-0 lead before the midway mark of the first period, the last two goals coming in a 20-second span.

Jason Spezza had three assists for the Stars, who have won four of five and triumphed on coach Lindy Ruff's 55th birthday. Dallas entered 11th in the Western Conference with 60 points, 18 behind St. Louis.

Patrik Berglund spoiled Lehtonen's bid for a second straight shutout with 7:30 remaining. Lehtonen's scoreless streak was 1:45:48.

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Patrice BergeronGreg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Black and gold are likely the only NHL colors you'll ever see Patrice Bergeron wear.

I have been employed by ESPN for the past 18 years. In terms of a "big league" television career, ESPN has been my only employer after my eight years in the poverty/pasta every night/Dodge Neon minor TV leagues.

So, like Stevie Y, Mario, and Alex and Sid and Anze so far, I've spent my entire career with one franchise. Will I stay with this team for the rest of my career? It is rare, and like with athletes, it probably won't be my call. I'm a sentimental and loyal person to a fault, though, so it would probably be my preference.

I feel the ultimate sign of respect and love is not running away from things. Stay until they tell you to go. This ultimate "decision" to probably stay is made easier because my ESPN team is so successful, impactful and filled with great people.

Plus, our state-of-the-art, kick-butt cafeteria is opening soon and I'm hoping for a chicken parm vending machine and nightly bowls of complimentary Thin Mints.

Anything can happen, though. I mean, did Boston Bruins fans ever think Bobby Orr and Ray Bourque wouldn't finish their careers with the B's? Patrick Roy traded?!?! Martin Brodeur finishing his career with the St. Louis Blues? You just never know. I mean, Wayne Gretzky played on four teams.

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Dmitry Kulikov suspended 4 games

February, 16, 2015
Feb 16

NEW YORK -- The NHL has suspended Florida Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov four games for clipping Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin.

The incident occurred at 13:05 of the third period of the Stars' 2-0 win over Florida on Friday. Kulikov went low and hit Seguin on his right knee just after the Dallas forward entered the offensive zone.

Kulikov was assessed a major penalty for clipping and a game misconduct.

The Stars announced that the team's leading scorer will miss 3 to 6 weeks with a right knee injury.

Kulikov will forfeit more than $93,000 in salary.

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