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CALIFORNIA LOVE…

Posted By Travis Currie On Mar 8 2011 @ 1:00 pm In Dallas Stars | No Comments

…And some Arizona love too.

Staring down the barrel of a massive four game road trip where all four games were against not only division rivals but teams battling it out with the Stars for the available Western conference playoff spots, the Stars made out almost perfect.

Beginning on Phoenix last Tuesday, the Stars held a 3-1 lead late in the third only to have the Coyotes tie it with under a minute left in regulation. It seemed that someone was going to have to win it in extra time, giving the other team a single point in the process. But Jamie Benn had other ideas. The Coyotes would take a hooking penalty and the Stars took full advantage. Hard work along the boards by Brenden Morrow and a nifty dish by Loui Eriksson led to Jamie Benn’s game winner with just five seconds left.

The reverse fortune came about in Anaheim on Friday. The Stars blew another 3-1 lead late in the third but this time headed to OT. Lubomir Vishnovsky scored his third of the game on the power play with just four seconds left in the OT period. A point for the Stars but a disheartening loss.

In San Jose the next night, the Stars could have let the OT loss in Anaheim send them in a tailspin but they walked out of the Shark tank with a huge 3-2 win.  Jamie Benn opened the scoring with a short handed breakaway goal just over a minute into the game. Jason Williams scored his first as a Star in the third period and it made out to be the game winner.

Last night in Los Angeles started off bad with the Kings scoring first and Steve Ott being ejected for what was called a spear but was more a light one handed jab. Dumb to do but not that bad if you watch it. Down a player the Stars tied it up in the second, only to have the Kings tie it up 35 seconds later. Trevor Daley would tie it again early in the third but once again the Kings struck right back and took a 3-2 lead just 44 seconds later. Jamie Benn would score his fourth of the trip on a short handed breakaway after knocking down a Drew Doughty pass at the line. His second short handed breakaway goal of the trip. A point was pretty big so far but two would be better, and Captain Clutch Brenden Morrow would give his team just that after Mike Ribeiro would cut across the middle to use himself as a decoy and drop the puck for Morrow to snap it past Jonathan Bernier just 38 seconds into OT.

The Stars are now surging once again after a horrendous 2-10-1 run. Since dropping a 1-0 home game to New Jersey on trade deadline day two weeks ago, the Stars have won 5 of 6 and have points in all. They’ve managed to battle their way back into a playoff position and now sit 5th in the conference, just three back of division leading San Jose and one back of 4th place Chicago. Of course with it being the Western conference, they have just a two point lead on 8th place Los Angeles and a four point lead on Minnesota and Anaheim who sit 9th and 10th respectively.

A seven game home stand begins Wednesday against the red hot Calgary Flames. Six of the seven games are against Western conference teams and have playoff implications.

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