Stars’ fourth line drives Dallas’ win vs. Ducks


Instead of Tuesday being about Dustin Penner getting revenge on Ryan Garbutt – a narrative Penner rejected, anyway – the Dallas Stars’ 6-3 win against the Anaheim Ducks was all about Garbutt.

Well, Garbutt’s line at least. The Stars’ depth players managed to shine the brightest on NBCSN; Garbutt scored a goal and two assists, Antoine Roussel found the net twice and Vernon Fiddler collected a pair of helpers.

Stars backup Dan Ellis managed a win against his former team, stopping 28 out of 31 saves for his second win of the 2013-14 campaign.

Penner didn’t avenge Garbutt, yet he kept his strong play going, scoring a goal in tonight’s explosive third period. Jonas Hiller probably didn’t bump his trade value/standing on the team much with his performance, especially considering the fact that he allowed three goals in less than a minute to let this one get away.

(Whether they were his fault or could be blamed on the Ducks’ defense, that doesn’t look good.)

The Stars ended a two-game losing streak (an four-game skid at home) with the win, bouncing back from Saturday’s 6-1 loss to Detroit. The Stars host Chicago on Friday and Edmonton on Sunday, so this is an opportunity for Dallas to get into the thick of things. The Stars are 12-9-2 on the season.

The Ducks had a two-game winning streak coming into tonight’s loss, but they’ve been struggling big picture. They’re now 2-4-2 in their last eight games, bumping their record down to a still-impressive 17-7-3 mark on the season.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.

You can see full game highlights above the headline of this post.

Welcome back, Babs: Red Wings chase Bernier

Mike Babcock
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Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.

As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.

The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.

This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.

Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.

Here’s video of Abdelkader’s hat trick: