On Friday night, the Ducks take on the Dallas Stars who have started the season just as hot as the Ducks have.
The Stars are coming off a victory over the winless Columbus Blue Jackets this past Tuesday night. Jamie Benn and Kari Lehtonen starred for them in that game against Columbus. (Get it starred for the Dallas Stars??? Oh, I’m so corny, it’s great.) Benn made a highlight reel of a goal in the third period to give the Stars a 2-0 lead. Kari Lehtonen once again had a stellar game in net as he has been a great surprise for the Stars this season. Steve Ott and Michael Ryder also scored in that game for the Stars. Sheldon Souray so far has to be one of the most surprising free agent signing performances so far. He is tied for the team lead in points with 1 goal, 4 assists, for 5 points with forward Mike Ribeiro, Steve Ott, and Jamie Benn. He has always had a good shot and been a good player to have at the point in the power play but due to injuries he hasn’t seen much NHL action the past few years.
The Stars do have a very solid offensive and defensive core. The question has always been consistency all-around. Now they have it and are a red hot hockey team. Lehtonen until now has always been basically an average goaltender. This season he has been a stud and looks like an all-star. Who knows? Maybe, if he keeps this up, he could be a challenger for the Vezina Trophy at the end of the season. Scoring threats Loui Eriksson, Mike Ribeiro, Jamie Benn and Michael Ryder are very dangerous. Don’t forget about players like Steve Ott or captain Brendan Morrow either though because they can create opportunities as well.
Players to Watch:
- DAL – G – Kari Lehtonen: So far this season he has been a brick wall in net.
- DAL – D – Sheldon Souray: He averages a point a game and don’t give him an open shot in the power play because he can blast it.
- ANA – F – Teemu Selanne: He got on the board against San Jose and we all know what he can do when he gets going.
- ANA – F – Corey Perry: Another guy who scored last game and same with Selanne, we all know what he can do when he gets going.
Even though the Stars are hot, I think the Ducks are just the better team on paper and on ice. I think the Ducks will win this one. If Kari Lehtonen continues the way he has been playing however, this can be a very close, tight game.
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