Stars continue to shine on the road
Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:06 AM
The Dallas Stars
have officially become road warriors.
scored twice, backup goalie Andrew Raycroft
notched his second shutout of the season with 26 saves and the Stars matched a franchise record with their seventh straight road victory by earning a 4-0 win against the Minnesota Wild
at the Xcel Energy Center on Sunday.
The Stars are 11-0-1 when leading after two periods, and their 19-2-1 record when getting the game's first goal is the League's second-best.
"Sometimes you play a game that's a little simpler on the road, and I definitely believe that was the case tonight," Dallas coach Marc Crawford said.
and James Neal also scored for the Stars, who last won seven games in a row away from Dallas in the 2001-02 season. They took it to Wild goalie Jose Theodore, who gave up only three scores in the last three games.
The Stars, who welcomed Jamie Langenbrunner back to the lineup after a trade this week that returned him to his original team after nearly nine years with New Jersey, are 13-7-1 on the road.
"With the addition of Jamie here, we've got three lines that can score," Daley said.
Minnesota was 8-2-1 in its last 10 games, but the Wild are now 1-6-3 on the second day of back-to-back games. They fell to 10-10-2 at home, compared to 11-6-3 on the road.
The Wild got home late after beating the Sidney Crosby-less Penguins in Pittsburgh 4-0 on Saturday night, and they started this game in sleepy fashion by falling behind barely 2 1/2 minutes in. Brad Richards threaded a pass to the opposite circle to set up a textbook one-timer for Daley.
"No excuses at all," Minnesota coach Todd Richards said. "There was a way to win the game tonight, and we weren't able to execute that. Our tanks were low, but I think that's when you have to play a smart game. The first thing to go when fatigue sets in is your mind, and we did some uncharacteristic things, as far as how we've been playing hockey."
The Stars had a score waved off midway through the opening period when Adam Burish
's body went hurling into the net and knocked over Jose Theodore, drawing a penalty for goaltender interference.
hit a post with a power-play shot from the point a few seconds later and he struck the pipe again later in the period after a slick feed from Brent Burns.
The Wild had another lapse in the final minute, though, when Benn went nearly end to end with the puck -- putting a deft move on Cam Barker to scoot around the defenseman in the left circle -- and sent a snap shot past Theodore with 48.6 seconds before the first break.
"The effort was definitely there," Wild forward Matt Cullen
said. "We probably didn't have the same jump we would've liked, but we kept ourselves in there."
After a scoreless second period, Neal scored on a turnaround after he drifted away from the crease and suddenly spun forward. Then Benn picked up his second goal, on a shot through traffic in the high slot. It was Benn's first multi-goal game this season.
Raycroft has a .949 save percentage and a 1.69 goals-against average while winning all four of his last starts on the road.
"Guys have lots of confidence in him. They like him. They know he works hard, and it's a little factor but people wanting to play that extra bit harder when they're in front of you makes a big difference," Crawford said. "Our goaltending's been strong all year. We haven't had very many nights where we've scratched our heads."
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.