|Mike Ribeiro received a 5-year contract extension from the Dallas Stars.|
“It means that the team cares about me and they want me to be here to help the team win a Stanley Cup,” Ribeiro said. “I’ve made Dallas my home now. I love to be here. It’s a great organization. My family loves it.”
Ribeiro immediately made ownership feel better about its latest investment, as the 27-year-old provided two assists Monday night, helping the Stars end a four-game slide with a 3-1 win over the Minnesota Wild at the American Airlines Center.
Despite the chance to become a free agent at the end of the 2007-08 campaign, Ribeiro wasn’t interested in testing the waters.
“I didn’t want to go and look for another team,” Ribeiro said. “I’m happy here. It was just a matter to find the right numbers and the right years. To have that five years, it gives me a chance to get better. I’m still young.”
So is team captain Brenden Morrow, who only turns 29 on Jan. 16. The gritty forward said it’s comforting to know he’ll be playing alongside the talented Ribeiro for years to come.
“We’ve had some pretty good chemistry already together,” Morrow said. “Knowing I’m going to be here for that long, and having a player with his skill, it’s a bright future for this hockey team. Guys want to be here. It’s a great organization. We’re all happy to have him locked up for a long time.”
New York, New York -- The Edmonton Oilers haven’t had the best of luck against Western Conference teams this season, but they sure like playing teams from New York, don’t they?
Mathieu Garon’s third shutout of the season guided Edmonton to a 4-0 win over the Islanders Monday night, which gave the Oilers their second win over a New York team in three nights. Edmonton eked out a 3-2 shootout win over the Rangers Saturday night.
Garon, who made his fourth-straight start Monday, played a huge role in both of the Oilers’ victories. Clearly, he is excited about taking over the starting reigns in Edmonton.
”I'm feeling really good and very confident right now,” said Garon, who turns 30 Wednesday. “But the way we were playing, it always helps a goalie. Defensively, we are playing huge. Having a chance to play a lot of games is even better for me, and I just want to make sure I make the most of this chance. It felt good to get the shutout.”
You know what else felt good? How about the fact that Edmonton won a game in regulation for the first time since Dec. 2 – a span of 17 games. Certainly, it must have felt nice that the Oilers could punch out after 60 minutes.
”Just to have an easy game, I can't tell you the last time we had one of those,” said forward Shawn Horcoff, who tallied his 100th career goal in the victory. “They are few and far between. To win the first two games of a five-game homestand, that was big for us and gives us the opportunity to do something special for the last three games. It was a big confidence builder for us.”
Sigh Of Relief -- Nobody in the NHL smiled wider than Travis Moen Monday night.
The Ducks’ forward scored for the first time since the NHL Premier Series in London back on Sept. 30, helping Anaheim earn a 5-2 victory over the Nashville Predators at the Honda Center. The tally ended a 41-game drought.
"It had been awhile, so it’s nice to finally get one," Moen said. "I had been getting some chances. I hit lots of crossbars and posts. ... It’s a big relief to finally get one. I definitely took a second look. I wasn’t quite sure if it had gone in or not."
Brian Compton can be e-mailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org.