Sunday night’s game between the Stars and Blues at American Airlines Center was a homecoming for Brenden Morrow. It was the first time the former Stars captain’s first game in Dallas since the Stars traded him last March.
“It was a little different just from making a different walk to the locker room,” Morrow said. “This is the only visitor room that I haven’t seen yet in my career. So to see it from here and get on the ice from this end was a little bit different. There’s a lot of new faces on that team over there, so it wasn’t like I was playing against 22 of my best friends. There are some guys over there I didn’t know and some guys that are still close and special friends.”
Morrow, who was traded to Pittsburgh and then signed with St. Louis in September, played 13 seasons with the Stars, and served as the team’s captain for seven. He played 835 games for the Stars, registering 528 points (243 goals, 285 assists). There were 42 points (17 goals, 25 assists) in 78 playoff games as well.
The Stars honored him with a video tribute during a break in the first period. Fans responded with a huge ovation.
“Trying not to tear up, it’s a lot of good memories here,” Morrow said. “I grew up with these fans. So it was a nice little tribute. I just wanted to make sure I got through it, didn’t tear up and acknowledged everyone.”
Garbutt bounces back from rough start
Stars forward Ryan Garbutt got off to a rough start in Sunday’s game, but he bounced back to help the Stars earn a point.
The Stars had a goal waved off 25 seconds into the game when there was incidental contact between Garbutt and Blues goaltender Brian Elliot. Just 28 seconds later Garbutt headed to the penalty box for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after complaining about an icing call. The Blues scored on that power play to take a 1-0 lead. Stars coach Lindy Ruff didn’t use Garbutt much for the rest of the first period. Garbutt played just two more shifts.
“It’s a learning experience,” Ruff said. “Garbs has played great for us, his energy has been good. But he and I have a deal that we’re going to play a certain way and he’s got to hold up his part, and I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do when he doesn’t. I like the way the team responded in the second. I liked the way he responded, he gave us everything he’s got.”
Garbutt was back on the ice regularly in the second period, and scored midway through the period to tie the game at 2-2.
“It was frustrating to get that goal waved off, especially after the one they had in St. Louis on us. But we can’t worry about that, just about the things in our power. That was something I tried to fight back from and help the team,” Garbutt said.
Quotable: Brenden Morrow on Jamie Benn being named Stars’ captain
“I’m his biggest fan. I loved him from day one, his attitude and the things he brings to the team. I thought it was a no-brainer that he was the guy. I’m sure he’s going to do great things for this organization. He’s already well on his way.”
*The Stars are 4-0-2 in their last six games and 5-1-3 in their last nine games at home.
*The Stars are 4-7 in games that have been settled beyond regulation. They are 1-3 in four-on-four overtime and 3-4 in shootouts.
*The Stars are 5-7-4 against the Central Division. The Blues are 12-0-1 against the Central.
*The Stars outshot the Blues 30-22. Attempted shots were 73-46 in favor of the Stars.
*Jamie Benn and Alex Goligoski led the Stars with four shots on goal apiece.
*The Stars were 1-5 on the power play and 0-2 on the penalty kill.
*The Stars won 37 of 67 (55 percent) of faceoffs in the game. Rich Peverley won 12 of 17. Jamie Benn won 8 of 13. Vernon Fiddler won 6 of 11.
Jamie Benn –Tyler Seguin – Valeri Nichushkin
Antoine Roussel – Cody Eakin – Ryan Garbutt
Erik Cole – Rich Peverley – Alex Chiasson
Shawn Horcoff – Vernon Fiddler – Ray Whitney
Alex Goligoski – Brenden Dillon
Aaron Rome – Jordie Benn
Kevin Connauton – Cameron Gaunce
Kari Lehtonen (starter)
Scratched: Dustin Jeffrey
Injured: Sergei Gonchar (concussion-like symptoms), Trevor Daley (ankle), Stephane Robidas (leg)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.