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Changes spark Stars to 5-0 blanking of Islanders

John Klingberg leads the way with three points and Ben Bishop stops 14 shots in Dallas' first shutout of the season

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Stars coach Ken Hitchcock shuffled his lineup around for Friday's game in hopes of getting more people involved offensively.

He got his wish.

Five different Dallas players scored goals, and 10 registered points as the Stars routed the New York Islanders, 5-0, at American Airlines Center.


[WATCH: Full Stars-Islanders highlights]


"The two games against Winnipeg were a wake-up call for me. We did need way more participation if we're going to beat good teams," said Hitchcock. "We just needed more people involved, and that's when I made the decision to do what I did."

Hitchcock's changes, which involved breaking up his top line and spreading out his offensive weapons, provided a spark as the Stars tallied twice 5-on-5, once 4-on-4, once on the power play, and once shorthanded.

Defenseman John Klingberg led the way with one goal and two assists and defenseman Esa Lindell tallied one goal and one assist. Forwards Jason Spezza and Gemel Smith both scored their first goals of the season and forward Mattias Janmark also scored.

Video: NYI@DAL: Klingberg beats Halak on give-and-go for PPG

"It was a pretty complete game from us top to bottom," said Spezza. "We did a good job of getting that lead. We've talked about playing from behind and how it's been tough on us. We got off to the lead and makes it for an easier game for us. With the three days of practice, it gave us a reset, and I thought we executed tonight."

While the Stars got plenty of offense, they were sharp defensively as well, shutting out an Islander team that was averaging 3.6 goals per game and limiting them to just 14 shots on goal.

"We stayed focused on their best players," said Klingberg. "We closed down [John] Tavares and [Mathew] Barzal really good tonight."

Stars goaltender Ben Bishop didn't see a lot of rubber in the game, but he made a couple of big saves in posting his first shutout as a Dallas Star.

"I thought Ben was really good tonight," Hitchcock said. "I thought he was really competitive and he was battling like crazy in the net. He was very good."

The Islanders lost their second straight game and fell to 8-6-2 on the season. Islanders coach Doug Weight was not a happy camper after the game.

Video: NYI@DAL: Smith taps home Radulov's 100th NHL assist

"It was on us. I think inconsistent," Weight said. "Maybe some heart would be nice to see, some work ethic, maybe following a game plan and maybe some consistency as far as getting pucks in. I don't know, take your pick."

The Stars came out strong in the first, outshooting the Islanders 13-4 and scoring three times to take a 3-0 lead.

With the two sides playing 4-on-4, Tyler Seguin won an offensive zone draw back to Klingberg who played give-and-go with Jamie Benn, and Klingberg finished it off with a goal from the right circle to give the Stars a 1-0 lead 1:32 into the game.

The Stars extended the lead to 3-0 with two goals in two minutes later in the period. Smith, who got moved to the top line with Benn and Alexander Radulov, took a pass from Radulov and slipped the puck past Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak from close range at the 14:58 mark to put Dallas ahead 2-0.

"I just go to the net and let those guys do their thing," Smith said. "[Radulov] made a great pass and I just put it in."

Two minutes later, Klingberg sent a pass across the blue line to Lindell who beat Halak with a shot from the left point and the Stars had a 3-0 lead going into the first intermission. 

Video: NYI@DAL: Lindell wrists home a shot by Halak

The Islanders had a decent push early in the second, but Bishop came up with a couple of big saves, stopping Jordan Eberle on a two-on-one. A short time later he got a glove on a point-blank chance by Jason Chimera and then got some help from Seguin who cleared the puck away as it rolled toward the goal line.

The Stars made it a 4-0 game at 6:54 of the second with a shorthanded goal. Islanders forward Josh Bailey threw the puck into the slot in his own zone, Janmark picked it off and ripped it past Halak.

"I thought the fourth goal was the big goal," Hitchcock said. "There was a surge going on, they were on a power play, and that fourth goal really took the wind out of them and the game."

Spezza's first goal of the season, which came from the left circle with the Stars on the power play, made it 5-0 at the 16:00 of the second.

"It's nice to score a goal and contribute offensively," Spezza said. "Obviously it's been a long time for me, hopefully it's something I can build off of."

The Stars limited the Islanders to just four shots in the third period as they wrapped up their three-game homestand with a 2-1-0 record.

Video: NYI@DAL: Janmark slaps home SHG off turnover


  • The Stars are 6-2-0 at home this season.

  • John Klingberg leads all NHL defensemen in scoring with 18 points (four goals, 14 assists).

  • Klingberg has seven points (one goal, six assists) in his past three games.

  • Stars forward Alexander Radulov picked up an assist in Friday's game to extend his points streak to seven games (four goals, six assists). 

  • The Stars outshot the Islanders 29-14 and had a 68-36 advantage in shot attempts.

  • Jason Spezza led the Stars with five shots on goal and ten shot attempts.

  • The Stars were 1-4 on the power play and 4-4 on the penalty kill.

  • The Stars won 35 of 55 faceoffs (64 percent). Tyler Seguin won 14 of 19 (74 percent). Martin Hanzal won 6 of 8 (75 percent). Radek Faksa won 6 of 9 (67 percent). Jamie Benn won 4 of 8 (50 percent).

  • Dan Hamhuis led the Stars with 22:30 of ice time. Klingberg was next with 20:09.

  • Defenseman Marc Methot (lower body) and Tyler Pitlick (upper body) both missed Friday's game. Both are day to day.

  • The Stars recalled forward Curtis McKenzie from the AHL on Friday but he was a healthy scratch in the game.

Video: Spezza scores his first of the season


    What's Next

    The Stars are off Saturday, practice in Frisco on Sunday and then hit the road for games against Carolina (Monday), Florida (Tuesday), and Tampa Bay (Thursday).  

    Video: Smith scores in home win


    Stars Lineup

    Gemel Smith - Jamie Benn - Alexander Radulov
    Mattias Janmark - Tyler Seguin - Devin Shore
    Remi Elie - Martin Hanzal - Jason Spezza
    Antoine Roussel - Radek Faksa - Brett Ritchie

    Esa Lindell - John Klingberg
    Dan Hamhuis - Greg Pateryn
    Jamie Oleksiak - Stephen Johns

    Ben Bishop
    Kari Lehtonen

    Scratched: Jason Dickinson, Curtis McKenzie
    Injured: Marc Methot (lower body), Tyler Pitlick (upper body) 

    This story was not subject to approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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