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Stars Confident Heading Into Home-Opener

by Greg Ramirez / Dallas Stars

Since moving to Texas, the Dallas Stars have earned over 95 points in a season five times when they have managed to open the first two games of the season with a win. Four of those five times, they have earned over 100 points. So when the Stars came back from opening the first two games of the season on the east coast with an undefeated record, there was reason for optimism that this team could accomplish great things this season.

“The way that we played was very positive, “ Stars coach Mark Crawford said. “We can build on the enthusiasm we have, we can build on the fact that different people bailed each other out.”

Of course, Crawford is referring to both games over the weekend, where on Friday, the Stars fell behind by two goals early in the first. Stars captain Brenden Morrow led a valiant comeback effort, opening the Stars scoring following a time-out by Mark Crawford. Loui Eriksson capped off the comeback scoring an overtime goal in dramatic fashion to give the Stars an opening night win.

Saturday’s game saw the Stars surrender several leads, as well as two uncharacteristic delay of game penalties to Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas. The Stars wound up winning that game as well, this time thanks to the mastery of Mike Ribeiro’s shootout prowess and Kari Lehtonen’s third period heroics. Lehtonen was masterful in the final period of Saturday’s Islanders game, stopping 21 of 23 shots.

Despite being 2-0 to start the season, the team is looking to make progress.

“Improvements are still fairly obvious, we have to be better with our puck placement,” Crawford said.  “Confidence will come from the habits that we have.”

Morrow, whose three goals lead the Stars so far this season, said this team is developing confidence, but also recognizes that there are areas of improvement for the team.

“We’re a confident team, but we realize we have to be a team that can close games out too,” Morrow said. “As a whole, we feel like we are catching on, we are grasping our system. We are pretty confident with our start so far.”

That confidence will be put to the test on Thursday night when the Stars play their home opener against the always-dangerous Detroit Red Wings.  The Stars have played well against the Red Wings at home recently, winning their last four games at American Airlines Center by a combined score of 14-10 - a trend they hope continues.

With two tough victories behind them, the 2010-2011 version of the Dallas Stars are already living up to their motto for the year, “Every day for each other.”  It is that mentality that will propel the confident Stars for the next 80 games, and prove to make this team a tough one to play night-in and night-out.

Limited tickets are still available for Thursday night’s hockey game against the Detroit Red Wings. For tickets call (214) GO-STARS or click here.

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