Cody Eakin took a puck to the face on his first shift of the game, missed the rest of the first period but returned to play a key role in the Stars’ 2-0 victory in Anaheim Saturday night.
Eakin was injured 40 seconds into the game when he was hit above the eye with the puck.
“It hurt. It put me in shock a little bit and then I saw a bunch of blood. I kind of stumbled around and lost my footing,” Eakin said.
He headed to the locker room for repairs, which involved 12 stitches. He returned for the second period and assisted on Trevor Daley’s game-winning goal, driving the net off the rush and picking up the helper as Daley scored off the rebound.
“He did a great job for us. He did a heck of a job on the first goal. We missed him,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff.
Eakin also had a strong game on the defensive side of things, chipping in to help keep Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry in check.
“He’s really smart when it comes to defending, in staying above the puck and getting on the right side of somebody,” said Ruff. “Some of that stuff is hard to teach and I think he’s really grabbed a hold of that responsibility. He’s played against some tough personnel down low this year and really of late from Crosby to Getzlaf and Perry to you name it and has done an excellent job for us.”
Quotable: Dan Ellis
“We’ve been playing a lot better hockey lately. More so just sticking to the way that gives us success. Early in January we struggled a little bit because we got away from our game. Over the past 5-6 games we finally found a way to give ourselves a chance to win every night. We played Pittsburgh really hard, we played a number of other teams, and now we played Anaheim really hard. I think if we stick to that brand of hockey, we give ourselves a chance to win every night.”
*Saturday’s shutout in Anaheim was the first of the season for Dan Ellis and the fourth of the season for the Stars.
*Dan Ellis’ last shutout was exactly one year ago, when he stopped 33 shots in Carolina’s 1-0 victory over Ottawa.
*The Ducks were shutout for the first time this season and for the first time since March 27, 2013, when San Jose defeated them 4-0.
*The Stars were 0-3 on the power play and 3-3 on the penalty kill.
*Jamie Benn led the Stars with five shots on goal. Tyler Seguin and Erik Cole had four shots each.
*The Stars won 28 of 53 (53 percent) of faceoffs. Vernon Fiddler won 15 of 18. Jamie Benn won 6 of 9. Cody Eakin won 3 of 7.
*Stars captain Jamie Benn ran his goal scoring streak to five games and his points streak to six games (five goals, five assists).
*Stars center Tyler Seguin ran his points streak to five games (three goals, six assists)
*Ducks defenseman Mark Fistric left the game late in the first period with a lower body injury and did not return.
*The Stars improved to 11-2-2 vs. the Pacific Division.
Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin- Valeri Nichushkin
Erik Cole – Cody Eakin – Rich Peverley
Antoine Roussel – Vernon Fiddler – Ryan Garbutt
Ray Whitney – Shawn Horcoff – Alex Chiasson
Alex Goligoski – Trevor Daley
Jordie Benn – Brenden Dillon
Kevin Connauton – Sergei Gonchar
Scratched: Aaron Rome, Dustin Jeffrey
Injured: 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.