The Dallas Stars haven’t managed to create much momentum this season. Rallying for a controversial shootout win, however, may have started some.
The Stars look to match their season high by winning consecutive games Monday night by continuing their home dominance of the struggling Minnesota Wild.
Dallas (20-17-11) is tied with Anaheim for last place in the Pacific Division and tied with Minnesota (24-22-3) for 10th in the Western Conference. Each of those clubs is six points out of the eighth and final playoff spot, currently held by Los Angeles.
The Stars have struggled to play well consistently, and they appeared headed for another defeat Saturday after they allowed two first-period goals against Detroit. But Dallas rallied for a 3-2 shootout win as Steve Ott(notes) completed the comeback when his attempt in the sixth round of the tiebreaker trickled over the line before the Red Wings’ Jimmy Howard(notes) pulled it back. Officials deemed it a goal through replays and gave Dallas its second win in eight games.
“It’s a huge momentum boost for us,” coach Marc Crawford told the Stars’ official Web site. “It would have been a huge momentum boost if we had beaten St. Mary’s School for the Blessed Blind Deaf and Dumb, but we beat the Detroit Red Wings, we came back from a two-goal deficit, we won in a shootout. There are so many positives that we can build on.”
The Stars have only won consecutive games three times this season, but they have been much better at home. They’re 13-5-5 in Dallas, where they’ve won six of eight.
Loui Eriksson(notes) has been a big part of that home success over that span, totaling eight goals and five assists. The right wing is tied with James Neal(notes) for the team lead with 19 goals, and his 45 points are second to Brad Richards’(notes) 54.
A member of Sweden’s team for next month’s Olympics in Vancouver, Eriksson has three goals and seven assists in his last six meetings with Minnesota, including two goals in a 3-2 road defeat on Nov. 7.
The Stars, though, have won 10 in a row at home against the Wild since a 3-2 overtime loss on March 21, 2003.
Minnesota will try to snap that losing streak in order to salvage a win on a three-game road trip.
The Wild entered this trip with four straight wins, but they saw that end with Thursday’s 1-0 loss at St. Louis before falling 6-4 at Phoenix on Saturday.
“We got what we deserved,” coach Todd Richards said following Saturday’s defeat. “A handful of guys were working and a handful of guys were trying to make a difference. You’re not going to win games by missing seven, eight, nine guys.”
Acquired in a trade from Montreal on Nov. 23, Latendresse has 13 goals and six assists in 24 games after managing two and one, respectively, in 23 games with the Canadiens.