The Dallas Stars' special teams lived up to its name Friday.
Dallas' power play and penalty kill units have been inconsistent this season. But in Friday's 2-1 win over Vancouver, they made a big difference.
The Stars scored on the power play in the third period, as Jamie Benn drove to the net and the puck slipped over to Brenden Morrow, who slapped it in. Morrow, who camps out in front of the net and bangs his way for positioning, was rewarded for being in the right spot. Benn did a nice job of getting aggressive and going hard to the net. The goal put the Stars up 2-0 3:50 into the final period.
"It was nice for a power play goal to go in," Stars coach Marc Crawford said. "We looked more comfortable on the power play. Still, I think there's another level of execution we've got to get too. When the pinpoint, cross-ice passes connect for goals, it will get even better."
The penalty kill wasn't even needed until midway through the third period. The Stars took their only two penalties of the game back-to-back. In fact, there was a slight overlap as the Canucks got 18 seconds of two-man advantage time. Still, the Stars did a nice job, starting with the goalie.
"The most important penalty killer was our best guy tonight -- Marty Turco," Crawford said.
Turco had several impressive saves and seemed to see the pucks coming at him from all over the ice. Brad Richards and Karlis Skrastins also blocked some shots as players worked hard to keep Vancouver from scoring. Once the Stars killed off the second penalty, the crowd at American Airlines Center cheered loudly, understanding how crucial it was for the Stars to hold the lead through that nearly four-minute period.
"Special teams were big," Richards said. "We need them to be that way every night."