Just A Thought
@Real_ESPNLeBrun: Hard to imagine there weren't fans from all over the NHL cheering on the Dallas Stars last night. And what a story it was, Jamie Benn scoring in overtime as the Stars beat the St. Louis Blues 3-2 to cap an ultra-emotional couple of days. Just a day after teammate Rich Peverley collapsed in a cardiac incident in Dallas, his teammates found a way to dig deep and beat the NHL's first-place club. "We were thinking about Rich back home, but I thought we did a great job getting mentally ready for this game," said Benn, the team captain. "We're still in a big playoff push and we found a way to get two points. "It's not easy. It hit our guys pretty good last night. We did a great job as a group." They had to find a way to focus. With the Phoenix Coyotes winning earlier in the night, the Stars had to keep pace for the last wild-card spot in the Western Conference, and the victory kept them a single point ahead of the Coyotes. Every game is huge right now for Dallas, and while that seems trivial compared to what happened to Peverley on Monday night, you know there must have been no one happier than Peverley himself to see his teammates rally in St. Louis. Awesome stuff.
@CraigCustance: Stars coach Lindy Ruff's message to his team was simple: There were plenty of reasons for the Stars to lose against the St. Louis Blues, but let's find a way to win. Just one night after the scariest moment of this season, or any season, the Stars kept their emotions in check to beat the Blues on Tuesday night 3-2 in overtime. The shock of Peverley's collapse, the continued absence of Kari Lehtonen after a recent collision in the crease and facing one of the NHL's hottest teams were each an obstacle the Stars overcame in a 3-2 win over the Blues. There's still a lot of work to be done to secure a playoff spot, but you have to be impressed with the way the Stars continue to persevere.
@ESPN_Burnside: Well, this is getting interesting, no? As Craig and Pierre noted, the Stars came up with an inspirational win while the Coyotes were beating the Panthers to keep pace in the hunt for a wild card spot, and the Minnesota Wild lost again and created a compelling -- if unexpected -- dogfight for the two Western Conference wild card berths. The Wild inexplicably blew a 3-0 lead against the lowly Edmonton Oilers and had to settle for a loser's point in a 4-3 shootout loss. After winning five in a row heading into the trade deadline the Wild are now winless in three straight and have allowed both Dallas and Phoenix to close the gap on the first wild card spot, which for weeks appeared to belong exclusively to the Wild. Minnesota now leads Dallas by just three points and Phoenix by four, which means lots of nail-biting in all three cities as the schedule heads into its final month.
@KatieStrangESPN: Not for nothing, but the Columbus Blue Jackets have had an unsettling few days as well. They, too, were present for the frightening Peverley incident, and though it was not their own teammate it left everyone in the rink pretty shaken. The Blue Jackets also played just one night later, knocking off the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 to claim third place in the Metropolitan Division. Though the Wings dominated stretches of the game, Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky held down the fort with 40 saves while Columbus rattled off three goals in the third period to down their Eastern Conference foes.
Quote Me On That
"It helps that Rich is doing really well. I'm certainly not trying to underplay anything that happened to Rich, you know, but under the circumstances, I'm going to look at the positives that he's doing well, and I'm sure he was cheering us on. He'd want us to go out and win the game, and that's what we did."
-- Stars G Tim Thomas on the win over the Blues
"Without the fun at my age, there's no chance you can play. You have to grab the opportunity. I got a chance to play and now it's up to me what kind of advantage I take of it."
-- 42-year-old Devils F Jaromir Jagr after scoring the game-winner against the Flyers
• Sharks: Third straight win overall; 4-0-1 in last five games.
• Blue Jackets: Have won five of past six games after losing the previous three.
• Blues: Loss snaps four-game home win streak versus the Stars.
• More from ESPN Stats & Information »