This was not a game where fancy was going to win, in any respect. Just a tough, grind-it-out game where the Stars needed to work hard and earn anything they got for points. And that's what they eventually did.
Think Mike Ribeiro got Dave Tippett's message about being a little more conventional on the shootout? I know his razzle-dazzle has led to more than one goal in the shootout this season, but he went over the top against Buffalo the other night and couldn't even get a shot off. It was time to back off the magician act a tad. And his shot was a beauty. He lulled a little bit, gave the Kings netminder and idea of what he was going to do, then turned it around and went forehand. Well done.
The Steve Ott-Ribeiro-Jere Lehtinen line was buzzing in this one. Tippett didn't think Ott should've gotten the roughing penalty at the end of regulation, thought he got it because of his reputation, but that just comes with the territory. Anyway, that line:
Lehtinen: 6 shots, goal and an assist
Ribeiro: 5 shots, goal, assist and shootout winner
Ott: 2 shots, 4 hits and a whole lot of agitation
Stars would've liked to get this one in regulation, but right now winning in 60 minutes just isn't happening. They'll take the points nonetheless. Some quotes:
Ribeiro on his shootout winner: I wanted to make sure I at least got a shot on net. Goalies don't really know what I'm going to do and neither do I. I just decided to shoot it."
Marty Turco on Jere Lehtinen: "His work ethic is second to none. For one player to be that determined to create turnovers and play the right way, you can only watch that, you can’t teach it. The way he plays and practices, you wish everyone could do that."
Tippett on Lehtinen's goal: "He’s had so many great chances the last two or three games, eventually they were going to go in for him. His goals, there are not many that are gimmes. They’re working goals."
Darryl Sydor: "Instead of going the wrong way we regrouped and played a solid 65 minutes. After what happened last game (against Buffalo), I think we responded well mentally."
That's all for now, kids. See you from Tampa.