It was not a work of art, but that's probably appropriate for the Stars this season.
In winning their eighth straight road game and setting a franchise record, Dallas did a lot of the things it has done to win games this season. The goaltending was great (Kari Lehtonen had 30 saves). A hero stepped forward (Jamie Benn had a goal and an assist). And the team made the right plays at the right time (Dallas held the Oilers to four shots on goal while protecting a one-goal lead in the third period).
But, the Stars also showed a few flaws. They were out-shot 32-24. They had a horrendous stretch of seven minutes in the second period where they easily could have lost control of the game. And they lost focus on the details that have carried them so well this season.
Interestingly, the players felt there were holes in several places.
Here's Steve Ott: "Our first period was completely awful. It wasn't one guy, it was all of us. We were making really bad plays, we weren't anticipating much, and it was like we were stuck in mud."
While defenseman Stephane Robidas added: ``It's good for us, and it's important, and we definitely wanted to get this, but we also made too many mistakes. Our second period was not very good, and we have to learn from that.''
But the Stars say they will learn. They play at Calgary on Friday, and the Flames are coming off a 6-0 loss to Minnesota, so they will be an ornery bunch.
``We made some very good plays, and we also had some stretches that we need to look at,'' said Stars coach Marc Crawford. ``It's always good to win, and if you can learn a little something while winning, then that's even better. But we need to fix a few things pretty quickly.''
Benn continues to dazzle: Jamie Benn had a goal and an assist and has been on fire lately with four goals and four assists in the last five ganes. And it seems most of the plays he is involved in have highlight reel written all over them.
In the first period, Benn took a nice pass from Adam Burish while busting into the offensive zone, made a few dekes and then slipped a one-handed shot past Edmonton goalie Nikolai Khabibulin.
``He's developing into a top, top player in this league,'' Stars coach Marc Crawford said. ``If you can skate, there's just so many opportunities. If you can get a step on someone, and then if you know what you're doing once you get that step, you're going to get some great offensive chances.''
Defenseman Stephane Robidas said: ``He just surprises you with some of the things he does. He uses his size well, he's very physical, he has a great shot. He doesn't look like a younger player at all.''
Benn is pretty quiet and doesn't like to talk too much, but he clearly is getting confidence.
"I'm getting more comfortable and holding onto the puck more," he said.
Lehtonen continues to roll: Kari Lehtonen is now 21-10-5 on the season with a 2.49 GAA and .919 save percentage. That win total is the second highest in his career behind the 34 he grabbed in 2006-07, and his recent 6-0-1 run has been nothing short of remarkable. He has faced 30 or more shots in six of those games and has taken points in all of them.
``You need your goalie to be good, and our goalie was very good early,'' Crawford said. ``And then I thought we were better in the second period, but we really needed him late in the second period. We were on our heels, and he gave us a chance to get our act together.''
While Mike Ribeiro added: "He kept us in the game. He made the right save at the right time. In the third period we gave a lot less, and had better positioning to close them off. But the first two periods Kari played amazing for us."