Eakin Line Comes Up Big In Win Over Penguins
The Cody Eakin line didn’t score in Saturday’s game against Pittsburgh, but it played a big role in the Stars’ 3-0 victory. It was the Eakin line that got the tough assignment of matching up with Pittsburgh’s top line, and it was advantage Eakin.
Crosby, the league’s top scorer, had four shots in the game, two on the power play. Kunitz came into the game ranked sixth in the league in scoring. He ended up with one shot and that was on the power play. The Penguins used a variety of forwards at right wing on that line.
“It was a challenge for us and my wingers are so reliable and smart in the defensive zone, I think we did a heck of a job,” said Eakin.
Eakin won 11 of 21 faceoffs in the game, including 9 of 13 in the first two periods. He had four shots on goal and a game-high nine shots directed towards the net. He also logged big minutes on both sides of the special teams, a key area in the Stars’ victory.
“I thought he played fabulous,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said of Eakin. “Through two periods he was great on the draw, and if you can start with the puck it’s even a better place to be. I thought his skating was good, he could have had a couple of goals. That line did a real nice job against Sid and his linemates.”
“I thought almost from the first moment he came into the league this guy is special. He had those characteristics where his attitude was contagious, his work ethic was contagious. Obviously, he’s a competitor and a star player in the league now. You could tell that from his first couple months in the league that he had that capability. No surprise.”
*The Stars have outscored their opponents 14-1 during their three-game winning streak.
*Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen has shutouts in two of the last three games and has stopped 66 of 67 shots during that stretch.
*Lehtonen picked up an assist in the game, his fourth of the season. Lehtonen has assists in consecutive games.
*The Stars were 2-3 on the power play Saturday. They have scored on the power play in seven straight games and are 9-24 (37.5 percent) during that stretch.
*The Stars were 4-4 on the penalty kill and are now 15-15 over the last five games.
*Saturday’s attendance was 18,532, a sellout.
*The Stars assigned forward Dustin Jeffrey to the Texas Stars (AHL) on Saturday.
Scratched: Kevin Connauton
Injured: Stephane Robidas (leg)