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Dec 11, 2019, 1:19:00 PM

Stars edge out Devils

The Dallas Stars handed their new coach Rick Bowness his first victory in his first game since taking over from Jim Montgomery when they beat the New Jersey Devils 2-0 on Tuesday night.

Bowness had been promoted to the job following the sacking of Montgomery, who was dismissed for what has been described as an ‘act of unprofessionalism’, though details have yet to emerge.

Despite the upheaval off the ice, the team performed strongly on it, a response that Bowness praised in his comments to the media after the game: 

“They wanted to be on the ice, and you’ve got to love that about athletes. They’re energized like that and they want to be a factor and an impact on the ice.” 

The win means that the Stars, who went into the game as favourites with sports betting companies, remain fourth in the NHL Central Division, though they are just one point behind the Winnipeg Jets, while the Devils remain rooted to the bottom of the Metropolitan Division, trailing the Ottawa Senators by 17 points, having lost their last 12 games.

Ben Bishop had a good game for Dallas, securing his first shutout this season with 26 saves, while Radek Faksa and Joe Pavelski were the goalscorers, both in the first period, to give Dallas their third win in a row, and an impressive 17-4-2 record in their last 23 fixtures, making them one of the NHL’s in-form teams.

For the Devils, there wasn’t much to shout about, and although MacKenzie Blackwood came up with 33 saves, he wasn’t able to halt their losing run, which has seen them concede 24 goals in their last six games and score only nine themselves.

The first goal came early on with a wraparound shot from Faksa on 1:42, which gave him his first point in nine outings, a dry spell that followed an eight-game point streak 

The second goal came just after the halfway point in the first period when Pavelski fired in from the front of the crease following good work from Roman Polák.

The Devils will hope to keep up their good form when they take on the Colorado Avalanche on Friday, while New Jersey will try to break their losing streak against the Vegas Golden Knights on the same

Words: Stijn Janssen

Images: PA