ANAHEIM – The hero is his 500M Game, yet no one thinks of capturing Kipsack Pak.
Maybe because no one could believe it.
Two years after leading the healthy scratching league, Flemish defender Michael Stone stepped forward in an explosion from the top of the circle that clearly defeated Anaheim’s Anthony Stallarz.
This gave Flems a 3-1 lead, with Flems winning 4-2 in the end in a game through the third period in the middle.
Playing in his third game in a row as part of a season where the team’s seventh defender has been scratched 63 times, the 31-year-old has made the best of his chances through his first game-winning net in six years.
“It was wonderful,” said the former Calgary Hitman star, known for his shot speed.
“I had, I don’t know how many opportunities there are. I think I hit every defender on their team at least once. So it felt good to hit the net. “
It was, in fact, his ninth shot attempt in the game – blocked by four brave ducks.
There was nothing wrong with that, because the guy who has consistently signed with the team late in the season to be an extra part, got a goal that lifted a bench, a team, a fan base.
“It’s great,” said teammate Jacob Markstrom, who saved 26 in the win, opening a six-point gap with second-placed Edmonton.
He is a shooting machine in both practice and games. She loves shooting, and today it has been reflected with a big goal for us.
“We had both Louis (Trevor Lewis’) 800th and Stony’s 500thM. He’s been around (milestones) for a while and he doesn’t come to the lineup too much, but when he agrees he’s always ready and he always performs well.
Elias added an aid to Lindhome’s game-opener as the third star of the game, with Stone playing seamlessly for more than 18 minutes with Chris Tanev to keep Oliver Killington fit.
Who on earth wouldn’t be happy for a guy who shows up in the dome every day that his role has very little chance of being rewarded with a game-time assignment for being late on the ice?
“He’s supposed to be trying to stay in the NHL,” ridiculed Daryl Sutter, who refused to buy the sensitive narrative.
“I don’t put too much into it. He hasn’t played much hockey in the last three or four years. So give him a good chance and play the way I want to play. It’s not hard to see if he wants to play in the NHL.
Considering how much he has promoted the importance of step-by-step advancement for deepth players to become a difference maker, you would think Sutter could be more enthusiastic about development.
It marks the seventh start of the season for Stone, the last one to complain about much of his life, because he knew what he was signing up for each of the last two seasons.
Yet, the uncertainty involved in the description of his work cannot be easy at times.
Stone of Milestone Game Count said, “It took me a while to get there, so it was a good feeling.
“It’s not 1,000, but it’s a big achievement considering what I’ve dealt with. It must have been big for me. “
The target was bigger, yet no one cooled Pak to keep him.
They were busy congratulating him.
“Okay, I have a lot of pucks,” he smiled before explaining his mentality in a play where he took a few steps off the blue line before letting it fly.
“The first thing I always think is, ‘I hit as much as I can,’ because that’s what I’m half-decent about. I don’t mean to say I’ll shoot with my eyes closed, because I try to find an alley. But in that one, there weren’t too many bodies in front. That’s why I hit it. ”
After Lindhome and Tyler Toffoli’s goal gave the visitors a 2-0 lead, the Ducks made a play of it when Trevor Zagras scored the second late goal to cheer on the crowd at a strange, quiet Honda Center. Stone’s goal came shortly after Markstrom made several big stops to open the third.
Markstrom admits he wasn’t happy with Adam Henrik’s power play goal a minute after Stone, but Netminder was relieved when Matthew Takachuk cemented the team’s second-straight victory in the empty-netter in California.
On a proud night, Stone easily recognizes what made him happiest.
“The truth is we won,” said Subhash, a popular teammate who has played just 75 games in the last four seasons. “I never like being in a game and being on the wrong side of it. This is the biggest thing. And if I can contribute in any way, that’s what I try to do. The main thing for me is that we get two points and we move on to the next. “