Three Dallas Stars got opened their offensive seasons tonight, and the Stars scored three goals for only the third time in their first nine games.
The Dallas Stars nearly completed their rallying effort to beat the Winnipeg Jets. After going down two goals in the game, Dallas fought their way back to tie it late in the third period and earn a point in a shootout loss.
This marks the fifth time in nine games the Stars have needed more than 60 minutes to decide the game.
Midway through the first period, Paul Stastny’s shot through traffic appeared to hit Braden Holtby up high. He couldn’t corral the resulting loose puck. As he tried to do a spin turn to get back and cover it with his glove, he appeared to essentially push the puck into the net himself, helping the puck along. It was likely headed that way anyway, but that’s one that could haunt your dreams at night as he had the space to trap the puck under the glove before it went in.
After twinning at the team’s Halloween party as cereal (Frosted Flakes and Reese’s Puffs, respectively), Tyler Seguin set up Jamie Benn who displayed some patience in front of the net. He waited out Eric Comrie and then buried the puck in the back of the net to tie the game with a little less than four minutes remaining in the first period. Though he didn’t get a point on the goal (for now, that can sometimes change as the off-ice officials review the goal scoring play), Alexander Radulov made this goal happen with some dirty work in the corner to get the puck back to Seguin for that needle-threaded pass to begin with.
Maybe that top line heard how head coach Rick Bowness talked about them sucking for games this year and thought to themselves, “And I took that personally.”
Overall, the first period was a pretty even affair and coming out of it tied on the road isn’t a half bad way to start the game.
Josh Morrissey used a one-timer from the top of the circle to restore the Jets lead in the second period. A few minutes later, Roope Hintz got into the offensive zone all alone and backhanded one past Comrie, appearing to tie the game once more. For an offensive-starved team, Hintz getting his first on the board would have been a huge morale lift. He’s had some really good games and been unbelievably snakebitten here in the early goings of the season.
Instead, the goal was disallowed due to being offside by the barest of margins. It was the correct call, but represented a huge momentum shift in the game. Rather than a 2-2 tie, the Stars were down 2-1. Then, not long after, Mark Scheifele got into the zone and had some incidental contact with a semi-kicking motion that sent the puck through Holtby’s fivehole for a 3-1 lead.
After going nearly 75 percent of the entire game without taking a penalty, the Jets were finally dinged courtesy of Seguin. On the power play, Radulov helped create some chaos in front of Comrie. On the ensuing scramble, Jason Robertson was able to put the puck in for his first of the season in his third game back after a preseason injury took him out to start the year.
John Klingberg tied the game off a bullet of a shot from the blue line. He showed unbelievable patience walking the blue line and you could almost see the panic of Jansen Harkins in trying to stay with him and the moment he realized he over-committed to one side as Klingberg went the other way. Klingberg’s long distance shot went right over Comrie to tie the game 3-3. It was also Klingberg’s first goal of the season.
In the 3-on-3 overtime, Holtby came up with some huge saves – and the Stars needed them. The Jets controlled the play for over half the five minute overtime, and Holtby kept Dallas in the game. He also got some help from the trio on the ice in front of him when the Jets hit a post and the puck popped to the ice behind him. All of a sudden, that crease was crammed full of white sweaters making sure that the puck didn’t cross the line.
On the offensive side, Dallas really only got one decent look and that came on a drop pass to Hintz which was easily deflected.
So, the game was decided in the shootout:
First round: Robertson was stopped fivehole on a delayed shot. Holtby committed to the low shot by Kyle Brown who then put it up top shelf.
Second round: Joe Pavelski scored to keep Dallas in it on a forehand shot past a sprawling Comrie, and then Holtby made the stop on Winnipeg’s second shooter.
Third round: Radulov tried a backhand shot up high that went over the net, and Scheifele backhanded it past Holtby for the 4-3 Winnipeg win.
It’s a frustrating loss in the sense that it was a wasted game of rare offense by the Stars. But after rallying late in the third period, it was a hard-earned point by Dallas as they head to Calgary to take on the red-hot Flames on Thursday.
Dallas is now 3-4-2.