It's a loss. But that overtime loss point is a pretty big win, really.
Frustrated throughout, as they were against the Devils in Newark earlier this month, the Stars could not get anywhere near Cory Schneider, managing a total of four shots in the first period and 16 overall, two nights after they peppered Semyon Varlamov with over 40.
So when Tyler Seguin managed to finally get another past him with the extra attacker on and Jamie Benn in the box, it was found gold of a sort against a team that completely locked them down for 2.5 maddeningly frustrated hours.
In the end, however, it was the Devils' power play that came through for them where the Stars' had not. Patrik Elias scored on the job in overtime to claim the extra point, going 2-of-3 on the night, and Dallas snapped their streak of eight consecutive games with a power play goal despite a 5-on-3 in the first period that could have given the proceedings a completely different flavor had it connected.
So the Stars trudge on with a dim hope alive pending results for Phoenix and Minnesota this evening, while the Canucks continue to struggle. Next it's out to the pond in Anaheim where the Ducks don't lose, a reunion with Mike Ribeiro in Phoenix, and a date with the Sharks' high-powered attack.
Cleverley scheming to avoid adding to their 0-4-3 record when recording 40 or more shots this season, the Stars piled a grand total of just four on Cory Schneider in the frame- None of which were a serious threat to score. Cody Eakin's bid from the slot found the chest protector in the most dangerous chance of the period.
The Devils did exactly what everyone knew they would- Defend well, turn pucks over, and look to took a lead on a chance in transition. A Jaromir Jagr pass to Dainius Zubrus just barely over the blue line led to a perfect shot, but all the same, a goal from considerable difference with nary a screen in front.
Dallas had the chance they needed to reverse things in the opening minutes with a lengthy 5-on-3 power play, and 5-on-4 bids on either side of it, and generated nothing, struggling to keep the puck on their sticks and enter the zone up two men.
With a lead in hand all the Devils had to do was play the Stars even for the rest of the way, and in the second period it was mission accomplished.
Dallas continued to struggle to generate anything even remotely meaningful in the chance department while New Jersey was content to dump and change. The Stars finally had a dangerous shift as the mid-point approached, and Ryan Garbutt capped it off with an interference penalty in the offensive zone, squashing their momentum.
The Devils would take a seemingly insurmountable 2-0 lead on the ensuing power play on yet another long distance shot from Zajac, but Jamie Benn would get it back a minute later on a little backhand from the slot that surprised Schneider.
Another power play opportunity to end the period gave Dallas everything they wanted - The Seguin one timer from the left circle- A chance for Cole in tight- But no goals. New Jersey is 14-0-2 when leading after two...
Needing a goal badly the Stars poured two shots on Schneider in the periods first half. Two.
Needing a goal even worse they poured two more shots on in the next eight minutes. Two.
Leaving 1:39 of four-on-four after Jamie Benn was called for a dive and Jaromir Jagr for a trip.
And needing a goal desperately, the Stars poured two more shots on Schneider. The last one went in and Tyler Seguin sent this game to overtime when all seemed destined to come to naught.
Freed from the box 21 seconds in to overtime Jamie Benn was forced to trip Patrik Elias who was breaking free in on Kari Lehtonen, and the Devils needed 12 seconds to end the game.
And the Stars have given four points to the lowly, lowly Devils. Four. Also the Islanders.
Jaromir Jagr, former Dallas Stars great, deserves every single ounce of respect in the world. He does. But he was defended tonight with too much of it. I remain convinced a lot of the time and space he has at this age is due to it. It's all part of it, I guess.
Val Nichushkin continues to be up and down. In the first he was... well the whole team was bad. He got better as it went on, but you wonder about his energy level, particularly with the Olympics coming up.
There are some teams that really stick with you as being ones you always hate. Everyone has different ones. For me it goes back to game four of the 2000 Stanley Cup Finals with New Jersey. Going to a Finals game was a big deal for me at the age of 18, and that sickening feeling of watching the Stars lose 3-1 that night sticks with me more than even the Cup winner that year. Seeing those jerseys out there on the ice and the same impotent feeling not being able to score takes me back to Reunion instantly. Hate em.
Cody Eakin had some jump tonight. Not sure who else did.
A 3-1-1 home stand is a fine thing, if you think about it. Just not after a 1-8-1 stretch as they fall further and further behind in the race.
Did Michael Ryder actually play tonight? I'm asking for a friend.