Winning two out of three on this road trip would be considered a successful trip.
The Dallas Stars had other plans, it seems though.
The thing is, the Dallas Stars had clawed back tonight to bring themselves to even after giving up a two goal lead to the Detroit Red Wings and they would walk away with no points tonight. They've got to find a way to not have to always be playing from behind if they want to be successful this season.
The power play finally scored - and it scored at a momentous point in the game. Dallas would get the man advantage with less than two minutes left in regulation, needing a goal to tie. It finally connected, with Cody Eakin scoring to send the game to overtime.
Overtime isn't something the Stars have been successful at this season. They've gotten there several times, and only once have they had it end there (an OT loss against Colorado.) They've been to the shootout more often than not in these cases, and while they have a good record in them (3-1) eventually they have to figure out a way to end it in the extra time.
The did tonight thanks to Rich Peverley.
Three wins feels much better than two. Six out of six points!
The Stars came out with (yet again) a slow start. They were a bit slow and allowed a couple of early shots against. They would put themselves on the power play, where the different units went to work. They generated a few good looks - the best of which was Tyler Seguin's shot that beat Jimmy Howard short side and run off the post. They wouldn't get the lucky bounce for it to go in, however, as it trickled out the side of the net instead. The team started to skate well near the end of the first and they got a few good looks, but nothing went in.
It was a solid road game period, where they would end it scoreless after one.
Fire is what the Stars started the second period with. They had sustained pressure in the zone to start with and had a few good looks. Then it dissipated about five minutes in. Drop passes were left for guys that weren't trailing the puck carrier. They turned the puck over at their own blueline several times. Defensemen were not communicating with the forwards on defensive coverage assignments. They surrendered two goals in quick succession on defensive zone coverage breakdowns.
Seguin had one of the Stars' best chances when he sent a beautiful pass across the crease to a streaking Rich Peverley who would try to stuff it on Howard but wouldn't be able to beat the netminder. Valeri Nichushkin would get a breakaway chance and tried to pull it to his backhand but Howard would get his pad over to keep the puck from going in.
Alex Chiasson would take a big hit and use his long reach to get the puck over for it to be buried home by Shawn Horcoff (yes, you read that correctly.)
Last frame of the game and the Stars came out with a purpose. That purpose was to tie the game. They were successful after a stellar one-man effort by the captain Jamie Benn to score with a wicked shot that went right through Howard.
Unfortunately, Horcoff would undo all of the good he had done in the second period by not picking up his man. The man he was supposed to have covered in his own zone was the one guy you don't want to give the puck over to - Pavel Datsuyk. He knows what to do with it and he made the Stars pay for that mistake to put the Wings up 3-2.
A terrifying moment came right after on the next shift as Benn went into the offensive zone and mishandled a pass. In trying to recover, he managed to run into Seguin who then pinballed into Peverley whose stick caught Seguin in the face. Seguin would go down to the ice gushing blood. Not sure which part of him caught the brunt of the hit (I think he got hit in the mouth) but having your top line center and leading point scorer taken out by your own broken play somehow makes that much more of a bitter pill to swallow. The Stars got lucky and Seguin wouldn't miss much time.
Dallas got a lot of good looks in the overtime frame. When they didn't have possession of the puck, the lines were back supporting one another in the offensive zone. They had the majority of quality chances. It paid off when Nichushkin came down and used his very large frame to screen Howard. He wouldn't see Peverley's shot and the Stars would take the full two points out of the game tonight.
A few other thoughts...
*Chiasson was playing the puck well tonight, both in the offensive zone and the defensive zone. He was doing a good job of protecting the puck with his body and it gave him enough time for the other guys to make some space on the ice.
*Nichushkin loves to have the puck on his stick. He had a few moments where he looked to pass first tonight, and those were the times he looked hesitant in his play. When he had the puck, however, he looked a lot more confident.
*Cody Eakin had a rough game tonight defensively. His line had shifts where they were pinned into their own zone and they got caught chasing the puck. That's what leads to getting scored on.