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Valeri Nichushkin Scores Twice as Stars Drop Preseason Opener 6-5 in Shootout

The Stars and Blues put on an offensive show of force Sunday night, combining for 10 regulation goals but Dallas fell in the shootout.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Stars returned Sunday night to the American Airlines Center for their first preseason action since 2011 to give the modest home crowd a glimmer of what their high profile off-season acquisitions can do.

They did not disappoint. Tyler Seguin had a goal and an assist and rookie Valeri Nichushkin scored twice, including a breakaway, though the Stars fell to the Blues 5-4 in a shootout after Benn, Nichushkin and Seguin all failed to score.

Here's a recap of the action and I'll be back with observations in a bit.

First Period:

The Stars drew a penalty on Patrik Perglund 19 seconds in the frame, then scored 77 seconds in when a tic-tac-toe passing play from Tyler Seguin, to Alex Chiasson, to Erik Cole ended with a shot over Jake Allen's shoulder.

Kevin Connauton would add a second less than three minutes later when his wrist shot from the blue line wafted past Allen, and the Stars looked ready to cruise with a 2-0 lead and a 4-1 shot advantage nearly five minutes in.

St. Louis would push back, working hard on the fore-check, turning pucks over and pressuring to the tune of 12 unanswered shots and two Maxim Lapierre goals. One a deflection and one a rebound, neither of which Dan Ellis could have done much about. Two Alex Chiasson penalties (tripping, delay of game) added to the Stars' woes.

Second Period:

A holding penalty on St. Louis righted Dallas' ship and Erik Cole found Tyler Seguin staring at a gaping net with the puck on his stick after a slick cross-ice pass.

Dan Ellis' night ended midway through the frame, having stopped 16 of 18. Jack Campbell entered and was welcomed quickly when Sebastian Wannstrom fired a sharp angle shot from the corner that surprised him to knot the score at three.

Rookie Valeri Nichushkin would restore Dallas' lead with just 28 seconds remaining, slamming home a loose puck in the slot, but the glory belonged to Luke Gazdic, who did the hard work to turn the puck over and initiate the attack.

Third Period:

Nichushkin picked up the third where he left off, driving hard to the net and just missing out on another goal after Shawn Horcoff sent a puck at the net that came right to his stick. Ruff would leave the line out there at the whistle and they were out-hustled on the following shift as Keith Aucoin scored on a rebound attempt after an initial Campbell save.

Not to be out-done, Nichushkin found himself on a breakaway a few minutes later and put Dallas back on top after an odd hesitation move to the backhand.

The see-saw continued, however, and Adam Cracknell deflected a point shot past Campbell to knot things at five.


The teams traded odd-man rushes and Tyler Seguin had the game on his stick off a Jamie Benn pass but couldn't pull the trigger. Shawn Horcoff and Cody Eakin had a close call as well, then Nichushkin, after a bad giveaway, drew a penalty with 33 seconds left, but the Stars couldn't convert on the man advantage.


Jamie Benn - post, forehand

Tarasenko - scores forehand high glove side (winner)

Tyler Seguin - misses backhand, blocker side

Shattenkirk - miss forehand

Valeri Nichushkin - Miss backhand, glove side

Back in a bit with some observations...