The first period saw the Stars dominating most of the play. Outside of one real cycle shift by the Oilers, there wasn't much of a sustained offensive pressure on Kari Lehtonen.The goal the Stars did allow in the first came off of a faceoff loss on the penalty kill and a rebound that was just perfectly placed for Taylor Hall to bury it with Lehtonen on the other side of the goal.
Ben Scrivens was shaky in the first period, and the Stars couldn't capitalize on that play. A few wide open nets and scrambles by the Oilers goaltender just wouldn't go in for the Stars. Ryan Garbutt had perhaps the best look and he hesitated too long before shooting and missed an opportunity to put the game away early.
The Stars would get goals from the ex-Oilers contingent to put them ahead, with both Shawn Horcoff and Erik Cole (courtesy of an Ales Hemsky play) notching goals.
Then the team just fell apart.
After taking the lead into the second period, the Stars got sucker punched by the Oilers offensively. They changed up their attack, and the Stars struggled to adjust. Two other goals off of faceoff losses would give the Oilers their first lead of the game and see Lehtonen chased from net.
Anders Lindback allowed one fivehole after coming in on relief duty to see the Stars dig a three goal hole. Jamie Benn would put the Stars back within two on a laser of a shot on the first power play opportunity for Dallas, with less than two minutes left in the third period.
That goal proved to be a turning point for the Stars.
It gave them momentum heading into the third period. The Stars came out flying, and Tyler Seguin would waste no time putting the Stars back within one shot, scoring less than a minute into the period. All of a sudden, the Oilers looked like the puck was made out of radioactive material.
The Stars dominated play in the last frame, bearing down on the Oilers. They were working hard for that tying goal, and Jamie Benn would go absolutely beast mode to work the puck out of the neutral zone and into the offensive zone, finding Seguin to tie the game at five.
It was a statement period for the Stars. The first time really this season where we've seen them give up so many goals against, but fight back to even instead of continuing the implosion.
Benn and Seguin, the young leaders of this team, were a big part of that fight back. They were not only doing the work offensively, but they made sure that any offensive punch from the Oilers was quashed early. Aggressive backchecking, defensive play, and offensive push to grind out the goals is something we've seen in glimpses at times this season but was much more prevalent this third period than we've seen yet this season.
The Oilers spent the third period just trying to weather the storm and hope to get it to overtime to get a point. When the puck would enter their offensive zone, they would panic to try to get it out of the zone as quickly as possible.
The Stars would need an eight round shootout to get the win tonight, but that's not really the important take away here.
They were down three goals. They fought back to not only tie it, but to get the full two points after being down. They easily could have folded, like they had earlier this season. But the best players elevated their compete levels and they looked like they would not be stopped from getting the full two points.
It wasn't pretty, but at the end of the day, they don't ask how you got the points, just how many.