As part of our look back at the season that was, the DBD staff has put together a Top 10 list of the best moments of the season, moments that occurred within the course of the year that were highlights of this particular team and it's fight to the playoffs. They're ranked from 1-10, and we'll present them in reverse order, leading up to the top moment of the 2013-2014 season.
The storylines for the first matchup between the Dallas Stars and Boston Bruins this season were all about Tyler Seguin and his return to Boston after being unceremoniously ushered out of the city on the backs of all sorts of rumors.
In a long line of homecoming type games on the schedule (Lindy Ruff in Buffalo, Jim Nill in Detroit, Sergei Gonchar in Ottawa) and having a rougher start to the season than many expected, this game was one of those that showed us Stars fans what the team was trying to put together here. It was like a microcosm of the season all in one game (hindsight being 20/20 and all that):
- Stephane Robidas showed how he truly is a heart-and-soul guy going up against Zdeno Chara -- who easily has a foot and six inches or more on reach on Robidas. Easily.
- Valeri Nichushkin also had to deal with Chara, being matched up against him. This game was one of the first where we saw Nichushkin's strength on the puck -- at just 18 years old! -- and his ability to battle along the boards.
- The Stars controlled play for much of the game, and couldn't convert on a four minute power play to put the game away (how many times did we say THAT this season...?)
- They were speedy.
- Kari Lehtonen had to stand tall at times as the team got hemmed in their own zone.
As the third period wound down, it looked like Dallas wouldn't be able to get the equalizer. But then Dennis Seidenberg would trip Vernon Fiddler on his way to the net, after he had received a crisp stretch pass from Alex Goligoski from Dallas' own blue line. Fiddler was able to get past the Bruins lineup for a shot at a breakaway goal, and the trip before he could get the shot off led to a penalty shot being awarded to Dallas.
Did you know - Fiddler is now 2-for-2 on penalty shots for his career? Yep, he's shooting 100% in those situations thanks to this absolutely wicked roofed shot over Tuukka Rask:
The celebration by Fiddler after making the shot was the best. As Rask is beating the ice with his stick after getting beat, Fiddler is going by Boston's bench 'loading his gun' so to speak. It was really one of the first visible glimpses of the Stars' chemistry as a team coming together in the season.
After a stretch of overtime hockey that saw both teams dominate possession for stretches, it was time for the shootout.
Tyler Seguin shot second for the Stars, and he knew exactly how to beat his former goaltender Rask:
Rich Peverley would then seal the win with this quick shot:
Because the story line should have been how much the Bruins won the Seguin trade, it was only fitting that both Seguin and Peverley were instrumental in the win that saw them beat Boston for the first time since the trade.