The hurdle has been cleared.
The Dallas Stars defeated Minnesota in overtime by a score of 3-2 thanks to heroics from John Klingberg and some hobos named Jamie and Tyler who play with him- And just like that the good guys took all four points available to them against Winnipeg and the Wild this week.
Minnesota got one as well, but it's hard for a Stars fan to be mad about that just now.
Battling some interesting officiating again tonight the Stars went up 1-0 nothing on an early power play by Jason Spezza as he redirected a John Klingberg shot past Dubnyk. The Stars killed three penalties in the first period- An encouraging sign for a struggling unit, and took the lead to the locker room along with a 10-7 shot advantage.
Jamie Oleksiak struggled in the period, going off for closing his hand on the puck and interference.
The Wild would own the second in the a big way, however, putting the Stars on the defense for large stretches of the frame. They tied the game on a controversial shot from the point where Kari Lehtonen's glove hand appeared to be interfered with, and Ruff through the metaphorical challenge flag to no avail.
The league puts out a little press release on every single coach's challenge that basically says nothing. This one went like this:
After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Referee confirmed no goaltender interference infractions occurred before the puck crossed the goal line.
Therefore the original call stands - good goal Minnesota Wild.
Rankled, the Stars and their crowd continued and Lindy Ruff tinkered with the lines.
Jason Spezza started on Cody Eakin's wing but as the game wore on it was Ales Hemsky and Mattian Janmark on either side of #90, and Cody Eakin with Val Nichushkin and Antoine Roussel. Fiddler and Sceviour were joined by Radek Faksa.
The new Spezza trio fought back in the dying stages of the second but the game went 1-1 to the locker room.
Dallas called the goal play again early in the third after Charlie Coyle went off for hooking at 2:02, and once more John Klingberg threw a puck at the net from the blue-line that Jamie Benn, this time, was able to deflect past Dubnyk to give the Stars a 2-1 third-period lead.
Minnesota would not go quietly, however, and Marco Scandella tied the game at two with a shot from the slot that ticked off Jordie Benn's right skate, changing directions in fooling Kari Lehtonen.
The Stars shot total would grow but Dubnyk was not exactly under duress as the clock wound down. Dallas survived flurries from Minnesota and went to overtime for just the second time this season.
Some suspect that if you examine the 3-on-3 legislature you might find that Jim Nill sponsored that bill.
As in their first outing, the law firm of Benn, Seguin and Klingberg did not score on their first shift, but rather their second as Klingberg elevated a puck straight up over Dubnyk's left shoulder to send the AAC into a frenzy. It was all Minnesota could do to hang on for dear life up to that point. Parise would have helped there, no doubt.
It was like many of the Stars' outings this season- It was not pretty. Sometimes it was just downright ugly. And the goaltending was good. In the end they got it done again to move to 14-4-0, the franchise's best 18-game start.
They get Sunday and Monday off now to rest and travel to Buffalo where it's back to work against the East- Buffalo, Washington, Buffalo and Ottawa coming up for these blazing-hot Stars.