Well, the shootout between the Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche was almost long enough to make you forget about what led to it. Almost.
An entertaining overtime period and skills competition only came after the Stars' second blown 2-0 lead to those Avs already this season, resulting in their having granted six points to the team that now leap-frogs them in the standings, rather improbably.
For about 50 minutes the Avalanche looked like a disorganized mess, and the Stars, though they managed just two goal, looked set to cruise to a rare low scoring affair. It would have been just their second game involving three or fewer goals in their last 20, had it stood.
But these are the Stars, and they don't go in for that kind of uber-low scoring affair.
The Stars held Colorado to 10 shots on goal through 48:16 tonight. Just 10 shots. The Avs took 14 in the final 11:44, eventually tying it up on a Tyson Barrie goal that deflected just in front of Kari Lehtonen with 19 seconds remaining.
The Stars were 24th entering play tonight in winning percentage when scoring first- And that will now drop further. In January they were 0-5-2 in games in which they did not score five goals. The recipe for this team continues to be pretty simple- They need to score. A lot.
That narrative, though, is not reflective of their effort tonight- At least for most of the game. They contained the Avalanche, who appeared happy to oblige with confusing, disorganized play for the most part. You can't ask much more than holding a team to 10 shots halfway through the third period- Except, of course, to play the whole 60.
Patrick Eaves and Erik Cole scored the two goals- Watch them on the Stars' website if you haven't seem them. Tyler Seguin went on not scoring, and Jamie Benn had his opportunities but could not convert. The power play struck again on three chances, and probably should have had a chance or two more if not for some pretty passive officiating as the game wore on.
The Wild, who were somehow allowed to beat Chicago, pass the Avalanche, and the Kings, and the Stars tonight. The Kings fall. The Stars drop back behind both Minnesota and Colorado despite earning the point.
It's not a good loss. When you have a 2-0 lead in the third period against a poor team... Forgive me, I am repeating myself.
The Stars have now lost 15 of 19 against the Central Division.
Tyler Seguin, Colton Sceviour and Antoine Roussel scored in a 12-round shootout, but Max Tablot had the last laugh and the fourth tally for Colorado to end it.
A much, much stiffer test in the form of the Tampa Bay Lightning approaches on Thursday...