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Stars Lose Close Game 6-2

Close in game play, and I’ll stand by that. Not so much in score though.

NHL: Dallas Stars at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Like the Dallas Stars, the Pittsburgh Penguins are known for their quick, high event hockey games, and one of the biggest storylines leading up to the game was Lindy Ruff talking about how quick he expected the game to be.

The first period certainly lived up to expectation. In all situations, corsi events were 23-21 Dallas in the first twenty minutes of play, lots of action for both ends of the ice, which included some special teams time.

Jamie Benn went into the penalty box first on a hooking call, which led to a good shorthanded chance for Lauri Korpikoski. He wasn’t able to score, but was able to keep the puck in the Penguins zone and kill some crucial time.

Patrick Eaves was called for interference, and then nine seconds into the penalty kill, Kris Letang whiffed on a shot and took a hooking penalty to keep Antoine Roussel from the breakaway.

The Stars have not particularly shined in 4-on-4 play this season, and that continued to be true tonight when Ian Cole scored around a block from Jamie Oleksiak. It was Ian Cole’s second goal of the season.

Another big storyline for the Stars heading into this game was Stephen Johns playing in his hometown for the first time in his NHL career. He said before the game that he expected about 350 people to be in attendance. This town has 700 people in it, which means literally half of the town was in Pittsburgh tonight.

This section of people exploded midway through the first when it looked like Johns had scored in front of them, but unfortunately for Johns, it ricocheted into the net off of Devin Shore’s skate, making it his goal.

Tyler Seguin got called for what was called a “tripping penalty” early in the second period. Twelve seconds into that penalty, while trying to clear the puck, Jordie Benn sends it over the glass instead from an impressive 140 feet away, and sits for a delay-of-game penalty. Patric Hornqvist scored in the ensuing 5-on-3.

Eric Fehr was called for an interference penalty with a little over half a period of play left. Tyler Seguin got a feed from Jason Spezza in the corner and beat Marc Andre Fleury from that sharp angle.

Which would have been the goal of the night, except for Sidney Crosby.

Not sure how Niemi is supposed to track a puck that’s literally behind him.

And then Sidney Crosby got a pass across the paint to Conor Sheary on a 2-on-1 rush with three minutes left to go in the game. Niemi bit hard toward Sidney Crosby and opened up the net to Sheary.

And then the empty net sealed the deal for Steel City. Nick Bonino added insult to injury when it seemed that the Stars defense in Julius Honka and Jordie Benn gave up early.

The sad part is, the Stars had a good game, which the score is definitely not indicative of. The Stars had pep, attack, possession, shots, all of the component parts of a good game. They just didn’t have the luck.