Did you survive trade deadline day, friends? What better way to celebrate than a nice match up between a team we've already beaten this year. What's that you say? A 7-6 loss last season on the worst case of goaltender interference that was never called? Pish. Tosh. It'll all be fine. Maybe? (Spoilers, it was not fine.)
So the first 30 minutes or so of this game were pretty boring. The Dallas Stars had 63%CF while the score was tied 0-0. They were also outshooting the Detroit Red Wings and had more scoring chances. On four power plays (two for each team with six seconds of overlap for 4v4 play), neither side was able to get anything rolling.
So what ended up making the difference? A turn over in the Red Wings zone led to Andreas Athanasiou (whose name literally means "without death" in Greek) racing down the ice with the puck. That part doesn't matter quite so much, because there were Stars defenders in front of Antti Niemi. Gustav Nyquist passed the puck to Tomas Tatar who took a quick shot on net. And then the second problem here is that with a TON of green and red traffic in front of his net, Niemi didn't control the rebound, and neither did anyone else in green. The puck bounced back out to Athanasiou, who beat Niemi to bring the score up 1 midway through the second.
The Stars. Outshooting, outpossessing, out scoring-chancing the Red Wings, only to find themselves trailing on the scoreboard. (AGAIN.)
Everyone's American hero Alex Goligoski, who rockets like a "scared bunny" (thanks for that descriptor, Daryl Reaugh) into the Red Wings zone. He drops the puck for Vern Fiddler, who dumps it behind the net, follows the puck down, and centers it for Colton Sceviour, who was just skating up on the net.
The play was reviewed for offsides and (probably) for a distinct kicking motion.
Certainly an interesting stopping motion. Haven't seen that taught in a hockey school pic.twitter.com/1j3n4h5pKV— Prashanth Iyer (@iyer_prashanth) March 1, 2016
Mileage may vary, but that doesn't look like a kicking motion to me. He brings his heels together to keep the puck in front of the net. Did the puck bounce of his skates? Yes. Did he make a kicking motion? Not that I can see. (But even if he did, we'll call it Abdelkarma.) (I stole that joke from David Castillo.)
Either way, call on the ice stands after review, and it's a tie going into second intermission.
Six and a half minutes into the third, Dylan Larkin tied Jason Demers up along the boards, allowing Athanasiou to swoop by with the puck. He, well, he basically made a fool out of Johnny Oduya in front of the net and scores under Niemi's glove.
And what do you know, it's the rookie's first two goal game of his career. You're welcome, bud.
Thankfully, Vern Fiddler was also having himself a bit of a night. After assisting on Colton Sceviour's goal, he also puts up the game winner after Ruff pulled Niemi for the extra attacker. After some pretty scrambly hockey (that's a technical term), the game goes to OT on a 2-2 tie.
Where, sadly, they lose to Pavel Datsyuk's unassisted power play goal. Because why not. Mattias Janmark "hooked" Nyquist in front of the net and the resulting power play proved to be the Stars undoing. By the end of the game, the Corsi differential was only +3 to the Stars (5v5 in what turned out to be a pretty penalty heavy game).
The Stars went 0-for-4 on the power play and the Red Wings got the game winning goal in OT on one of theirs. This narrative is getting old.