This was the strangest game of the 2016-2017 season for the Dallas Stars. And chances are half of you didn’t even stay up late enough to watch it.
If you had turned the game off after the snoozer start to the game, not many would have blamed you. But they sure knew how to make it entertaining for the rest of us that saw it.
Terrible special teams, weird goals, Jiri Hudler’s first goal as a Dallas Star, and two blow two-goal leads all marked this strange one. Thankfully, it ended with the Stars taking a full two points — in regulation! — and sees the Stars close the gap on the second Wild Card spot to just two points.
But how did they get through the chaos to that win?
The majority of the first period made you want to send the Stars a map marked with where the offensive zone was located, in case they had forgotten. After all, they spent a good majority of the start of the game hemmed in their own zone and amassing a deficit in shots on goal of something like 7-2 in favor of the Los Angeles Kings.
On the positive side, the Stars tended to keep the shots from LA to the perimeter and didn’t allow much in way of quality scoring chances. They weathered the start, and with about five minutes left in the period, they finally got their own game going.
In the last minute of the period, Brett Ritchie would be gifted a whiff by Jeff Carter right by his own netminder and bang home the puck before most of the Kings on the ice even realized what had happened.
Ritchie goal, 1-0 Stars pic.twitter.com/4uXihiLm2A— GIF Grand Maester (@myregularface) January 10, 2017
Somehow, after getting out-possessed for much of the period, the Stars were up 1-0 going into the middle frame. A bit of a turnabout for the Stars considering the way the season has gone so far.
Since the Stars couldn’t find their own end with a map to start the first, they stole the Kings’ direction to their offensive zone to start the second frame. The Stars were aggressive on the puck and collected six SOG in the first three minutes of the game.
This is where things continued to get weird tonight.
Tyler Seguin, who earlier in the game had an absolute rocket on a breakaway denied by Peter Budaj, went to the front of the net. Then he kind of floated a one timer up and over Budaj to give the Stars a 2-0 lead. Quite possibly this is the ugliest goal Seguin has scored in a Stars jersey.
The Stars would commit a too many men penalty thanks to Jamie Oleksiak coming off the bench and playing the puck with a very obvious six players on the ice. Not to be outdone, the Kings would commit a tripping to even the man advantage, and then the Stars would do the thing they’re good at doing — allowing a shorthanded goal off of a weird transition from 4-on-4 to power play unit.
Luckily, that was one of Oleksiak’s only glaring shortfalls tonight. He would restore the Stars’ two goal lead with a heck of a shot from beyond the circles.
The third period of this game is best described in GIF form. Recall, the score starting out was 3-1 Stars advantage.
Dustin Brown scores on the power play to bring the Kings within one. pic.twitter.com/dFfFaX2Tbu— Dylan Nadwodny (@dnadders) January 10, 2017
tie game. Lehtonen pulled pic.twitter.com/O7agrEAkxt— GIF Grand Maester (@myregularface) January 10, 2017
Live look in at the writing of the recap of this game...
Hudler goal, 5-4 Stars pic.twitter.com/EPyF7tjEPx— GIF Grand Maester (@myregularface) January 10, 2017