1.1 seconds. That’s all it takes to turn a game around.
The Dallas Stars pressured the Colorado Avalanche through two periods, peppering goaltender Semyon Varlamov with 14 shots on goal in each frame. They were able to break through once thanks to captain Jamie Benn. He sniped one past the opposite shoulder of Varlamov on a great hesitation and shot. It is the kind of goal that Stars fans are used to seeing the captain score, and a welcome sight after the slow(er) start he’s had to this season so far.
It looked as though that goal was going to be the only one scored by either team as they headed into the third period.
But Devin Shore and Tyler Seguin had other plans. On a late period power play call, Shore was able to make a great keep at the blueline. He setup a Seguin goal with just 1.1 seconds left in the second period. The goal was a
That goal made all the difference to the way this game went down.
It gave the Stars some momentum going into the last frame. The big guns had come to play. Shots were starting to go in. For seemingly one of the first times in this early season, the score accurately reflected the dominance that the Stars had over the opposition. No longer was the narrative one of possession dominance or hot goaltending stifling the goals.
That momentum didn’t last long, though. Colorado came out early in the third period and cut the lead in half almost immediately. All of a sudden, the Stars were looking a little shaky. What ensued were a few shifts of “adventurous hockey-ing”.
Then things got really weird.
Benn got a challenge by Nikita Zadarov to chuck knuckles, and never seemed to get his footing under him to do so. He drew a penalty from that. Then, Seguin gets a little bump and he and Patrik Nemeth (the one and same put on waivers by the Stars earlier this season and claimed by the Avalanche) get into a fight.
That’s not something we see Seguin do very often (read: almost never).
Even with Seguin off the ice for five minutes in the third, the Stars were able to generate some offensive chances. They were able to make his goal scored with just 1.1 seconds left in the second period stand up as the eventual game winner.
Esa Lindell would score an empty net goal to seal the 3-1 win on home ice. The Stars didn’t score many of those last season, so the fact that they even have the chance to score them this season is cause for some positivity.
*I thought Antoine Roussel had himself a pretty good showing. He drew a couple of penalties, a rarity for the hard-nosed player. He was also pretty relentless on the puck pursuit tonight.
*I like Devin Shore on the first power play unit. He seems to add a dimension to a 5-man set that is full of shooters. His ability to make the simple puck retrievals and help cycle the puck might be an underrated aspect of the power play’s success tonight.
*Ben Bishop: so good.
*Benn spent a good portion of his night posted up in Varlamov’s kitchen, and Varlamov did not appreciate it. I saw a few cup checks that went uncalled in the game. Didn’t stop him from setting right back up in that same spot on his next shift that I saw, either.
*I don’t think it’s worth making a big story out of it, but some of the penalty calls tonight were light (several against Dallas, at least one against Colorado). The thing is, good teams don’t let that become the story, and they don’t use it as an excuse.
*Seguin lost himself the Lady Byng trophy for the year, methinks.