So Kari Lehtonen gets the start in goal tonight against the Devils and Lehtonen would try and continue that magic from the last game into New Jersey. The Stars have improved upon their away play in a recent string of wins away from home, but could they continue it?
The first period began and just a little lass than 30 seconds in and the penalty kill would be tested for the first time of the night. Tyler Pitlick gets the call for interference but strong defensive play allowing zero shots saw the penalty go off into the distance with a whimper.
It was the New Jersey Devils able to strike first and put the first points of the game up on the scoreboard. A shot from the point from Steven Santini gets right past Lektonen and the Devils take the early lead, 1-0. But a penalty occurs against the devils and so the Stars take their first powerplay. After going 0-14 in past power-plays, Martin Hanzal is able to end that drought. A Tyler Seguin shot bounces off of Cory Schneider’s leg pad and Hanzal takes the quick shot, bouncing off a Devils defender and into the open hole of the net. The Stars level this one and 1-1 game it is midway through the first.
In the last minute of play it was the Texas product, Blake Coleman, that puts in a rebound and gives New Jersey the lead back, 2-1. And as the period was coming to a close, the Stars turn the puck over and it was Pavel Zacha who gets the pass and puts it in the net. Although, Dallas is able to avoid the two goal deficit as once the goal was reviewed it was eventually called a no goal, time had expired, and so the Stars catch a break and head into the second down by just one.
Alexander Radulov levels the game and all our questions about whether he was ready to go for tonight's game are heavily laid to rest. Radulov gets a one-on-one and beats his man driving to the net, making a nice move from left to right and goes five hole for the goal. Radulov has seemed to be a spark for this Dallas team and whenever they desperately need a goal, he finds an answer for them. Now 2-2 midway through the second period of play.
This is where the game got rough and tensions started to run high with these two teams, and as the Stars broadcasters would put it a “major kerfuffle” would take place. You don’t usually hear that one too often, so admittedly I had to look it up on google ,out of pure curiosity, and yes very true a major kerfuffle went down. John Klingberg gets called for cross checking on Brian Boyle, no one on the Devils seemed to like the hit and so all went after Klingberg. But the Stars came to his rescue and Boyle could only grab hold of Antoine Roussel and try to take some aggression out on him instead.
With about eight seconds to go on the power-play for the Devils, Stephen Johns takes an interesting call for a high sticking gets stuck with a double minor as the defender laid on the ice grabbing his face with an apparent injury. Nine seconds left in the power-play and the defense was looking good up until Brian Boyle was able to get the rebound and put the puck in for the 3-2 lead. He then had some choice words for Klingberg and as they bumped each other and exchanged words, Greg Pateryn cam over to confront Boyle. Boyle would then drop his gloves trying to fight Pateryn but the refs tried to pry them away from each other and separate the two, eventually sending Boyle to the locker room.
Both teams would take penalties and some 4-on-4 action ensued, yet not for too long as Julius Honka takes the slashing penalty with 2:55 left. And so a lot of room on the ice for the 4-on-3 but neither team could strike again in the period. A very interesting second period comes to a close for the Stars, down by just one 3-2 and tensions on the ice were higher than ever.
After the breather from all the action in the second period, the Stars open up the third on the power-play from a penalty against the devils at the end of the second. A minute or so into that power-play and Hanzal takes a high stick and gets the minor. A 5-on-3 for Dallas and some great chances were thrown Schneider’s way but he was able to deny all of them and they maintain their one goal lead.
Seven minutes to go in the final period and Nick Lappin finds net and the Stars on that play were simply outworked, New Jersey extends their lead to 4-2. Then with two mintues to go and the extra attacker on Boyle sends it down the ice for the open net goal and then the 5-2 win.
This game went from a battle in the first two periods right into a Devils showcase in the third. The tri-state swing is no good this time and the momentum comes to a halt as the stars cant finish out in New Jersey. Dallas will head to Philadelphia to play the Flyers tomorrow at 6:00 pm CST in the final game of their four game road trip.