Both the Dallas Stars and the Winnipeg Jets came into the game tonight tied in points, both having won the last two games, both three points out of a playoff spot.
Something had to give for one of these teams.
Unfortunately for Stars fans, it was us.
Well, it was a high scoring first period, though it had a slower start than the Stars have been used to recently. Winnipeg’s first goal came a little under seven minutes into the game on a 3-on-2 breakaway. Bryan Little scored the goal around a back checking Patrick Eaves on a feed from Nicolaj Ehlers and Patrik Laine.
Laine then took the first penalty of the game, high sticking Esa Lindell against the boards. In a truly efficient use of the power play, John Klingberg scored off a feed from Jamie Benn six seconds into the man advantage with Eaves participating by parking himself in Ondrej Pavalec’s goal crease for some needed distraction.
Jamie Benn followed this up two minutes later with a goal of his own, after Cody Eakin stole the puck behind the net and allowed Eaves to get it out to Patrik Nemeth on the point. Jamie caught the rebound of Nemeth’s shot, putting the Stars a goal ahead.
Unfortunately, this lead was not to last. With under a minute to go in the first period, Blake Wheeler passed the puck across the zone in what was really a truly impressive move to a completely open Mark Scheifele, and they took that tie into the first intermission.
Possible issues coming out of the first: Radek Faksa was shaken up blocking the first shot of the game. And Tyler Seguin took a puck to the face off his own defenseman. He seemed to be fine though.
This is the high event hockey that boring teams dream of giving their fans, I would guess. Four goals in the second period as well, though thankfully (for us) only three that stand as goals.
Cody Eakin took a hooking call four minutes into the period, giving the Jets ample opportunity to score on power play and go ahead 3-2. But wait! Stars video coach Kelly Forbes, who is the real MVP of any Stars season, advised Lindy Ruff to challenge for offsides. Which was successful because Blake Wheeler was, in fact, offsides.
But the Stars giveth and the Stars taketh away: no sooner had that goal been overturned than Antoine Roussel takes a interference penalty against Nic Petan, giving the Jets a 5-on-3 opportunity for over a minute. Jamie Benn had a gorgeous shorthanded opportunity, but Pavalec decided to have a much better second period, and managed to kick his foot back for the save.
And then, on the other end of the ice, Scheifele got his second of the game, which was also kind of his third, since his was the goal that got waved off.
Ehlers scored on what could truly be called a catastrophe, and was, by Daryl Reaugh, during the broadcast. Lehtonen left the net to play the puck in his trapezoid, but he seemed to miss the puck entirely. It was stolen by Patrik Laine, who passed it to Ehlers in front of the net. Klingberg tried to plug the open net but was too little too late for Ehlers.
Patrick Eaves closed the period with a rebound off of Klingberg’s shot from the point, and we were only down one going into the third period. However, we haven’t won yet when trailing after two periods. (And still haven’t.)
Unfortunately for the Stars, there was precisely no scoring in the third period. Despite a lot of close chances and a really sad miss from Brett Ritchie towards the end of the period, the Jets win the game 4-3.
Possible issues coming out of this game: Jason Spezza went down the tunnel after this hit from Adam Lowry and did not come back to the game.
Things of note: Jamie Benn had his best game of the season, despite the loss. The Wrecking Ball Benn of last season was very much in evidence here, and three point night had a lot to do with keeping the Stars in the game at all.
And that’s it. Five games into a six game home stand, this is the only one we haven’t been able to eke a point out of, which isn’t bad in the grand scheme of things, Stars fans.