The Dallas Stars found themselves tonight in Columbus to face the Blue Jackets in the third game of their four game road trip in the east. The Columbus Blue Jackets are currently third in the Metro with 53 points. Just for the sake of updates, at the start of the game the Stars are still hanging on to the first Wild Card spot with 55 points.
With Marc Methot out of the line up still, Dillon Heatherington was called up over the weekend to fill the roster spot. Tonight, Julius Honka ended up in the press box and Heatherington made his NHL debut.
Also tonight? A very good dog helped with the puck drop.
So we’re already having an interesting game, and the actual game puck hasn’t even dropped yet.
Another thing we knew before the game: coming off their bye week, the Columbus Blue Jackets made the interesting choice to leave starting goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky on the bench and instead start their backup goalie Joonas Korpasalo. If you’ve been paying attention this season, that’s where you knew the Stars would find it monumentally difficult to score.
The early going was very back and forth. Ben Bishop had to make a big save in the first minute, because apparently that’s just going to be a thing for the Stars forever. But Jamie Benn also got a really good chance on the other end.
It stopped being an even share of possession towards the middle of the period, with all of the momentum swinging the Blue Jackets way by the time this enormous blunder occurred:
Dan Hamhuis tries to force a puck into the middle and it ends up on some Columbus sticks and eventually goes in past Bishop. Jordan Schroeder with his first of the season. 1-0 Blue Jackets. pic.twitter.com/O10HrzJIyl— Dylan Nadwodny (@dnadders) January 19, 2018
Which was just pretty embarrassing for all involved. Clearly a huge miscommunication between Bishop and Dan Hamhuis. Jason Spezza had no idea where the puck ever was, and by the time anyone realized that no one had it, Jordan Schroeder already had it in the Stars net.
The Stars did manage to get a few more shots on goal by the end of the period when Tyler Seguin drew a hooking penalty on Pierre-Luc Dubois with 1:21 left in the first. Unfortunately, they were not able to convert the power play.
And, thankfully, the Blue Jackets were not able to score on the power play they got when Greg Pateryn went off for a holding penalty on Matt Calvert.
The Stars were much better in the second, 13 shots on goal compared to the 7 they had in the first, and much better than the Blue Jackets second period. While they weren’t rewarded on the scoreboard in the second, they did hold off any more goals from the Blue Jackets.
Korpisalo drops the stick to make the save pic.twitter.com/b3m7IR5B7C— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) January 19, 2018
Save of the game so far.
Heatherington settled into his game in the second period. With five minutes left he drew a hooking penalty on Zack Werenski. The Stars did not score on that one either, obviously. Then in the dying seconds of the period, he and Artemi Panarin got in each other’s grills a bit. Heatherington would not leave Panarin alone, which is great, and he drew a high sticking penalty, which is also great. He got called for hooking, which is fine. Either way, making a bit of a splash.
Four minutes into the period, the Stars looked like they’d finally managed to crack Joonas Korpisalo. Alexander Radulov did a masterful job at carrying the puck to the net and Antoine Roussel came behind to clean up the garbage. But unfortunately, it was not meant to be. The Blue Jackets called for a review for goaltender interference and the refs agreed.
Hitch not too pleased with the call. pic.twitter.com/9VUuJGMpev— Dylan Nadwodny (@dnadders) January 19, 2018
The Stars again had a ton of momentum in this period, and with Bishop pulled in the dying minutes of the period, finally did manage to get on the board with a Radulov deflection from Klingberg. The trick at that point became keeping the puck out of the Stars net, but they managed to hold on for the rest of regulation.
Nevermind this is the save of the game.
Overtime included two power plays, one when Radulov closed his hand over the puck and one when Josh Anderson was called for hooking. Still, with all of those man advantages the game went to a shootout.
Where the Stars managed to make none of their shots and Panarin did manage to make his, so the Blue Jackets won 2-1. At least it wasn’t 1-0 like I feared midway through the third, eh?
The Stars are in Buffalo on Saturday night where, we’ve been told, Kari Lehtonen start in net. See you then!