The Dallas Stars and the Boston Bruins battled for the second time this season, just 11 days after their initial meeting on the road in Massachussets. After a game that was lost on costly penalties in overtime, Dallas looked to improve their puck possession and forecheck against a now equally depleted Boston team. This time on home ice in Dallas, it was a tight, evenly matched game decided on penalties and a goaltender battle.
With all of the injuries plaguing the Stars, one of the silver linings was the return of Alexander Radulov. Radulov missed the initial meeting on the road, but was reunited with Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn tonight on the “Big Three” top line.
Also bringing some help to the battered blue line was Gavin Bayreuther, as he made his first NHL appearance tonight. By sending Ben Gleason down, Dallas was able to call up Bayreuther from their AHL affiliate Texas Stars. Bayreuther provided some much needed healthy strength for the defensive core as John Klingberg is projected to miss five weeks.
With penalties as the story of the first matchup in this series, they were once again prominent in what was a fairly even period for both Dallas and Boston. As head coach Jim Montgomery placed the focus on special teams during practices this week, the resulting Stars’ penalty kill looked solid on their shifts against Boston’s top unit. However, the Dallas power play left some things to be desired.
While no goals were scored in the first 20 minutes, Dallas commanded the period in the dots, winning 68% of the face-offs. Seguin also led the team in shots on goal (four) and was the Stars’ most dangerous player during the period.
Tyler Pitlick had an early shot in the first minute that almost trickled in, but Boston’s Torey Krug made the save at the last minute. Toward the end of the period was when the true high-grade chances materialized from both teams, with Seguin firing off a slap shot that Tuuka Rask just got ahold of to keep it tied at zero.
Score: DAL 0, BOS 0
Shots: DAL 10, BOS 10
The first may have been fairly even, but the Stars took charge from the get-go in the second period. Dallas really pushed the pace and kept possession of the puck through the first 10 minutes of the middle frame. They also hemmed in Boston, and kept them from registering their first shot on goal until 11 minutes into the period.
Radek Faksa laid a big hit on Patrice Bergeron, who lost an edge and went headfirst into the boards. Brad Marchand took exception and tried to pull Faksa into a fight, but Faksa was having none of it. On the resulting power play, the Stars created some high danger chances and looked much more cohesive, but none of the shots found their way in. Marchand was then called for another penalty and then eventually escorted off the ice for a misconduct, keeping him in the locker room for the rest of the period.
The Faksa line also led the period in effectiveness for the Stars, as they shut down the remnants of Boston’s top line. In an echo of the first, both teams were cycling through and sending in shots by the last few minutes of the period. Boston eventually caught up in shots on goal, but the Stars led the period play and the face-off circle.
Score: DAL 0, BOS 0
Shots: DAL 8, BOS 7
The final frame started much the same as the second, with the Stars pressuring and pushing on the Bruins. Mattias Janmark had an early breakaway, with Valeri Nichushkin walking into a pass from him and then sent a shot on Rask, who gobbled it easily.
Dallas was rewarded with a power play three minutes into the period, and as many giveaways as Boston handed them, the Stars couldn’t capitalize. Faksa had the only truly dangerous shot in front, but there were too many bodies in the way.
As they did in the second, Dallas kept the Bruins from their net, with Boston registering their first shot on goal of the third over seven minutes into the period. Tempers eventually flared, with Begeron wanting some words with Faksa for his hit earlier in the game, and it escalated into a full line brawl with canceled-out penalties all around. A few minutes later, Jason Spezza picked a fight — only the sixth of his whole career — with Connor Clifton, who wasn’t happy with Spezza’s presence in front of his goalie.
Another scoreless period of even play led to overtime.
Score: DAL 0, BOS 0
Shots: DAL 13, BOS 6
Seguin, Benn, and Miro Heiskanen had the first shift, with Benn creating the best chance. Next was Radulov, Spezza, and Esa Lindell, who tried to shove one in in the corner but with no luck. This was followed by a long shot from Radulov that was gobbled up by Rask.
Janmark poked the puck away and raced up the ice with Jason Dickinson, who made a shot that missed. Dickinson then whacked in his own rebound to win it, as he recorded his second OT winner this season.
Final Score: DAL 1, BOS 0 (OT)
Final Shots: DAL 37, BOS 23
Score the OT winner and get a kiss. pic.twitter.com/C1lM35KE3h— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) November 17, 2018
Dallas ended their four game home stand at 2-1-1 leaving them with an overall record of 10-7-2. The Stars take on the Islanders in New York on Sunday for a matinee game at 12 p.m. CDT.