It seemed that the Dallas Stars were due for an offensive outburst after scoring only two goals in their last two games. Luckily, Barclays Center has proven just the balm to scoring woes for the Stars over the last few seasons. For some reason, they tend to hang five or six goals on the scoreboard in Brooklyn.
Though, in seasons past, that usually also meant four or five or seven goals for the New York Islanders, too.
These two teams have been involved in quite a few shootouts the last couple of years. Fans would call it fun, coaches would call it a little too loose, and goalies would hate it because it’s not fun to let that many past them.
Today, though, Dallas limited the Islanders to just two goals. With a depleted blueline due to injuries, most likely expected it to be more like the shootouts of seasons past against this particular team.
While the top line did not begin the game well, they came through with big offensive games today. Anthony Beauvillier opened the scoring by getting right into the slot area — surrounded by four Stars (including Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, and Alexander Radulov) — and blasting a rebound right past Ben Bishop. The Stars would let that goal be the only one scored in the first period.
That’s when the Stars turned the offensive spigot on, led by the Big 3.
Esa Lindell would score two goals in the middle frame, including the tying goal. Roope Hintz would get his first of his NHL career off a glorious setup from Jason Spezza, who got the 900th point of his career on the goal. Tyler Seguin would cap the second period scoring with one of his own.
New York would push back, scoring a quick goal to open the third period up. But Alexander Radulov would get his first multi-goal game by scoring two and ensuring the game was well beyond the reach of the Islanders as the Stars got a win in the first half of their back-to-back set in the Big Apple.
The Big 3’s stats from today? Benn with three assists, Radulov with two goals and an assist, and Seguin with a goal and two assists. Anytime your top line has that kind of offense, it’s usually going to end well in your favor.
Of course, there were some blemishes in the game.
The power play is lacking power, to put it lightly right now. Maybe after connecting for five-on-five scoring as they did today the Big 3 can get that portion of the game back on track tomorrow. They even had a four minute chance at the man advantage when Blake Comeau had his lip split and couldn’t capitalize — that’s how you know this group is snake bitten in that department. Usually that would be a guarantee of at least one more hitting the back of the net.
With 11 forwards and seven blueliners dressed today, the lines were all over the map. Outside of the top line, there were a ton of combinations put over the boards, and that led to some misfires in terms of passes. New York did a good job of pouncing on those moments, pressuring for turnovers. Luckily, Dallas was good at getting back to ensure that didn’t bite them in the hind end too hard today.
Dallas will get right back on the ice tomorrow night when they take on the New York Rangers. Hopefully some comfort with other guys on the ice was established so that if the team has to roll the same kind of lineup as tonight tomorrow, the misfires and turnovers will not be as pronounced.