Does it count as a back-to-back for the Dallas Stars when yesterday’s game started at noon and it’s (sorta) in the same enormous city? My feeling is no, but the Stars apparently disagreed.
The eruption in scoring yesterday was a season high in goals for the Stars (they’ve gotten to five several times) and a huge sigh of relief for Stars fans across the great state of Texas and indeed, the world. I saw you, New York Stars fans!
So the Stars rolled into the Barclay’s Center yesterday afternoon and handed the Islanders butts back to them, and were hoping to do so today in Madison Square Garden with the New York Rangers.
Unfortunately for the Stars, there is Henrik Lundqvist.
The Stars and the Rangers both had trouble getting their offense going in the early part of the period. The game remained entirely shotless for at least two minutes, but picked up toward the five-minute mark.
The Stars had a bench minor a little over seven minutes in for a call of too many men, but 14 seconds into the penalty kill, a short-handed chance for Jason Dickinson and Blake Comeau drew a slashing penalty from Vladislav Namestnikov, which gave the Stars a 4-on-4 play. The Stars then had 15 seconds of 5-on-3 for a tripping penalty that Alexander Radulov did some Shakespearean acting on.
Unfortunately, the Stars’ power play is still struggling without John Klingberg, and the Stars weren’t able to do much with the man advantage.
All of the momentum in the first swung the Stars’ way though, as they had five quality scoring chances to the Rangers’ one. Alas, Henrik Lundqvist.
Mika Zibanejad began the Rangers’ second period with high-sticking Jamie Benn right in the face. He didn’t draw blood, so it was just a two-minute minor. Then on that power play a turnover by Jamie Benn lead to a short-handed chance for the Rangers.
Bish is a wanted man for this robbery. pic.twitter.com/y9enWlIbYj— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) November 20, 2018
And just as Stars fans were lamenting whether or not the Stars’ power play would ever be powerful again, Tyler Seguin scored a beautiful power play goal, assisted by Esa Lindell and Jason Spezza with Benn parking himself directly in Lundqvist’s grill.
Jason Dickinson spent two minutes in the penalty box on a high-sticking call against Kevin Shattenkirk. The Stars killed the penalty but allowed far too much scrambling in front of the net. Still, it’s actually really hard to be mad at the way Jimmy Vesey ended up tying the game up for the Rangers.
That kind of goal doesn’t happen every day.
Just as Ben Bishop robbed the Rangers, so too did Lundqvist rob young Miro Heiskanen of his second goal of his career, right on Lundqvist's door step.
And so the second period ended as the first did, with a tie score. The Rangers crept up on the Stars in both shots on goal and high danger chances. Shot pressure swung toward the Stars in the first, but the Rangers owned much of it in the second. Someone must have reminded the Stars at some point during the second that they did, in fact, play yesterday.
Ben Bishop did not return for the third period due to a lower body injury. Anton Khudobin, who's been solid for the Stars in the early season, began the third.
A little under five minutes in, Filip Chytil went high glove on Khudobin to continue his scoring streak. It wasn’t anything like Vesey’s shot and is therefore much less forgivable.
The Stars spent most of the third period playing like a team that just played yesterday. From Vesey’s goal a little under midway through the second, the Stars had eight shots on goal in the rest of the game. The Rangers had 13 in the same time frame.
Despite a late period push and a pulled goalie with two minutes left, the Ranger held on to their one-goal lead to win it 2-1.
The Stars will play the Penguins in Pittsburgh on Wednesday at 6 p.m. CDT.