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Stars Fall in Boston But Pick Up a Point

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That could have gone better.

NHL: Dallas Stars at Boston Bruins Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The penultimate stop on this eastern road trip found the Dallas Stars in Boston tonight to take on the Bruins.

Lest you think this is an opportunity to rehash the Tyler Seguin trade, there is another player currently on the Stars who was their more recently: backup goaltender (and road trip hero) Anton Khudobin. Khudobin left the Bruins this past summer at the end of his two-year contract with the team.

The Bruins are 7-4-0 on the season, with five of those wins on home ice. Tonight they were fresh off a four-game road trip on which they split the decisions evenly between two wins and two losses. The Stars have struggled to win on the road so far this season, but came into Boston hot on a three-game win streak.

First Period

This tweet shows 5-on-5 shot attempts after the first period. The all situations graphic is worse, but that’s mostly because there was only one penalty taken in the first and it was a weak call on Roman Polak.

It’s hard to score when you don’t shoot, and the Stars ended the first period with four shots on goal. That’s it. Four. The upshot? Tuukka Rask’s save percentage really suffered.

The call on Polak came a little over three minutes into the game when Brad Marchand held onto Polak as the Stars forward checked him against the boards. Polak was called for interference and the Stars went on the penalty kill.

The Stars drew first blood though when a combination of Miro Heiskenan and Khudobin kept the puck out of the Stars’ net. Radek Faksa carried it out of the Stars’ zone and threw the puck on net, looking for all the world like he did not expect it to find the back of the net.

But it did.

Unfortunately for the Stars’ lead, David Pastrnak took over lead scorer in the NHL with his 12th goal of the season. With the puck stuck in the corner, the shorthanded Stars bit hard on heading over to the corner of the ice, which left Pastrnak wide open in front of Khudobin.

The rest of the period was a lot of pressure from the Bruins and a lot of passes from the Stars that didn’t quite connect.

Second Period

The second period wasn’t terribly exciting, but it did come with a few positives. First, the Stars actually outshot the Bruins in the period. Although this is one of those deceiving kind of hockey counts, because the Bruins definitely out-played, out-possessed, and out-chanced the Stars in the second, but let’s take the positives where we can find them.

Khudobin had some assistance from the pipes in the second. The score would definitely not still be tied after two without the Bruins ringing at least two shots off the pipes. Although that shouldn’t discount the job that Khudobin did in the first and second to keep the score even.

Which includes the masterful job he did at tricking the referee into thinking he had the puck when he most certainly did not have the puck and play was whistled down as Anders Bjork shot the entirely free puck into the wide open net. This was not a popular move in the home arena, as one might imagine.

Still, whistle it down they did and the score remained tied at 1-1.

Third Period

This period was more of the second period except that the Bruins outshot the Stars by one. It also featured Torey Krug dumping Gemel Smith into the boards, which earned him two minutes in the box during which time the Stars were not able to put much together in the way of offense.

Khudobin remained completely determined to not lose this game against his former club. Still, after 60 minutes the score remained tied and the Stars went to overtime.

Overtime

The Stars had two really stellar chances in the first few minutes of 3-on-3 play but took two rather unfortunate penalties. The first was when they had a sloppy line change that resulted in a penalty for too many men and the second was when Esa Lindell dumped Brad Marchand along the boards. The resulting 5-on-3 power play ended with Marchand getting the game-winning goal, which Khudobin’s seal and the Stars’ winning streak.

Tyler Seguin, as you might have surmised, remains on a goal drought. The Stars are in Columbus tomorrow with puck drop at 6 p.m. CDT.