With last night’s overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators, the Dallas Stars could do no better than stay even in the ever-tighter Western Conference wild-card race. More ominous still, they lost a season-high fourth game in a row. And with the Winnipeg Jets and Washington Capitals on the horizon, the toughest part of their road trip is yet to come.
The loss had its moments, such as Tyler Seguin scoring his 38th goal of the season for a new career high:
But not even that milestone was much comfort, writes Mike Heika in The Dallas Morning News:
“We are in such a big race for the playoffs. That takes up all my time. That’s where my mindset is. Every point is valuable,” said Seguin not wanting to dwell on his personal accomplishment.
The Sens kept the Stars from even getting a shot on goal in the third period until Jason Spezza bounced one off Craig Anderson 16 minutes into the frame. The gang also gave up a 2-1 lead to a Matt Duchene goal with 3:10 left. That left them to scramble for the equalizer, which Tyler Pitlick finally solved with less than two minutes left:
Ben Bishop stopped 22 of 25 shots (.880 save percentage) in his return to the lineup:
“The games are there for the taking. It’s about us going out and doing it. Not waiting until we have to get a goal in the third. When we get a lead, it’s about extending it now, instead of sitting on it and waiting for us to turn it up a notch.”
Mike has more coverage and game notes, including an update on the Marc Methot injury. [SportsDayDFW]]
Hitch says that the point the Stars got in Toronto was tough, but the point tonight was a good one to get. pic.twitter.com/Dq8zfwRSjx— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) March 17, 2018
The Senators put together a nice tribute video for returning hero Methot, who remained a scratch with a hand injury. His brother Matthieu, a former Ottawa 67s defender and now an officer with the Ottawa Police, was a member of the color guard during the game’s opening ceremonies.
Thank you Marc Methot for 5 great years of memories on and off the ice. pic.twitter.com/9WfPnqZX7X— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) March 17, 2018
With Bishop’s return, goalie Mike McKenna was reassigned to Cedar Park.
Unfortunately, the netminder rarely scores goals, as Josh Bogorad seems to remind:
Stars fans should be excited that Bishop is back. They are better with him than without. But Kari allowed eight goals in his first four starts after Bishop's injury. Even acknowledging the disastrous start in Toronto, Kari has not been the issue.— Josh Bogorad (@JoshBogorad) March 16, 2018
And in the insult-to-injury department, you can count on the national broadcast to really stick the knife in.
the dallas stars changed their logo five years ago, but don’t tell nbcsn pic.twitter.com/CkiA1Jbb9r— Tom Dorsa (@TomDorsa) March 16, 2018
Around the League(s)
The #Murder Book
- In Central-on-Central violence, Filip Forsberg and Colton Sissons grabbed two apples each as the Nashville Predators thumped the Colorado Avalanche 4-2. [On The Forecheck]
- Did you know that Jason Zucker is the only NHL player to have grown up in Las Vegas? He opened the scoring in his first game in his hometown as the Minnesota Wild handled the Vegas Golden Knights, 4-2. [Hockey Wilderness]
Thanks in part to the Stars’ OT loss, the Preds have officially become the first team to punch their 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs ticket.
The Western Conference race tightened up as the Anaheim Ducks defeated the Detroit Red Wings 4-2. Anaheim, locked in a battle for third in the Pacific Division with the Los Angeles Kings, is now tied with Dallas, L.A. and Colorado with 84 points – although the Stars keep the tiebreaker advantage and the second wild-card spot, for now.
The San Jose Sharks stifled the Calgary Flames 7-4 in another WC game that had implications for the wild-card race. Evander Kane wrecked house with four goals, and somethingsomething-Joe Thornton-something. [Matchsticks and Gasoline]
The Caps put on a show for Alex Ovechkin to honor his 600th NHL goal. They beat the New York Islanders 6-3 to maintain their Metropolitan Division lead.
The standings are tighter than a new pair of microfiber shoes. This handy chart was valid 24 hours ago – check back tonight to see if anything changes.
It’s time to start narrowing down the field for postseason NHL awards. Here’s the NHL Network take on the Vezina race.
Kevin Woodley believes the latest goalie geographic wave has broken for Russia, courtesy of Sergei Bobrovsky, Andrei Vasilevskiy, Semyon Varlamov and Alexander Georgiev.
And Kevin Weekes proposes that the Hart Trophy race is down to five players, including the Central Division’s Blake Wheeler and Nathan MacKinnon.
Is Ilya Kovalchuk coming back to the NHL? He hasn’t given up on the idea, but what team would take him on? Discuss.
Ilya Kovalchuk told @MatchTV he wouldn't forgive himself if he doesn't return to the NHL this year and play there several years. Again cited the Triple Gold club as a goal— Igor Eronko (@IgorEronko) March 16, 2018
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
Roope Hintz scored with 6.4 seconds left in regulation to get the game to overtime and the #txstars get a point in a 6-5 loss to Cleveland on Friday.— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) March 17, 2018
Read: https://t.co/Rfc6qK5iEy pic.twitter.com/fvzFKIuAw7
Producer and DJ Marshmello wanted to try something different to announce some upcoming shows – so he joined the Kings on the ice for some real fantasy hockey. Enjoy.