That great feeling of heated playoff hockey where you have to leave everything out on the ice has arrived. The Dallas Stars have everything to lose if they can’t string some wins together in the last 10 games of the season.
Jamie Benn let the Winnipeg Jets know early on that the Stars weren’t going down without a fight. At the start of the first period, it was obvious Dallas took to the ice with a chip on their shoulder and played with a fiery, fast-paced style.
The Jets were called six minutes into the game for tripping, which put Dallas on their first power play of the night. The Stars generated a couple of great chances in close on Connor Hellebuyck, but nothing came to fruition for the Stars as the Jets shut down each opportunity for their opposition.
Ben Bishop was able to make the save of the night fairly early in the first as he used every bit of his 6’7” frame to save a rather open shot against Bryan Little. Unfortunately, Bishop landed awkwardly on his knee after the save, or his leg was caught on the post. Either way, Bishop was in pain and headed off the ice for Kari Lehtonen to fill in between the pipes.
Bishop comes up with an unbelievable lunging save and he is slow to get up after the save. Lehtonen is now in goal for the Stars. #DALvsWPG— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) March 18, 2018
Ben Bishop has a lower body injury and will not return. #DALvsWPG— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) March 19, 2018
Dustin Byfuglien headed to the box for interference as things got a little chippy when Antoine Roussell rushed in on Hellebuyck. The Stars were unable capitalize going 0-2 on the power play, while Winnipeg did the exact opposite.
Benn took down Blake Wheeler and drew the penalty for Winnipeg’s first man-advantage of the night. Patrik Laine was then able to take advantage of the ill-advised penalty just seconds later to give the Jets the 1-0 lead as they headed into the middle frame. The Stars went at the Jets head-on and with fire in the first period, but slipped up in the final seconds to allow Laine’s goal.
Dallas was able to respond just 1:12 into the second to tie the game up at 1-1. Radek Faksa found Mattias Janmark, who beat Hellebuyck with a wrister on the glove side. Yet close a minute later, Ben Chiarot responded for the Jets. Dallas couldn’t clear the puck out of the zone, and Chiarot fired the shot through traffic to make it 2-1 in favor of Winnipeg.
Patrik Laine picked up his second goal of the night as he capitalized on another fairly wide open chance and put home the wrister to make it 3-1. Winnipeg was able to storm the Stars’ zone, past the defense, and make a couple of nice passes to set up Laine beautifully, unfortunately.
Dallas drew a penalty with 3:47 left in the second period for the Stars’ third power play. This time, the Stars made it count. Benn cut down the lead as he fired in a rocket past Hellebuyck’s left shoulder to make it 3-2 as they headed into the final period.
The Jets are able to get another power play opportunity, however, as they tried to put the game away. The Stars killed off the third penalty in a row after giving up just the the first late in the opening period. Dallas simply tried to just scratch and claw their way to tie the game up and head to overtime, but Blake Wheeler gave the Jets the empty-netter goal to make it 4-2 in the final minutes of the game.
The Stars still look for their first win on this road trip and will be desperate to find any type of points against their next opponent as they fight for a position in the playoff race. Dallas will finish up this six-game road trip against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday at 6 p.m. CST.