The Dallas Stars are on the second game of their three-game road trip, visiting Missouri and the St. Louis Blues for the first of four meetings between the two teams. The Stars, of course, are coming off the 5-1 loss in Winnipeg two nights ago, while the Blues shutout the Flyers last night in Philadelphia.
The Blues are currently seven points out of the playoffs, but they do have three games in hand on the Stars, who currently occupy the first Wild Card spot.
Goaltender Jake Allen’s last game on Saturday saw him let in four goals on 14 shots. Ben Bishop let the same number in on Sunday, but on 29 shots.
The first 10 minutes or so of this hockey game were rough for the Stars. Connor Carrick took two early penalties, one for high-sticking and one for holding, but somehow still managed to get 2:35 in playing time during the period.
Thankfully for the Stars, the Blues’ power play has been a little wilted of late, as they’ve scored just four power play goals since December 1. Even when not on the penalty kill, the Stars struggled to clear the puck from their zone in the early going and spent a lot of time in their zone. Or they’d clear the puck out to the neutral zone just to dump it into the Blues’ zone and turn it over again.
The Stars’ first shot on goal happened a little over midway through the period, but their second shot at 11:27 was the important one.
Alexander Radulov got the puck to the front of the net from along the boards. John Klingberg found Tyler Seguin in front of the net, and Seguin found the back of Jake Allen.
The Stars had a much better second half of the first period, and did eventually manage to outshoot as well as outscore the Blues.
The Stars had their own power play opportunity early in the second. At eight seconds in, Robert Bortuzzo went to the box for kneeing Mattias Janmark. Janmark got up on his own and continued to play, so it doesn’t appear as though any damage was done. Twenty-five seconds later, Zach Sanford took a slashing penalty against Klingberg.
They made the most of the two-man advantage with Klingberg netting the goal.
Radulov passed the puck out to Klingberg, who took the shot from the point. With his own teammates screening him, Allen didn’t even see it.
Five minutes later, Seguin put himself on hat trick watch with a really strange angle goal from the boards.
There’s no reason that should have gone in at all, but it did put the Stars up 3-0 with more than half the game left to play.
In a “score effects are real” kind of way, the Blues put the Stars on defense after the third goal. At Seguin’s goal, they’d only had one shot that period, but got up to 11 by the end, playing keep away with the Stars.
And then this happened.
Ryan O’Reilly won the face-off in the Stars’ own zone and kept the puck in the Blues’ possession. David Perron came around behind the net and just waltzed out in front of it, scoring off his backhand.
While the Stars did struggle a bit in the second half of the period, they did however get the momentum swinging back their way again by the end. And still, somehow, didn’t score here:
In the third period, the Stars parked the bus. They turtled so hard that their own mothers are now living in shells. Just check out this textbook-level defensive coverage where every single Star on the ice squats in the crease while Esa Lindell makes a diving save with his chest.
what a diving save by...— Dylan Nadwodny (@dnadders) January 9, 2019
esa lindell? pic.twitter.com/pWCK1RL9JR
Of course, it doesn’t matter if they win, right? The Blues pulled Allen with three minutes left to go in the game and though the Stars couldn’t hit the empty net, the Blues couldn’t score either.
Final Score: a respectable 3-1. The Stars will be in Philadelphia on Thursday night with puck drop at 6 p.m. Central.