The Dallas Stars are going (point) streaking! With at least a point in their last six games, the Stars continued westward on their road trip to British Columbia for a late night tilt against the Vancouver Canucks, where they picked up another crucial two points. Coming off a game just last night against the Calgary Flames where they won but also lost a player, which is just par for the course this season.
Several things have been going very well for the Stars, namely secondary scoring, some decent defense, and two healthy goaltenders. At the same time, the injured list has done nothing but grow. With John Klingberg and Roope Hintz both on IR and Andrew Cogliano’s uncertain status after an injury last night, the Stars called Rhett Gardner up from Cedar Park. Roman Polak played his first game since opening night when he had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher.
The Vancouver Canucks had a hot start to the season (possibly due to an easier schedule than others) that has cooled off in the early part of November. Their success has been unexpected, which makes their fall a little easier to explain.
The Canucks have been playing a high event, lively brand of hockey this season, and that definitely continued through the early part of this game. Since that’s a brand of hockey that the Stars have previously excelled at, and since they, in general, tend to play down or up to their opponents, the Stars looked a lot like the Stars of previous seasons. Passes were crisp, shots were taken, and things got pretty feisty.
Jordie Benn, former Star and always brother to the Captain, laid a pretty big hit on Nick Caamano against the boards. Denis Gurianov took exception and thus a rumble was born.
Could have been better, could have been worse, but as this was Gurianov’s first fight and it’s definitely not something Jordie Benn is known for, what was anyone really expecting?
Forty-five seconds after that fight, Dallas’ top line of Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, and Justin Dowling connected on a very beautiful, textbook example of a goal.
The beauty in the cross ice pass from Benn, Seguin finding Dowling in front of the net, Dowling again with the patience and the dangle to beat Jacob Markstrom point blank. This is Dowling’s second of his career and second in two nights.
Each team had their chance at a power play. The Canucks came first when Seguin took a tripping call against J.T. Miller and Troy Stecher with a very weak call for interference against Joe Pavelski. About midway through the first, the game got ever so slightly touchier, and the call against the Canucks may have simply been a splash of cold water for refocusing purposes.
The second period got even more high event and exciting, for a certain definition of the word.
Pavelski took a slashing penalty against Sven Baertschi, but the Stars killed that penalty and the Canucks were 0 for 2 on the power play.
Passes kept connecting this period and Blake Comeau carried the puck through the neutral zone to score off a diving back hand early in the second.
He immediately went back to the dressing room for evaluation of something, but was back on the bench and on the ice later in the period, so it didn’t appear to be serious.
There were a pair of goals from the Canucks in the middle frame. The first was a Jake Virtanen goal off a big rebound from Tanner Pearson. Anton Khudobin could stop the first but not the second and got little support from his defense. Troy Stecher scored on a wrister from the top of the zone that Khudobin couldn't track because of the giant player in blue right in front of him.
However, the second period did not end with a tie, because Tyler Seguin finally scored again in the last two minutes of the period. Seguin carried the puck in, dropped it for Heiskenan, who went tick tack toe with Jamie Benn and then back to Seguin. It was a thing of beauty.
The fight lasted till the end of the period with a lot of pressure from the Canucks, but the Stars go into the final frame up a goal.
The two teams made it through the first five minutes of the third period without a single penalty, which is impressive in itself.
Because score effects are a real thing that happens, the Canucks had the overwhelming pressure in the third period while the Stars turned turtle and just tried to hang on to their lead.
Alexander Radulov scored with two and a half minutes to go off a forced turnover and just an embarrassing lack of effort from Markstrom.
At some point in the third period, Jason Dickinson went to the locker room, most likely for concussion protocol. Check the post game interviews for updates.
But the Stars held on to win their first back-to-back games this season. They’ll be back in Alberta Saturday to take on the Edmonton Oilers in an afternoon game before heading home from the road trip. Puck drop on Saturday afternoon is 3 pm CT.