The Dallas Stars had no business walking out of Amalie Arena with so much as a point, let alone two. The Tampa Bay Lightning outshot the Stars 48-20 in what interim head coach Rick Bowness called “the worst game we’ve played in a while.”
Yet the Stars still won, thanks to the inhuman goaltender that is Anton Khudobin. Khudobin only let three of the Lightning’s 48 shots past him, two of which came on the power play. He was clearly the best player on the ice tonight, which makes his exclusion from the game’s three stars downright inexcusable.
The game started out on a high note, as Alexander Radulov scored just four minutes in (and on the power play!) to give Dallas the early lead:
Unfortunately, Radulov later went to the penalty box for tripping (big surprise), and Mikhail Sergachev scored on the power play. Minutes later, Rick Bowness carried on the will of his predecessor as the Stars took a too-many-men penalty. Radulov was sent to the box again to serve it, and once more Tampa Bay scored on the power play, this time courtesy of Alex Killorn.
Despite getting outshot 17-8 in the first period, Dallas didn’t seem to make any adjustments at intermission, instead continuing to leave Khudobin out to dry. Ondrej Palat scored just three minutes into the middle frame, putting the Lightning up 3-1 in what looked like the start of a blowout. But Khudobin stayed strong, and Radek Faksa managed to give the Stars a sliver of hope with a goal late in the period:
Against all odds, the Stars were outshot even more in the third period, and fans were left hoping for a miracle. That miracle’s name was Jason Dickinson, who chipped the puck into the net after an Andrew Cogliano shot squeezed past Andrei Vasilevskiy:
Against all odds, the Stars had overcome a 3-1 deficit and forced it into overtime. All seemed over when Tyler Johnson had a wide-open net, but he just barely missed as the puck chipped up a hair too high and headed for the side of the net. Radulov recovered the puck and sent it up the ice to the superior Tyler, as Seguin streaked down the side and sniped one past Vasilevskiy:
Just like that, the Stars had won the game 4-3. It wasn’t pretty, but in the words of Rick Bowness: “Take it and run.”
Final Score: Dallas 4, Tampa Bay 3 (OT)