Well the game could have certainly started better. Taylor Fedun took a tripping penalty just 2:41 in to put the league’s top power play unit on the ice. The Stars killed off the penalty without too much trouble, but took another penalty three minutes later when Mattias Janmark tripped Steven Stamkos. This time, the Lightning only needed eight seconds before Stamkos got his revenge with an effortless power play goal.
Less than five minutes later, Anton Khudobin whiffed on an attempt to clear the puck from the Stars’ zone, and Mikhail Sergachev soon made him pay with a snipe that made it 2-0. Twelve seconds later, Tyler Johnson slipped yet another one past Khudobin, and the Russian netminder was done for the night.
Unfortunately, with Ben Bishop still out due to injury, the Stars were forced to put AHL starter Landon Bow in against the best team in the league. If that sounds like a recipe for disaster, it’s because it is, and Nikita Kucherov made it 4-0 less than two minutes later.
The Lightning then decided to take mercy on the Stars, choosing not to score for the remainder of the first period. The Stars had a chance to score themselves when J.T. Miller took a slashing penalty, but they failed to make anything of the power play opportunity.
Score: Dallas 0, Tampa Bay 4
Shots: Dallas 13, Tampa Bay 10
For some reason, the Stars decided to put Khudobin back in to start the second in what was already a lost game. Janmark had a chance to try to change that with a breakaway a couple minutes in, but he failed to get the puck past Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Dallas got a couple more quality chances, but ultimately failed to score. A little less than halfway through, the Lightning got bored of not scoring and decided to make Alex Killorn the fifth goal scorer of the evening. Ouch.
From there, both teams continued to trade quality chances back and forth, with Khudobin looking a bit more like his usual self and Vasilevskiy still a brick wall. With about five minutes left, Tyler Seguin gave the Lightning their third power play of the evening thanks to a delay of game penalty. That eventually led to another Stamkos goal on the power play, making it 6-0 Lightning.
Did I mention recapping this game was depressing? Because it was depressing.
Score: Dallas 0, Tampa Bay 6
Shots: Dallas 25, Tampa Bay 24
Another period, another goalie change. Bow went back in to finish the game, and would be tested early when Alexander Radulov took a tripping penalty a little less than four minutes into the third. The young goalie was bailed out when Alex Killorn took a slashing penalty halfway through the power play, although Dallas didn’t even bother to try to score once the 4-on-4 ended and they went up a man.
Jamie Benn then got into a scuffle with Adam Erne not much later, either because Erne hit Miro Heiskanen pretty hard near the beginning of the game or because he’s the captain and that means getting into pointless fights to “send a message.” Either way, Benn ended up taking a slashing for the way he initiated the exchange, and both players took offsetting roughing minors.
Final Shots: Dallas 32, Tampa Bay 26
Final Score: Dallas 0, Tampa Bay 6
The Stars finish their road trip on Saturday, February 16, when they face the Carolina Hurricanes. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. CST.