The Stars end their four-game road trip tonight back in their home division where it began, this time against the St. Louis Blues. Big news for the Stars is the return of Jamie Benn, who would probably never let his team face off against his most hated rival without him. The Stars have taken four of six possible points out of the road trip so far and as of opening face-off, still occupied the first Wild Card spot.
The St. Louis Blues began the evening on a seven-game home win streak, though they did lose just last night against the Carolina Hurricanes (who had Evander Holyfield out for the Surge, it was awesome).
This is the last of four meetings between the two clubs, and the Stars lead the season series 2-1.
The opening period took a while to really get going, partly because the referees had to call so very many penalties on Blake Comeau. The first, a high-sticking against Ryan O’Reilly, was eventually called off because O’Reilly’s stick prevented Comeau from contact with the puck and might have directed Comeau’s stick toward O’Reilly’s face. It’s pretty unclear from the video whether it was truly necessary for Comeau’s stick to be that high, and Craig Berube wasn’t terribly happy about it.
The officials just took away a penalty from Dallas. They called this high-stick and took it away following the whistle.— Cristiano Simonetta (@CMS_74_) March 3, 2019
I've never seen this before and I've been watching hockey my whole life. pic.twitter.com/2hyPMvzyBn
Comeau made up for the missed penalty there by tripping himself and Oskar Sundqvist at the blue line. He did serve those two minutes and then, less than a minute later, another two minutes for slashing Joel Edmundson. Luckily, the Dallas penalty kill held strong against both of those shorthanded events.
Late in the period with just over three minutes left, Taylor Fedun took a shot from the blue line that Jamie Benn redirected in front of the net.
And then, just under two minutes later, Comeau made up for all of the penalties. Mattias Janmark carried the puck through the neutral zone, passed the puck to Comeau along the boards, who then handed it off to John Klingberg, all alone in front of the net. There was no Blues pressure on Comeau, and no one covering Klingberg, who really needed the confidence boost that a goal could give him. 2-0 in favor of the Stars.
John Klingberg with TONS of space, and he places it over the shoulder of Binnington, and the Stars double their lead up.— Dylan Nadwodny (@dnadders) March 3, 2019
DAL 2 - 0 STL pic.twitter.com/Lmg4JpruCi
The Blues might have outshot the Stars early in the period, but they were definitely looking like a team that played a game the night before by the end of the twenty minutes.
Another note: after a big collision, Jason Dickinson wasn’t on the bench for at least 10 minutes of the first, but was back on the bench for the beginning of the second.
Shots: Dallas 7, Blues 12
Score: Dallas 2, Blues 0
Because the Stars didn’t have enough fun on the penalty kill in the first period, they decided to start the second period with the man disadvantage as well. Roope Hintz had a delayed call for holding against O’Reilly. Thankfully, the Stars penalty kill remains perfect in this game, but it was pretty close.
Alex Pietrangelo took a shot on goal, and Ben Bishop blocked it but couldn’t control the rebound. Jaden Schwartz picked up the rebound while Bishop was laid out like a beached whale in the net, but somehow the puck stayed out of the net.
Comeau followed that up with a breakaway, but couldn’t get it past Jordan Binnington.
This tweet is included because Patrick Maroon and Jamie Benn got into it a bit, but also because it’s a really good descriptor of any Stars versus Blues game in general.
things happened and people got mad pic.twitter.com/pHlYFvvQvR— Dylan Nadwodny (@dnadders) March 3, 2019
Sundqvist had a really excellent and unfortunately timed (for the Stars) pass across the Stars zone to Pietrangelo, who got the puck past Bishop to cut the lead in half, 2-1.
Sundqvist feeds it to the captain, Pietrangelo, and the Blues pull it to a one goal game.— Dylan Nadwodny (@dnadders) March 3, 2019
DAL 2 - 1 STL pic.twitter.com/1AIjVd5814
It had to happen at some point, as the Blues had too many shots on goal, and at least it was an actually really pretty play and not some bad puck luck, but it still stung a bit.
Jason Dickinson, expressing some frustration for not being able to score on Binnington in a while, whacked at the puck after the goaltender had covered it, which led to MacKenzie MacEachern dropping his gloves and jumping him. Dickinson did not respond in kind, so MacEachern went off for two minutes due to roughing.
On the power play, Benn had a perfect no-look goal off a beautiful pass from Tyler Seguin.
Benn got him good, putting the Stars back to a two-goal lead late in the second.
The Stars outshot the Blues in this period, but not enough to dig themselves out of the hole from the first. They’d largely kept the Blues out of the high-danger area just in front of the net.
Shots: Dallas 17, Blues 20
Score: Dallas 3, Blues 1
So what happened in the third period was a lot of the Stars chasing the Blues while attempting to keep their lead. The shot tide rolled entirely toward the Blues this period, which makes sense as they were trailing the entire game.
And then, with three minutes left to play in the game, the Blues pulled Binnington for the man advantage, leaving their net empty.
That gave Jamie Benn the space and time to complete his fifth career hat trick and the second such hat trick in the Enterprise Center. (This is also his first hat trick since April of 2018.) That sealed the game for the Stars, as they won 4-1.
for The Captain with a— Dylan Nadwodny (@dnadders) March 3, 2019
Jamie Benn with three of Dallas' four goals to seal the win.
DAL 4 - 1 STL pic.twitter.com/DiGj44EUgD
He really loves winning against the Blues.
And that’s the game! Six out of a possible eight points on the road, so let’s call that a successful road trip. The Stars are back home against the New York Rangers on Tuesday. Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m. CST.