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Explosive Second Period Propels Stars Past Jets 5-2

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The Stars badly needed a win heading into tonight. They left with two points and a sigh of relief.

NHL: Dallas Stars at Winnipeg Jets James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

After going 1-3-1 at home over the past five games, the Dallas Stars headed into tonight’s game against the Winnipeg Jets desperately needing a win. And thanks to a stellar second period that included three goals in five minutes, the Stars got one.

Tyler Seguin led the Stars to victory with a two-goal performance, giving him 31 total for the year. That gives him five 30-plus goal seasons in a Stars uniform, second to only Mike Modano (seven seasons) in franchise history. Radek Faksa also scored twice — although one was an empty-netter — and without Esa Lindell’s goal, the scoring might have never even started.

Ben Bishop didn’t get the shutout, but was absolutely spectacular in his 200th career win. His puck-handling skills set up Faksa’s first goal, and he was perfect until the Jets scored on a 2-on-1 and on the power play. And while he won’t show up on the score sheet, Jason Dickinson had a fantastic night as well, with too many Grade A scoring opportunities to count.

The win gives Dallas the series win over Winnipeg, going 3-1 and outscoring the Jets 15-9 across four contests. More importantly, it puts Dallas five points up on the Arizona Coyotes for ninth and three up on the Colorado Avalanche for eighth. So perhaps we shouldn’t panic after all.

First Period

The game could have started a lot better, as Brett Ritchie took a roughing penalty less than two minutes into the game. Thankfully the Stars’ penalty kill only allowed two shots on net, and Jason Dickinson even had a shorthanded breakaway, which was denied by Connor Hellebuyck.

About six and a half minutes in, the Stars rushed into the offensive zone and quickly fired off a couple of shots. Miro Heiskanen then found himself with a wide open net, but was robbed not by Hellebuyck, but by Mark Scheifele.

The Stars continued to put pressure on Hellebuyck, but had trouble getting the puck on net, which included Ritchie missing an open net on a beautiful cross-ice pass by Valeri Nichushkin. The shots started to die down a bit as time went on, and the Stars found themselves with yet another 0-0 first period.

Score: Dallas 0, Winnipeg 0
Shots: Dallas 12, Winnipeg 8

Second Period

The middle frame started a bit slow, without much action either way. Tyler Seguin did have a rush down the left side, but when he fired off a shot, it deflected off the post, because of course it did. A little more than seven minutes in, Andrew Cogliano drew a hooking penalty by Patrik Laine, and the Stars went on their first power play of the night.

John Klingberg has a great chance streaking into the offensive zone, but was stopped by Hellebuyck. Despite generating five shots on net, the Stars ultimately failed to score on the power play. Shortly afterwards, however, Esa Lindell managed to finally get the puck past Hellebuyck, which gave Dallas the first goal of the game.

That seemed to be the spark the Stars needed, as Radek Faksa potted the second goal just two minutes later, featuring a secondary assist by goaltender Ben Bishop. Yes, you read that right — an assist by Bishop.

The Stars would then get their second power play opportunity thanks to a holding by Dmitry Kulikov. Halfway through the penalty, the Jets were called for too many men, giving Dallas a minute of 5-on-3. The Stars’ shooters had a few hiccups, but ultimately found twine thanks to a beautiful Tyler Seguin wrister:

That would be it for an exciting second period, and the Stars headed to the locker room up by three.

Score: Dallas 3, Winnipeg 0
Shots: Dallas 29, Winnipeg 19

Third Period

The final period started even slower than the second, with Dallas shifting back to defense-first hockey and the Jets lacking any answer to their struggles. Nine minutes in, the Stars went on their fourth power play thanks to a Kyle Connor interference penalty against Alexander Radulov, who was crashing the net and trying to slip one past Hellebuyck.

With about 30 seconds left on the man advantage, a bad turnover by Tyler Myers gave Miro Heiskanen the puck with plenty of space. Heiskanen deked past Dmitry Kulikov before passing the puck to Seguin, who proceeded to net his second of the evening.

The celebration was short-lived, however. After Jason Dickinson got extremely close to slipping one past Hellebuyck, Kevin Hayes and Kyle Connor had a 2-on-1 rush against Ben Lovejoy. Hayes made a great pass to Connor, who effortlessly put Winnipeg on the board, ruining Ben Bishop’s chances of a shutout.

A few minutes later, Faksa caught Schefiele with a high stick while falling down, giving a desperate Jets team their second power play of the night. Patrik Laine failed to score off of a snipe that hit the post, but he immediately redeemed himself and broke a 12-game scoring drought.

The Jets would eventually pull Hellebuyck for the extra man, but their comeback was too little, too late. After Faksa missed the empty net, a bizarre sequence of events eventually forced the puck into the net anyways. Faksa got credit for the goal, and Dallas sealed the win.

Final Score: Dallas 5, Winnipeg 2
Final Shots: Dallas 37, Winnipeg 23

Mood:

Next game up for Dallas is against the best in the West, the Calgary Flames. Puck drops at 7:30 p.m. CDT on Wednesday.