The Dallas Stars are in the midst of a tough stretch of the schedule where they play some of the top teams in the league: the St. Louis Blues twice, the league-leading Boston Bruins, the Carolina Hurricanes.
So far the results have been mixed, leaning towards worrisome. They handily beat the Hurricanes, got stomped by the Blues, and lost a close one to the Bruins tonight.
“If that’s the measuring stick, that they’re the best team, we can play with them,” interim head coach Rick Bowness said after the game. “We can play with anyone. We just have to stick with the program for a full 60 minutes.”
At first, it appeared that this game was headed towards one of the most boring of the season (and that’s saying something for the Stars). After nearly half of the first period elapsed, the Stars and Bruins had a grand total of six shots combined.
However, after the feeling-out process played its way out, the game ended up being a pretty exciting one. The Stars opened the scoring with a power play goal, but then saw the Bruins tie it up late in the first period.
Dallas started the second strong, and Jaroslav Halak stood strong in net for Boston. Eventually, the skill of the black and gold squad showed up, striking for two quick goals less than two minutes apart about two-thirds of the way through the middle frame.
Denis Gurianov would cut the deficit for Dallas down to one early into the third period, but Boston restored the lead less than two minutes later. Though Dallas did a good job of keeping up with the Bruins, the Bruins found ways to deliver surgical offensive strikes to kill any momentum Dallas could have earned on the backs of their own goals.
A late rally fell just short, as the Stars lost a close one 4-3. It ended up being a fairly pacey game tonight, and fans were honestly shortchanged a bit by not seeing the teams play some three-on-three overtime hockey.
NOTED PUGILIST.... JOE PAVELSKI?
Joe Pavelski and David Krejci traded some punches in the game tonight after Krejci hauled Pavelski to the ice on an offensive zone entry by the Dallas forward. Neither player is really known for fighting, but the NBCSN broadcasters continued to talk up how crazy it was that Krejci was involved in the fight. After all, that Pavelski guy just goes around doing it all the time. He has a grand total of six fights in his 13+ seasons in the NHL. Neither guy had fought since 2017, but you’d be hard-pressed to know that listening to the color commentators tonight.
JAMIE BENN SCORES 300th CAREER GOAL — AND THEN DOESN’T — AND THEN DOES
Maybe Jamie Benn has become just the fourth player in franchise history to score 300 goals wearing the Dallas Stars/Minnesota North Stars colors. I say maybe because the goal scorer on the first power play goal tonight has been changed four times, oscillating between John Klingberg, who shot the puck from further out, and Jamie Benn who was in front of the net.
I’m sure it’ll change again before the morning arrives. So maybe congratulations to the Captain on his accomplishment. Or maybe we’ll hold off on it until the next time he maybe scores a goal. (This is actually the second time that he’s potentially had the accomplishment taken from him due to an off-ice scoring change after the fact.)
MIRO HEISKANEN ENDS GOAL DROUGHT
On a national stage, Miro Heiskanen had a shift that embodies just how special of a player he is. He protected the empty net in the defensive zone (Ben Bishop was on the bench for the extra attacker). He then noticed the Bruins player lose an edge and stepped up to move the play through neutral ice. He goes straight to the net, isn’t able to put home the initial shot, and then scored on a rebound to give the Stars the chance to push the game to overtime at the end of the third period.
His goal ended a 33-game goal-less drought he had been riding.