Teams playing in a second half of a back-to-back set just 24 hours after their first game don’t usually look their sharpest. The Dallas Stars took that to a whole new level when they faced off against the well-rested New York Islanders after an eventful 5-3 win over the New York Rangers the previous night.
Without Ben Bishop in net, the Stars would have been run out of the building in the first half of the first period alone.
One day, we’ll look back on this reason and be able to pinpoint a reason as to why the Stars seem to always start games slowly. Though, if the coaches and players haven’t figured it out, don’t expect to find some magic bullet just by watching replays of the games.
For yet another game, the Stars came out flat. The Islanders, having not played a game since Saturday night, were much sharper. Head coach Barry Trotz usually has his teams locked and ready to go at puck drop, and they took no time at all taking advantage of the Stars’ heavier legs.
Just 1:30 into the game, Anthony Beauvillier opened the scoring. He took a pass from Jordan Eberle that should never have been able to get between Jamie Oleksiak and Corey Perry, and was able to outskate Roman Polak straight to the net.
After that goal, the Islanders continued to pour it on. At one point, the Stars were being outshot 9-1. Even with two early power play opportunities, the Islanders were completely running all over the Stars. Without Bishop’s early heroics, the score would have been much worse than the 1-0 showing on the scoreboard.
Dallas would use a power play that is finally starting to heat up again to equalize the game more than 12 minutes later. Denis Gurianov took an insane no-look pass by Perry at the side of the net to send the puck past Semyon Varlamov, who had been pulled the other way expecting the shot from Perry.
Dallas ended the period with a 16-3 deficit in shots on goal. However, they were tied where it mattered — the scoreboard.
Dallas continued getting into penalty trouble to start the middle frame, once due to Alexander Radulov’s slashing of an opponent and once thanks to a tripping by Radek Faksa. The penalty kill, which had been punched through several times versus the New York Rangers the night before, stood tall, killing off all four of the opponent’s first tries at scoring with a man advantage.
After allowing the first goal against for the eighth game in a row, Jason Dickinson would give Dallas their first lead of the game. Blake Comeau did good work to get the puck through neutral ice, hitting the blueline with speed with Andrew Cogliano. Cogliano passed the puck to the trailer in Dickinson, who snapped it home right from the sweet spot of the slot in front of Varlamov.
The lead would be very short-lived.
Just a minute later, the Stars would surrender the tying goal to Derrick Brassard. He put the puck through the barest of sunlight that shone through a small hole between Bishop and the pipe. It’s not usually one that would get past Bishop, but games get weird in New York for Dallas for some reason.
Give the Stars credit, they did play a much better team game in the third period. They looked a lot better with layered defending, forwards supporting the blueliners to move the puck through neutral ice and push the pace away from their own zone.
That play helped lead to the go-ahead goal by John Klingberg just over six minutes into the game:
It was the top defenseman’s first goal since December 1st. A lot of players for Dallas got off long goal-less scoring draughts. Unfortunately, Tyler Seguin wasn’t one of them this road trip, as his drought stretched to 14 and counting.
The penalty kill, which got a lot of work tonight, came up short as penalties finally caught up to the Stars. After seemingly scoring, and then having the tying goal disallowed thanks to a rather obvious goaltender interference, the Islanders came right back still on the man advantage to tie the game late in the third period.
Matthew Barzal made the entire team look ridiculous with this move, which is very likely going to end up on an ESPN Top 10 plays countdown tomorrow:
HOW. DID. HE. DO. THAT. pic.twitter.com/h3vSo22rSU— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) February 5, 2020
Though Dallas had a good push offensively after the tying goal, neither team could find the winner in regulation.
After several instances of fans and media questioning interim head coach Rick Bowness’ decision to start overtime with a defensively-oriented trio, he changed it up for the second time in a row with a more offensively-minded grouping. Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, and John Klingberg were the openers this time. They did have a good look, and Alexander Radulov followed up with some quality work to keep a play alive in the offensive zone.
A turnover in the neutral zone by Joe Pavelski led to a Beauvillier overtime winner on a breakaway that picked a corner right over Bishop’s shoulder.
Dallas ends their three game trip through New York CCity with five of a possible six points. They’ll be back on the ice Friday night when they host the Minnesota Wild before heading to St. Louis to take on the Blues the next night.
February has no chill.
See the team in action yourself by purchasing a last-minute ticket to be at the American Airlines Center. Some Friday night hockey is just what you need right now.