The Stars are without interim head coach Rick Bowness tonight, who is out with the flu. Assistant coach John Stevens, who was once a head coach in both Los Angeles and Philadelphia, was at the helm for the team tonight.
The defending Stanley Cup Champions are fourth in the league and first in the Western Conference, but have been struggling of late. They’ve gone 2-4-0 since the All Star break, a record that includes two losses to the Winnipeg Jets.
Alexander Radulov was out tonight after missing the third period last night after a collision with Denis Gurianov. His absence means Joel Kiviranta, who scored his first NHL goal just a few games ago, draws back into the lineup.
Despite the fact that the first period was a lot of give and take with an almost even number of shots the whole way through and two penalties on each side, it was Colton Parayko’s period to win.
Kiviranta took the first penalty, a weak tripping call against Ivan Barbashev. Though there was a lot of zone time for the Blues, there were only two shots on goal and not a lot of opportunity.
Barbashev drew another penalty a few minutes later, this time a boarding call against Jamie Benn, which resulted in Colton Parayko’s first goal.
This goal came off a nifty behind-the-back, no-look pass from Robert Thomas and a cross-ice pass to Vince Dunn.
Tyler Seguin had a beautiful opportunity to break his drought but unfortunately for him, Jordan Binnington was Jordan Binnington. Barbashev returned the penalty favor by roughing Miro Heiskanen in front of the Stars’ bench right as Tyler Seguin was being robbed by Binnington, so the Stars went on the power play. Though they had six shots on the power play (more than both of the Blues’ power plays combined), the Stars were unable to convert any chances with the man-advantage.
Instead, after a prolonged period of time in the defensive zone, John Klingberg tried to clear the puck but had it nabbed by David Perron, who passed it off to Parayko on the point.
So Parayko found himself on hat trick watch a little over halfway through the first period. Finding themselves down in the first is pretty familiar territory for the Stars this season. In further proof that score effects are real, puck possession and shots on net swung wildly towards the Stars after the second Parayko goal, but they were unable to solve Binnington until the next man-advantage.
Justin Faulk took a tripping call against Andrew Cogliano. With a little over a minute left in the power play, the Stars and the Blues battled for possession in the corner. Joe Pavelski got the puck out to Mattias Janmark, who knocked it back toward Jamie Benn for a behind-the-back tip-in around Binnington.
The Stars’ pressure did not let up for the rest of the period, but they weren’t able to get around Binnington again.
The shots on goal ended up tied in the second, but a lot of momentum swung Dallas’s way in the early part of the period, helped along by another power play.
David Perron, top scorer for the Blues at the moment, took a hooking penalty against Jason Dickinson, thankfully without hitting his face in any way.
The Stars were not able to score on the power play, but it’s fine because after going back to 5-on-5, Roope Hintz picked up his team-leading 16th goal of the season.
Jamie Benn had a high-sticking call at the bench against Jacob de la Rose. The Blues had a scary number of close chances, including Parayko somehow missing on a wide-open empty net for what would have been his hat trick. Somehow, he missed and the Stars killed the penalty and the period.
After a lot of excitement in the first 40 minutes, the third period was scoreless and almost penalty-less. It was, however, a battle between two goaltenders.
This shot map is for the whole game, not just the third period, but most of those high-danger chances for the Blues came in the second half of the third period, including this amazing save by Anton Khudobin against Ryan O’Reilly
Also in the third, Stephen Johns reminded everyone that he’s back.
Despite a lot of opportunity on both sides, regulation ended in a tie. The Stars are currently only two wins behind the Blues, the difference in points has been due to the Blues’ overtime losses. Of course, the Stars haven’t done too badly with extra time themselves.
With less than a minute left in the game, Jay Bouwmeester took a penalty against Blake Comeau, giving the Stars an extra attacker on the ice going into overtime.
The Blues had one shot on goal, but it was the Stars’ game to lose, and they didn’t. A little under halfway through extra time, after a fumble in front of the Stars by Miro Heiskanen, the defenseman passed the puck off to Roope Hintz in front of the Blues’ net. Hintz took the shot, and caught Binnington in his five-hole.
The Stars will be back in Dallas on Tuesday to face off against that bunch of jerks, the Carolina Hurricanes. Puck drop will be at 7:30 p.m. CT.