It wasn’t the ideal first game of the season for the Dallas Stars. John Klingberg left the game due to injury, after having returned from a nasty hit early in the game. Braden Holtby, who was playing very well for the Stars, also exited in the third period, forcing Anton Khudobin to finish the game cold.
But despite those injuries, the Stars managed to win both points in their opener, securing a 3-2 overtime win over the New York Rangers. Jacob Peterson kicked things off at the end of the first by scoring his first NHL goal in his first NHL game. Radek Faksa then extended the Stars’ lead with a power play goal early in the second.
The Rangers snapped back, however, as reigning Norris Trophy winner Adam Fox scored his first of the season just minutes later. That sparked a massive shift in momentum, with Chris Kreider tying the game up as the Rangers dominated the Stars offensively.
Things evened out a bit about halfway through the third, and the teams eventually found themselves in overtime. That’s when Miro Heiskanen scored his first NHL overtime goal, forcing a turnover before speeding down the boards and ripping one past Igor Shesterkin.
Already missing several players on this road trip, the Stars will be in trouble if Klingberg and Holtby miss extended playing time. But at least they ended the night on a positive note.
The Stars’ season began with a big scare when John Klingberg had to be helped off the ice after a big hit from Chris Kreider. Thankfully he was able to return halfway through the period, missing very little beyond a delay of game penalty by Dallas, which the Stars killed without issue.
With seven and a half minutes to go, Dallas got their own shot on the power play as Ryan Strome went to the box for slashing. They had a few decent chances towards the end, but ultimately failed to score.
However, Peterson would not let the first period end in a tie — in his first NHL game, the rookie forward scored the Stars’ first goal of the season on a 2-on-1, backhanding the puck above Shesterkin with less than a minute remaining:
First NHL Game. First NHL Goal.— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) October 15, 2021
The storybook start continues for @PetersonJacob99! @BallySportsSW | #TexasHockey pic.twitter.com/7p53RYucP7
Shots: Dallas 8, New York 4
Score: Dallas 1, New York 0
Early on in the second period, the Stars took another delay of game penalty, but New York didn’t make much of the opportunity. Just a half a minute later, Ryan Reaves blindsided Miro Heiskanen into the boards, leading Jamie Benn and Jacob Trouba to take up arms.
Those two penalties offset, while Reaves’ initial foul sent Dallas back on the power play. They got a few quality chances before Radek Faksa jumped on a Heiskanen shot to send it into the open net:
Caught 'em snoozin.@BallySportsSW | #TexasHockey pic.twitter.com/BBvq3cGCr9— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) October 15, 2021
Right afterwards, Heiskanen tripped up in the defensive zone, giving the Rangers a sudden scoring opportunity. But Braden Holtby absolutely robbed Ryan Strome in a save you have to see to believe:
And that's why they call him "HoltBEAST".— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) October 15, 2021
@BallySportsSW | #TexasHockey pic.twitter.com/vidGkfL8KI
But the Rangers would not be kept off the board, as Adam Fox ripped one from the blue line, which deflected off of Esa Lindell and into the net. That spelled a shift in momentum as the Rangers began relentlessly hounding Holtby and the Stars; after a few minutes later, New York would score on another deflected shot from the point, this one courtesy of Kreider’s stick blade.
With a little over a minute remaining in the second, Jani Hankapaa went to the box for holding, sending the Rangers on the power play. But they wouldn’t squeeze a third past Holtby, and the score remained tied as the clock expired.
Shots: Dallas 16, New York 18
Score: Dallas 2, New York 2
Dallas kicked off the final frame by killing off the remainder of Hankapaa’s penalty. But the offense remained heavily lopsided in favor of the Rangers, with Tyler Seguin getting the Stars’ first shot on goal just over five minutes in.
Not much later, Holtby would take a stick to the face which popped off his mask. He seemed fine at first, but after commercial break, Holtby exited the ice and Anton Khudobin came in to close out the final twelve minutes. John Klingberg also exited due to a lower body injury, though it was unannounced whether or not it was related to the hit he took in the beginning of the game.
With just under seven minutes to go, Joe Pavelski went to the box for cross-checking. Khudobin stood tall, preventing the Rangers from scoring during a very busy power play, and then Pavelski almost regained the Stars’ lead, unfortunately hitting the crossbar. That was more or less it for the third, forcing overtime.
Shots: Dallas 23 New York 33
Score: Dallas 2, New York 2
Last season, the Stars were absolutely dreadful in overtime. But thankfully, Heiskanen is a superstar hockey player — the #1 defender forced a turnover in the defensive zone, then took a pass from Benn up the ice to sink the puck, corner pocket:
Tonight's Play of the Game?— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) October 15, 2021
It's a no-doubter: Breakaway and save the day ‼@ATT | #TexasHockey pic.twitter.com/y6DdJG55vF
Final Shots: Dallas 26, New York 33
Final Score: Dallas 3, New York 2