The Dallas Stars opened the 2021-22 season with two old foes rearing their ugly heads. Like Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger staggering out of their lairs, injuries and overtime threatened to ruin their season opener. But this time, the movie ended differently.
Thanks to the extra-minutes heroics of Miro Heiskanen, the Stars banked a 3-2 win against the New York Rangers in Game 1. And there were other signs that the Victory Green Gang has turned a corner. The Dallas Morning News’ Matthew DeFranks has listed some of them, starting with Braden Holtby and Anton Khudobin:
Through Holtby’s dazzling saves — highlighted by his side-to-side robbery of Ryan Strome, his quick-footed stop on Julien Gauthier’s deflection and his breakaway shutdown of Dryden Hunt — the Stars appeared to have reawakened Holtby from a two-year slumber. The only two goals Holtby surrendered came on tipped point shots, and he made 25 saves in his Stars debut.
But then he exited the game with 11:53 left in the third period due to dehydration, Stars coach Rick Bowness said postgame. Bowness said Holtby mentioned feeling dehydrated in the second period, and the Stars tried to get fluids in him during the intermission. When he came out of the game, Holtby was put on an IV.
[Khudobin] came in, killed a Rangers penalty and made six saves while earning the win.
But the Stars and drama just seem to go together – and John Klingberg’s early injury, and later exit, weren’t the end of it. There remain some old bad habits to banish, which became especially apparent after Radek Faksa’s second-period power-play goal:
[The Stars] were outshot 17-3 from Faksa’s goal to the end of the second period. The Rangers dominated possession and chances. They hemmed the Stars in their own zone and capitalized on Dallas’ carelessness with the puck. By the end of the period, New York had tied the game on goals from Adam Fox and Chris Kreider.
“It was terrible puck management, just as simple as that,” Bowness said. “Just kept giving them the puck. The breakaway, we’ve got total control of the puck, we pass it to them. The puck in our zone, we didn’t get it out. We just made it way too easy for a very highly skilled team to play in the second period.”
Matt has more. [SportsDayDFW]
Your hero, typically low-key, on breaking that overtime curse.
Jacob Peterson earned his first NHL goal last night, and it was a doozy.
Meanwhile, Bones has to be feeling pretty good about keeping Peterson in Dallas.
"He played tonight like he played all of training camp- very smart, very poised and confident with the puck."- Head Coach, Rick Bowness, on Jacob Peterson@ATT | #TexasHockey pic.twitter.com/mWC3neEQj1— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) October 15, 2021
And hey, if you didn’t know that DBD’s own David Castillo is now writing about the Stars for D Magazine...well, now you do.
Around The Leagues
In On The #Kill Taker
- The Arizona Coyotes looked very much like a rebuilding team in an 8-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. [Five For Howling]
- And the Nashville Predators became the first team to lose to the Seattle Kraken in a 4-3 defeat at home. [On The Forecheck]
The Blue Jackets included a tribute to the late Matiss Kivlenieks in last night’s opening ceremonies.
Last night also marked the debut of Henrik Lundqvist as a color commentator, focusing on “the mental aspect of the game.”
Henrik Lundqvist is joining MSG Network as a studio analyst for select Rangers games this season because the recently retired goalie wants to stay connected to the game and his former team. https://t.co/Yprm4iODU0— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) October 14, 2021
Gotta hand it to the Preds – they’re really committed to the bit.
The Ottawa Senators closed a seven-year deal with RFA Brady Tkachuk just hours before winning their home opener.
Brady Tkachuk secures a long-term deal with the Sens— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) October 14, 2021
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park – And Beautiful Boise
Have you seen the Texas Stars’ regular-season roster yet?
The Dallas Stars open the season tonight and we've got our 27 guys for our season. Check out our full roster before we open the season on Saturday night against Iowa! https://t.co/JkSjdfx5y0— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) October 14, 2021
Meanwhile, five players from the Cedar Park camp have reported to the Idaho Steelheads.
NEWS: The Steelheads have received six players from AHL training camps, including five from the @TexasStars ahead of this weekend's preseason action.— Idaho Steelheads (@Steelheads) October 14, 2021
All six players were signed to ECHL contracts prior to the 2021-22 season. #FeelTheSteel https://t.co/xIzwExgeNW
Look who snuck past the yearbook staff....
Fair use of the red-flag meme? Discuss.
“I don't have tickets for Opening Night.”— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) October 13, 2021
Victor E. Green says “Happy Friday!” just a little in advance. Enjoy.