“This time of year, you just want to get your game where you want it before game one,” Holtby said. “It was a tough one.”
After a scoreless first period in which Dallas held a 10-5 shots on goal advantage, Stars defenseman Joel Hanley opened the scoring off a shot from the point to make it 1-0 at 10:03 of the second period. It was Hanley’s first goal of the preseason.
Blues defenseman Niko Mikkola tied the game, 1-1, at 11:16 of the second period off a scramble in front of the Stars net. “Just a free puck, and kind of an empty net, so free goal for me,” Mikkola said.
Dallas took two consecutive penalties after the game was tied, including 18 seconds in which St. Louis received a 5-on-3 power play. “We bent a little, but we didn’t break,” Stars head coach Rick Bowness said.
At 6:21 of the third period, Stars forward Luke Glendening wristed a shot past Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington for a 2-1 lead. It was his first goal scored as a member of the Stars.
Stars forward Jamie Benn scored an empty net goal with 1:43 remaining in the third period to make the score 3-1. Benn has scored three goals in the preseason.
Binnington stopped 26 of 28 shots. “I thought he had an excellent game,” Blues head coach Craig Berube said. “Did a lot of good things. Made some big saves, played the puck well. He looks into it.”
The Blues went 0-for-4 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill. The Stars lost eight of nine faceoffs on the power play.
“The first period was really good with the penalty kill. We didn’t give up anything,” Bowness said. “And then we just kept losing every draw. So when you do that, against a team like that, you spend way too much time in your zone. And then when you finally clear it, you have to change and you can’t get any up-ice pressure. They did a good job, but we’ve got to win a lot more faceoffs.”