After taking four out of a possible six points in their homestand, the Dallas Stars were on the road tonight in their erstwhile home state for a thrilling in-conference meeting with the Minnesota Wild.
While the Stars are coming off back-to-back 5-2 wins, those games were against two Eastern Conference teams that didn’t present much of a challenge for the struggling Stars. The Wild are on a different level and that was very evident in tonight’s game, the Stars’ first against the Wild since February of 2020.
Another storyline tonight is head coach Rick Bowness’s game-time decision to scratch Minnesota native Riley Tufte, who’d been talking the last few days about how much playing in front of his home crowd meant to him. He’d invited friends and family to the game and had a large fan contingent in the crowd, spending his entire salary from getting called up on tickets. Bowness also started Anton Khudobin in net, who’s been sick, instead of the Stars' other Minnesota native, Jake Oettinger.
The Stars began the period 79 second in with a cross-checking call on Miro Heiskanen, one of their top penalty killers. The Stars did kill this penalty, but Khudobin was forced to make a save with his forehead.
Six minutes into the game, the Stars recorded their first shot on net. They spent the vo
Stars recorded their first shot on goal over six minutes into the game, which is less than ideal.
The Stars: not literally dead. pic.twitter.com/ngimKmJwXx— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) November 19, 2021
Even after finally finding their end of the ice, the Stars looked flat for most of the first period, and the inevitable happened when Rem Pitlick (cousin of Stars alum Tyler Pitlick) cleans up his own rebound and then fires through traffic in front of the net, displaying some master level patience.
Hold... hold... release!— NHL (@NHL) November 19, 2021
Rem Pitlick shows some great patience. pic.twitter.com/IK0Jr96PjB
Matt Dumba took a hooking penalty against Jamie Benn and the Stars managed precisely one shot on that power play. Despite that, the majority of the Stars shots on goal in the first period happened between the two goals, because yes. The Wild scored again.
Shots: Stars 11, Wild 11
Goals: Stars 0, Wild 2
Andrej Sekera lost his stick two minutes into the second and was called for holding. He also tried to pass with his hand which is also against the rules.
Only 67 seconds into the penalty, Kevin Fiala got called for hooking, a very unpopular call in the building but a hooking call nonetheless. After a minute of 4-on-4 the Stars managed a second shot on the power play with their minute of 5-on-4.
Brandon Duhaime took a hooking penalty on Joe Pavelski after he stole the puck in the offensive zone, another power play to the Stars with zero shots on goal. The best scoring chance came from Frederick Gaudreau with a shorthanded opportunity.
The Stars had a delayed penalty on Jani Hakanpaa for cross checking Jordan Greenway and the Wild had a full minutes of 6 on 5 on a delayed penalty for the Stars, because that’s how long it took the Stars to touch it.
Just a useless penalty taken by Jani Hakanpaa born out of frustration. Can't do that when your team is down 2-0, especially from a veteran. pic.twitter.com/vCABCjWucd— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) November 19, 2021
The Stars did actually get a shot on goal during that penalty kill when Roope Hintz had a breakaway opportunity, but he shot it straight into Cam Talbot’s logo.
With a minute left to go in the third, Ryan Hartman picked up a wrap around rebound from Alex Goligoski to bring the Wild up 3-0.
This was followed almost immediately by another call on Miro Heiskanen for interference.
Shots: Stars 18, Wild 20
Goals: Stars 0, Wild 3
The third period truly went off the rails for the Stars, but before that happeend, Jason Robertson scored his second NHL goal on his own rebound.
Greenway was called for hooking, putting the Stars back on the power play, where they again only got a couple shots off.
Stars legend Alex Goligoski scored off a wrist shot from the top that ricocheted off Denis Gurianov’s skate.
Followed closely like a truly impressive pass along the boards from last year’s Calder Winner, Kirill Kaprizov.
A high sticking from Pitlick on Ryan Suter got him two minutes in the box. While this was being called, Radek Faksa and Duhaime got into a dust up but not an actual fight, both were sent to the box for matching roughing penalties.
With seconds left in the power play, Jamie Benn scored on the Wild’s doorstep, cleaning up a rebound.
This was immediately followed by a goal from Mats Zuccarello, which was then followed by a really weird goal from Victor Rask, which bounced off Joe Pavelski’s shoulder, off Anton Khudobin’s helmet, and into the net. Heiskanen was visibly angry after this goal.
Victor Rask scores the most Victor Rask goal of all time. 7-2 Wild lmao. pic.twitter.com/tsngVsZ0z5— Hockey Wilderness (@hockeywildernes) November 19, 2021
Khudobin was pulled for Jake Oettinger, who then got six minutes of game time in front of his home crowd while losing 7-2.
Duhaime took an unsportsmanlike conduct minor for attempting to drop the gloves with Radek Faksa.
when you show up to the halloween party but no one else is wearing a costume pic.twitter.com/8QEzgMRCUA— Robert Tiffin (@RobertTiffin) November 19, 2021
And then immediately upon leaving the box got his fight. His team was five goals up with less than two minutes left in the game, but that seemed important to him at the time.
Both players went to the locker rooms.
Shots: Dallas 38, Wild 26
Goals: Dallas 2, Wild 7
The Stars are home on Saturday against another conference rival, the St. Louis Blues, on Saturday. Puck drop at 7 pm CST.