Thanks to a slew of absences from the Dallas Stars’ forward group, Riley Damiani made his NHL debut tonight against the St. Louis Blues. He even opened up the scoring in the second period with his first career NHL goal. The Stars followed that by immediately giving up a goal to Colton Parayko, the first of four unanswered in route to a 4-1 loss.
For the first forty minutes, the game was very close, both on the shot clock and the scoreboard as Jake Oettinger and Charlie Lindgren put on a goaltending clinic. But then the third period happened — just two minutes in, Justin Faulk sniped one past Oettinger, giving St. Louis their first lead of the game. A Radek Faksa double minor gave way to a Ryan O’Reilly goal, and when the Stars took a penalty within the last two minutes of the game — more or less ending their chances at a come back — Vladamir Tarasenko potted another for good measure.
The loss snapped an eight game winning streak at home, while extending their overall losing streak to four games. After overcoming a terrible start to the season to climb to the top 3 in the Central Division, the Stars now sit squarely in sixth place, not to mention bottom 5 in the Western Conference.
Such is the whirlwind that is the NHL. Dallas will try to break the losing streak when they get a second crack at St. Louis this Friday at 7:00 CT.
Jake Oettinger was tested early and often — shortly after stopping a 3-on-2 just two minutes in, Tyler Seguin was called for boarding, putting St. Louis on the power play. While the Blues failed to score, they continued to dominate possession, culminating in a shot that rebounded off the crossbar and then off Matthew Peca’s skate into the net. Initially ruled a no-goal due to a potential kicking motion, the call was reversed to a good goal, at which point the Stars successfully challenged for offsides, re-reversing the call and keeping the game 0-0.
That didn’t particularly spell a change in momentum, but Dallas did get their own power play chance when Dakota Joshua went to the box for roughing. But the Stars’ best chance came with a loose puck in a mosh pit in front of the Blues’ net, which somehow gave way to a Ryan O’Reilly breakaway opportunity which Oettinger denied.
The man advantage nevertheless proved to a small spark to the Stars, who began to put more pressure on St. Louis while (mostly) keeping the puck out of their own end. Nothing came of it though, leaving us scoreless after one.
Score: Dallas 0, St. Louis 0
Shots: Dallas 10, St. Louis 10
Dallas kept their momentum going into the second, beginning the period by terrorizing the Blues in the offensive zone. A stretch pass up the middle led to a 2-on-1 for St. Louis, resulting in a hooking penalty by Jacob Peterson, but the Blues failed to capitalize on their second power play opportunity.
What followed was a lot of back and forth between the two teams, with the Stars in particular having a pinball sequence of potential Grade A scoring chances. This continued until roughly the five minute mark, at which point the Stars camped out in offensive zone, exhausting the Blues as they put constant pressure on Charlie Lindgren. Ultimately, John Klingberg set Riley Damiani up with a cross crease pass, giving the rookie a wide open net for his first NHL goal in his first NHL game:
Unfortunately, the festivities were cut short when just over a minute later a rebound opportunity gave Vladamir Tarasenko a chance to set up Colton Parayko with his own wide open net, tying the game up once more. Both teams did well trying to snag a lead before intermission, but Oettinger and Lindgren stood tall, keeping the score 1-1.
Score: Dallas 1, St. Louis 1
Shots: Dallas 22, St. Louis 19
The game wouldn’t remain tied for much longer, as Justin Faulk notched one past Oettinger just over two minutes into the final frame. Saad had a pseudo-breakaway opportunity minutes later, but failed to slip it past the Stars’ netminder. Dallas answered with their own scoring opportunity, but Jani Hakanpää couldn’t find twine either. Hakanpää later bowled Tarasenko over into Oettinger on yet another breakaway, although no penalty was called.
After the commercial break, Radek Faksa got a four minute double minor for hi-sticking, which was upheld after review. The Stars killed off the first minor without much fanfare, but following a timeout by Dallas, O’Reilly was able to poke a loose puck in after his and Hakanpää’s stick kept Oettinger from covering it up.
An extra skater for the final three minutes briefly gave Dallas life, but Joe Pavelski was forced to trip O’Reilly to prevent an empty netter with 1:50 remaining. That led to Vladamir Tarsenko scoring with a wide open net, putting a dagger in the already dead game.
Final Score: Dallas 1 , St. Louis 4
Final Shots: Dallas 34, St. Louis 28