The Dallas Stars ceded their NHL-leading seven game win streak to the Minnesota Wild when they lost 5-4 to the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday. When presented with the opportunity to set a franchise record for consecutive wins in Stars history, the team found themselves once again falling short of busting through that glass ceiling.
Even with the loss, Dallas has been putting together a good string of hockey lately. They’ve now won nine of their last 11 games. Both losses came when the Stars allowed three or more goals, and all wins came in games where they allowed two or less.
There was a lot to be concerned about in this one. The even strength play was the worst we’ve seen in roughly a month’s time (minus that 7-2 losing debacle in Minneapolis.) The Vegas Golden Knights outshot them immensely in the second period, allowing only 12 shots by Dallas through 40 minutes of play.
But goaltending and special teams can only carry you so far, and the Stars’ struggle to score at even strength came back to bite them in this one. But, honestly, if you are a fan of fun hockey and not a Stars fan, you probably had an absolute blast watching this one unfold.
Jason Robertson opened the scoring with Dallas’ first power play goal of the night midway through the first period.
Mark Stone tied it for Vegas just 19 seconds into the second period on a power play that carried over from the end of the first period. Not to be outdone, Tyler Seguin scored four seconds into the second power play for Dallas about two minutes later, crashing the net and potting home a rebound.
Joe Pavelski gave Dallas a 3-1 lead five minutes later on the team’s third power play of the night on a deft deflection of a John Klingberg point shot. That would also mark the end of Robin Lehner’s time in the net, and the shift of momentum in favor of Vegas.
The Golden Knights poured it on and were eventually rewarded with their 22-7 shots on goal effort in the middle frame with a goal by Jonathan Marchessault to bring them within one shot heading into the third period.
Pavelski scored his second of the night to make the score 4-2 about nine minutes into the third period. Not long after, Seguin barely missed the net to make the score 5-2, a play that will likely come back to haunt him if he didn’t have to turn around and play another game just 24 hours after this one on Thursday night.
Then Vegas stormed back.
First, it was Michael Amadio scoring a minute later to bring the game within one shot once more. Then Stone struck gold for the second time at 14:47 of the third to tie it. Max Pacioretty scored the go-ahead goal a minute later, another instance of quick succession scoring in the game.
Dallas pulled Braden Holtby at the end of the game for the extra attacker, but fell just short. It was a thrilling game. And, in some ways, the best way you could end a potentially-franchise-record-setting run of wins.
After all, it’s a lot better than going out with a whimper instead.
Now, the real test will come in how Dallas responds to ending their run of wins these past couple of weeks. They’ve got a matchup against the Los Angeles Kings Thursday night - will it be the start of another win streak, or will being on the road and taking an “L” on Wednesday carry over into the second half of the back-to-back?