After a disappointing overtime loss (their first on Super Bowl Sunday), the Dallas Stars again face the Chicago Blackhawks at home in the American Airlines Center for the second of eight games against the club in this covid-shortened season.
On Saturday, the Stars were without their starting goaltender, Anton Khudobin, who was late to practice and benched by Stars head coach Rick Bowness. Everything seemed in order for Khudobin to start tonight, but Rick Bowness has proven himself to be a coach that likes to stick with a hot goalie, and Jake Oettinger had a great game on Sunday, despite the loss.
In more line-up updates, Joel Kiviranta was a game-time decision, that did in fact draw in on the top line with Jamie Benn and Joe Pavelski.
The Stars had some anxious moments in front of Oettinger in the early part of the game under enormous pressure from the Blackhawks before finally clearing. Jamie Oleksiak had some shining moments against Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane, keeping him scoreless in the first.
First blood was drawn by the Stars when Suter lost the puck on the way out of the Blackhawks zone, which lead to a much-deserved goal from Roope Hintz after a great shift with Denis Gurianov and Jason Robertson.
Then, in “why make this easy when we can instead make this really, really hard” news, the Stars proceeded to take three penalties in the second half of the period, starting with a boarding call on Jason Dickinson, then a bench minor for too many men, and finally a tripping call against Denis Gurianov.
The only good news here is that Jake Oettinger is not only getting a lot of practice at tracking the puck through traffic, but the penalty kill is also actually doing its job in the game. Despite early pressure from the Blackhawks and three power play opportunities, the Stars managed to get more shots on goal than the Blackhawks and also maintain more pressure.
There was also a penalty in there to the Blackhawks when Pius Suter tripped Blake Comeau.
Score: Dallas 1, Chicago 0
Shots: Dallas 10, Chicago 9
Though the Stars began with a little bit of penalty kill time left over on the call against Gurianov, it was the Blackhawks that had a rough start to the period. Lankinen really kept them in the game with a huge shorthanded stop on Blake Comeau, followed closely by Gurianov streaking out of the box.
Jamie Benn did briefly put the Stars up 2-0 but a goaltender interference review robbed them of the two-goal lead.
Currently a Jamie Benn goal, but this may come back due to goalie interference pic.twitter.com/oA7GgP3aiz— SB Nation NHL (@SBNationNHL) February 10, 2021
Benn did make significant contact with Lankinen, but interference calls are generally based on whether the goalie has time to get back into their position. The call here didn’t take a very long time, and it was determined that he did not.
Special continued to be a factor for both teams. Andrew Cogliano drew a hooking penalty on Patrick Kane and the Stars got three shots on goal during that power play. No goals, but shots on goal are definitely an improvement.
John Klingberg had a bit of fun with former teammate Mattias Janmark and ended up getting called for hooking. Janmark went on to score on the power play on a redirect off Dominik Kubalik.
Mattias Janmark scores against his former club pic.twitter.com/fHLAaYA6Df— SB Nation NHL (@SBNationNHL) February 10, 2021
The Stars continued to have good chances after this, but the pressure swung in favor of the Blackhawks after this goal and the Stars struggled with momentum for the rest of the period.
Score: Dallas 1, Chicago 1
Shots: Dallas 23, Chicago 17
The early part of the period was spent almost entirely in the Stars zone, which is not the best way to break a tie game. Miro Heiskanen saved the game on a wraparound from Kane.
This period had zero penalties and also zero goals, despite a lot of really good pressure from the Stars in the dying minutes. With the game on his stick in the last minute of the period, Hintz missed on what would have been a showstopper of a goal.
Score: Dallas 1, Chicago 1
Shots: Dallas 33, Chicago 27
The Blackhawks had a rough start to their overtime but Pius Suter (whose first name is pronounced PYOO) scored to win it for the Blackhawks. Lankinen collected his first NHL point on the secondary assist. The Stars collect their point for an overtime loss and a very promising early season gets ever more sour.
The Stars will continue their homestand against the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night at 7:30 PM CST.
This isn’t hockey related, but it is so worth the time. If you haven’t seen the video of a lawyer making a court appearance having trouble with zoom, please make this video a must-watch as soon as you can with the sound on. “I’m not a cat!” Laughing releases endorphins to make you naturally feel good. Chuckle away!