The Dallas Stars played the first 20 minutes of their game against the Detroit Red Wings to a 1-0 lead that easily could have been bigger in favor of the Victory Green team. (Well, that’s their color even if the reverse retro uniform looks more like the Storm Troopers from the Star Wars movies.)
Roope Hintz was once again the most dynamic player on the ice, on either side of the puck. He led the team with a ridiculous 79% Corsi For according to Natural Stat Trick, and was on ice for 11 scoring chances for and just three against. The only player to have a better differential in that metric was Miro Heiskanen, who was on the ice for 15 scoring chances for to six against.
But hockey is a dumb game.
In the middle period, the Stars outplayed the Red Wings — and yet, the score was tied after 40 minutes. Detroit scored on two of their four shots in the period, with Luke Glendening notching both goals. Jason Robertson scored between them to give the Stars their second lead of the game, but it wasn’t enough to get them out of the game with a regulation win. The second Glendening goal was one that appeared to deflect off of Joe Pavelski and then off a Red Wing in front of a screened Anton Khudobin, tying the game in a very 2021 Dallas Stars manner.
The Stars weathered an early storm by the Red Wings at the start of the third period. If you had tuned in at that point and didn’t know which team was working to get into the playoffs, it’d be perfectly understandable if you thought that team was the one wearing red. They came out absolutely dominating the puck possession, and even managed to score a goal. Dallas got lucky in that it was scored as a direct result of the most obvious goaltender interference seen to date and immediately waived off on the ice.
The remainder of the period went scoreless for both sides, with Dallas eventually taking the advantage in shots on goal 12-8.
Yes, overtime again.
An eternal mood this season, as the Stars head to overtime yet again. https://t.co/iJE6NQrtWy— Taylor Baird (@taylordbaird) April 20, 2021
Give Thomas Greiss full credit, he came up with some excellent saves as Dallas peppered him in the five minutes of three-on-three overtime. But neither team scored, and the game went to a shootout.
It’s another format the Stars have been very unsuccessful in this season. After Jason Robertson scored in the first round followed immediately by Dylan Larkin, the next three rounds went scoreless for both sides. Then Denis Gurinaov, that has found his goal scoring rhythm the last couple of games, came in and played hero. Khudobin made the clutch save, and the Stars took two points.
Scoreboard watching tonight for the Stars included the Columbus Blue Jackets falling to the bottom of the division and the Nashville Predators also taking a win over the Chicago Blackhawks. That opens a little more of a gap between Dallas and Chicago, but the teams are pacing each other for the fourth and final playoff spot. Dallas does have three games in hand, and with the second half of a back-to-back against Detroit at home tomorrow, one of those games in hand will be made up — and a win or loss could go a long way to setting up the stretch run here for the Stars.