Well first of all.
Tyler Seguin is back in the lineup for the Dallas Stars at the BB&T Center in Sunrise as they take on the Florida Panthers tonight. The Stars are in “must win” territory for the playoffs if they want a chance at leapfrogging the Nashville Predators.
The Panthers, meanwhile, have clinched and are sitting pretty in the second seed (for now), only two points ahead of Tampa Bay but a full fifteen points ahead of Nashville.
This was an absolutely wild period of hockey. Like truly an entire game condensed into one period, and there are still two more to go.
Less than two minutes into the game, on Tyler Seguin’s first shift, the Stars turn over the puck in their zone, leading to an odd-man rush going back the other way. Some questionable defensive choices were made and Jonathan Huberdeau scored his 19th of the season
Less than ideal. In of two breaks the Stars got this period, Jamie Benn was not called for a high sticking against the Panthers.
After a period of sustained pressure in the Stars zone, Brandon Montour took a shot from the top of the zone. Stars coverage was an absolute mess and Nikita Gusev picked up the rebound to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead.
The Stars are having a hard time. pic.twitter.com/gqXNonUw4W— SB Nation NHL (@SBNationNHL) May 3, 2021
Blake Comeau and Radko Gudas, one more of a noted boxer than the other, dropped the mitts shortly after this goal, and Comeau racked up the instigator penalty and it’s subsequent automatic ten-minute misconduct, which gave the Panthers their first shot at a power play, which they were not able to take advantage of.
The Stars got their own shot at a power play later in the period when Huberdeau held Andrew Cogliano, and the Stars were more successful at making the most of the man advantage. Joe Pavelski did what Joe Pavelski does and scored his 14th power play goal this season.
This 14 goal season is league-leading for Captain America. Also:
That goal ends a 167:51 scoreless run for Dallas.— Bruce LeVine (@BruceLeVinePuck) May 3, 2021
Jason Robertson picked up an assist on the goal, his 42nd point in his 50th career game, putting him at number four in Stars history in points over their first 50 games.
The joy was relatively short-lived as less than two minutes later, MacKenzie Weegar scored on a rush and a perfectly executed drop pass from Owen Tippet.
Weegar's 5th goal of the season.— x - Jameson Olive (@JamesonCoop) May 3, 2021
Also, Tippett's 2nd great assist of the night. pic.twitter.com/haAy35zkBc
But then, three minutes after that, the Panthers struck again, only this time, Weegar cleared the puck out from the boards, Forsling didn’t quite have it, and it caromed off of Panthers goalie Spencer Knight and into the net. Credit for the goal has gone to both Jason Robertson and Roope Hintz, as of the end of the game it was still credited to Hintz.
Radek Faksa took a slashing penalty against Keith Yandle, but the scoring was over for the period.
Shots: Dallas 12, Florida 14
Score: Dallas 2, Florida 3
This period was not remotely as exciting, but it started out on an iffy note for the Stars. Forty-five seconds into the second period, the Panthers find the back of the net for the fifth time (counting the one they generously gifted to the Stars). Inactivity on the part of the defense didn’t help here, but Khudobin should still have been able to clock Forsling right in front of him.
Great work from Deni down low to get this up to Forsy pic.twitter.com/tJmQMBJEQJ— x - Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) May 4, 2021
This goal chased Khudobin from the net as Jake Oettinger drew in as replacement.
Anthony Duclair took a hooking penalty which would have been completely unremarkable except that Tyler Seguin drew in on the second power play unit and had a great chance with a one-timer that Knight swallowed up.
Jamie Benn was called for high sticking with less than a minute left in the second, splitting the penalty kill up over two periods. He was, as the kids say, “big mad.”
Shots: Dallas 22, Florida 27
Score: Dallas 2, Florida 4
Third periods have not been kind to the Stars in the heavily scheduled back end of this covid-shortened season. This is when they start losing gas and making dumb mistakes.
But not this game!
Joel Kiviranta started scoring off in the third period on a rush and a beautiful cross-zone pass from Tanner Kero.
But the biggest moment of the night, other than Oettinger’s stellar performance in net in replacement, goes to Tyler Seguin’s first goal after an almost seven-month recovery from surgery.
This goal came off the face off from Kiviranta’s goal. The goals were eleven seconds apart. The Stars won the face-off and Denis Gurianov took a shot from the point and Seguin cleaned up the rebound.
Jason Robertson proved how completely versatile he is when Oettinger lost his stick and Robertson jumped in the goal for a stick save.
Neither team was able to finish the game in regulation, so to overtime they went.
Shots: Dallas 29, Florida 36
Score: Dallas 4, Florida 4
Find yourself somebody who looks at you the way the Stars look at going to overtime (jk please don't that would be a very unhealthy and clingy relationship)— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) March 28, 2021
The Panthers had all of the biggest chances in overtime, most notably an absolute bomb from Anthony Duclair, who had a full breakaway from the Panthers zone.
Just after this, Pavelski took a hooking penalty against Aleksander Barkov and the Panthers got two minutes of power play time. Unfortunately for the Stars, Barkov actually converted this opportunity and the Stars lost in overtime.
This, by the way, without the Stars getting a shot off in overtime.
Shots: Dallas 29, Florida 43
Score: Dallas 4, Florida 5
Playoff implications: The Nashville Predators played the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight, a game that also went to overtime before Nashville finished Columbus off. The Stars are now four points behind the Predators with four games left.
The Stars are sticking around in Florida and will be in Tampa Bay Wednesday night to play the Lightning. Puck drop will be at 6 pm cst.