On the first night of a back-to-back against the Chicago Blackhawks, the Dallas Stars put forth a rather lackluster performance. The Blackhawks took an early lead with a strong first period, cruising through the rest of the game on their way to a 4-2 win.
The loss ultimately means little for the Stars, save for giving them a better draft position – Dallas was officially eliminated from the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs last night when the Nashville Predators defeated the Carolina Hurricanes. As a result, the Stars opted to rest several banged up players, such as Roope Hintz and Tyler Seguin.
The Stars’ final game of the season comes tomorrow against the Blackhawks, where the team will hope to end the year on a high note. Puck drops at 7:00 CDT.
Chicago was the first team on the board, as MacKenzie Entwistle scored his first career goal on Anton Khudobin. A couple minutes later, Denis Gurianov evened the score on the rebound from a Jamie Benn backhander:
Any momentum from the goal was short lived, as Chicago immediately reclaimed their lead with a Brandon Hagel goal less than a minute later. The Stars continued to put pressure on Kevin Lankinen, but failed to get another past him. Just under two minutes left to go in the period, Mark Pysyk went to the box for kneeing David Kampf. That power play was rather short lived, as Alex Debrincat scored his 30th of the season just 22 seconds in.
Score: Dallas 1, Chicago 3
Shots: Dallas 17, Chicago 9
There really isn’t much to say about the second period, to be honest. Unlike the first, neither team really generated any high quality scoring chances. Much like the first, the Stars had the clear edge in shots on goal, but Lakinen was determined to keep the puck out of the Blackhawks’ net.
Altogether, the period looked just like what you would expect from a game between two teams no longer in playoff contention with nothing left to play for. Ultimately, the Stars would head back to the locker room still behind by two goals, capping off a rather uneventful period.
Score: Dallas 1, Chicago 3
Shots: Dallas 27, Chicago 14
For awhile there, it looked like the Stars would be mounting a third period comeback. Early in the period, Mark Pysyk of all players forced a turnover in the offensive zone, slinging the puck back to an open Radek Faksa. Lakinen, as per usual for the night, stopped Faksa from scoring, but Pysyk jumped on the loose puck to snipe it in:
Chicago would soon go on the power play for the second time as Tanner Kero was called for hooking Kampf, but this time the Stars were able to survive the full two minutes. Dallas continued to try and break through, but this time they were evenly matched by the Blackhawks. Ultimately, DeBrincat put the game away with his second evening with just over three minutes left in the period.
Final Score: Dallas 2, Chicago 4
Final Shots: Dallas 39, Chicago 25