Because of the streakiness and inconsistency of the Dallas Stars, they set out on a four-game road trip that has become a crucial point in which the team desperately needs to collect some points. After falling down early to the Buffalo Sabres 2-0 on Saturday night, they orchestrated a comeback to walk away with a 5-4 regulation win.
They then traveled to take on the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night.
The start was better this game. They actually scored first thanks to Ryan Suter’s shot getting past Alex Nedjelkovic (who had a forgettable night in net). But that good feeling lasted a grand total of 23 seconds, as noted Stars-killer Robby Fabbri notched another in his vendetta against Dallas to it up at 1-1.
Joel Kiviranta got his first of the season about five minutes into the second period, but after that it felt like Detroit was able to impose their will onto the game. The Stars got sucked into a run-and-gun style and, on the second half of a back-to-back, their rush defense left a lot to be desired. Goals by Pius Suter and Dylan Larkin quickly turned the game into a one-goal deficit.
Esa Lindell got in on the defenseman scoring soft goals against the opposing goaltender and evened the game once again near the end of the period, making it a 20-minute game worth two points.
As seems to be the case of late, the luck dragon seemed not to be on Dallas’ side in the third period. Tyler Bertuzzi banked in a power play goal midway through the period off of a prone Esa Lindell to put Detroit in the lead, 4-3. What Lindell was doing laid out on the ice right smack in the middle of the crease where Braden Holtby should be is anyone’s guess.
Yet again, the Stars had to force a comeback effort to try to get points out of a game. And as seems to be the case more often than not, the play of the top line of Joe Pavelski and Sons (Roope Hintz and Jason Robertson) is what pulled the team’s ass out of the fire once again. Surrounded by a sea of red sweaters, Robertson somehow took a pass from Pavelski to fire home a shot from the slot.
Dallas got a power play in overtime after Hintz was tripped. He would call game on a tipped shot as he set up shop right in front of the net unencumbered. It wasn’t a hard tip shot, but a little bit of a weaker redirect that beat Nedjelkovic, who had a couple of those in the game tonight.
Now, the team heads to Pennsylvania to take on the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday and the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night. The Flyers are currently in the midst of their second 10-game losing streak of the season (in 40 games played!) and the Devils are right behind them in the standings, holding up the rear of the Eastern Conference with the Sabres and the Montreal Canadiens.
In other words, these next two games are nearly must-win games if the Stars hope to start making up ground in the playoff picture. You have to beat the teams you’re supposed to beat. Not to mention, the road record will look a bit more respectable with two more wins versus the 6-12-1 mark they carry after this win.