The Dallas Stars continue their hot start to the season by defeating divisional opponents, the Winnipeg Jets, 4 – 1 in another high scoring affair. The Stars faced a bit of adversity early as the Jets hit the scoresheet first, but they were able to find their game and prevail in the end.
The High-Flying Jets Test Stars Early
For the first time this year, the Stars trailed an opponent as the Jets got an early goal off the rush with a one-timer from Mark Scheifele assisted by Kyle Connor. This looked like an example of their high risk-reward offensive strategy turning against them as Ty Dellandrea was one of the two Stars back defending the two-man rush for the Jets. These types of goals are inevitable to a point with defensemen activating into the attack, but so far, they seem to be worth it with all the offense this team is creating.
The Stars looked off their game the first ten minutes or so as the Jets forechecked with a fury, but the Stars started to find their identity as the high-flying Jets started to slow down their insane pace. Tyler Seguin’s line looked like the best line tonight for the Stars, and just over halfway through the first period they got rewarded. Mason Marchment and Dellandrea battled hard for a puck in the corner until Dellandrea finally controlled it and whipped it toward the crease to find an open Seguin who hammered it home to tie the game. Dellandrea looked sharp in this game, creating some good opportunities to help turn the tide in momentum early.
The Finns Are At It Again
The ice tilted in the second period as the Stars put the pedal to the metal and ripped home some nasty slap shots that found twine. First on the scene was Jani Hakanpaa who displayed his wicked slapper off a nice cycle started by Marchment. Marchment carried the puck behind the net and kicked it back to Ryan Suter at the blue line, who crossed it to an open Hakanpaa for the one-timer blast. A perfect follow up to his performance at the skills competition this weekend where he ripped a team-best 98 mph slap shot.
Later in the second, Kiviranta was somehow denied on the doorstep in a frenetic scramble for the puck. The puck got kicked out to the blueline where Esa Lindell corralled it and found a seam pass across to a wide-open Joel Kiviranta, who ripped a nasty one-timer just over the pad and under the glove of Connor Hellebuyck, making the score 3-1. Kiviranta has a way of freeing up space and finding the soft spots in the defense. You might remember his game winning goal against the Avalanche in Game 7 of the Stars’ Stanley Cup Final run a few years back.
Miro Heiskanen was not to be outdone by his fellow countrymen. In the third period on the power play, Heiskanen ripped a one-timer from the middle of the ice to lock in the 4–1 lead.
Oettinger and the Penalty Kill Stand Tall
Oettinger continued his command of his net by keeping his team in every game so far this year, even when they aren’t playing well together in front of him. He stopped 23 of 24 shots tonight for a save percentage of 0.958, and he is 83 of 86 on the season for a 0.965 save percentage with a 1.00 GAA. After the win, Stars coach Pete DeBoer was asked about the game and he said, “Jake made some saves in order to allow us to kind of work into it (the game) and some key saves at key moments.” The penalty kill pulled a similar feat by going 5-for-5 tonight and keeping the Jets’ potential momentum at bay. The PK is now at 92.9% and is 13 of 14 for the season.
The Stars’ next game comes on Thursday, October 20th against the Toronto Maple Leafs on the road at 6:00 PM CDT and will be aired on BSSW.