Playing on the second night of a back-to-back usually means travel is involved. For the Dallas Stars, that traveling happened earlier today before their game with the Nashville Predators. Thanks to Mother Nature, Dallas had to alter its plans for tonight’s game.
It happened to be a game in which the Predators honored Pekka Rinne by retiring his jersey prior to the game. That means the game should be dominated by the goalies, right? In theory yes.
It didn’t take long for tempers to fly in this one. Less than 40 seconds into the game, Radek Faksa and Tanner Jeannot dropped the gloves for a fight. It was a sign of things to come as both teams combined for 32 hits in the opening 20 minutes. The highlight of the period for Dallas came from Roope Hintz, who put a shot on goal with his stick in between his legs as he skated past the Juuse Saros.
Unfortunately for Dallas the lone goal of the period came from the guys wearing yellow. Philip Tomasino took a pass just cross the blue line. After cutting across the middle and alluding Jani Hakanpaa, he fired one past the stick of Jake Oettinger. The period would end with Nashville leading 1-0. As Bruce Levine pointed out in the intermission that the Predators are 17-1 when leading after the first period.
Nashville is 17-1-0 when leading after the first period.— Bruce LeVine (@BruceLeVinePuck) February 25, 2022
They are also 21 - 5 - 2 when scoring first
It didn’t take Dallas long in the second to tie the game up. Jason Robertson did the honors for the Stars. A little over a minute into the frame, he put a puck past Saros from a weird angle. Just like that Dallas was on the board and the game was tied.
The rest of the period came down to special teams. A total of five power plays went down in the second. Four of those were for the Predators, including a four minute power play for high sticking on Jamie Benn. As noted on the broadcast, this could be a defining moment in the game. It turned out that all four power plays were a defining moment. Nashville couldn’t get anything going on any of them.
The special teams for Dallas was on point in this frame. Not only did they kill that four minutes, they had to kill off a penalty against Ryan Suter shortly after that. No problem. Dallas so far has been up to the task of stopping the power play. On five power plays so far in the game, the Pred’s only have four shots on goal.
After penalty-laced second period, the officials seemed determined to not call any penalties in the third period. They let the teams play. But it was the goaltending that stole the show. As said earlier, it seemed only fitting that the goalies would stand on their head in this one. The Stars had the better chances in the third but Saros was ridiculous. Dallas did hit a post, though. Esa Lindell also had a breakaway that was turned away. Robertson had a chance as did Faksa. None of it found the net, though. Saros turned them all away.
Tied at 1-1, the game went to overtime. It wasn’t very long, though, that Nashville was called for a tripping penalty. Saros was phenomenal on the power play, though. Dallas spent almost the entire two minutes in the Predators’ zone but it still nothing to show from it. Both teams had a chance in the final 30 seconds but neither team could capitalize. So, to a shootout it goes.
The first three shooters couldn’t get the puck past the goalie. In round four, Nashville scored thanks to Mikael Granlund. The Stars final chance rested on the stick of Jacob Peterson but his shot was kicked away by Saros, giving the Predators a 2-1 victory.