Well that sucked.
Despite the best efforts of Roope Hintz, who scored twice (including a shorthanded goal), the Dallas Stars fell 6-2 to the Vancouver Canucks. While the team as a whole struggled, Jake Oettinger in particular had a very rough night — the sophomore netminder let in two soft goals in the first period, then another two goals in the second before getting pulled halfway through.
The Stars stopped the bleeding for the rest of the second, but the Canucks scored less than a minute into the third to put the game on ice, scoring their sixth on the empty net in a last ditch effort by the Stars with five minutes left.
Thankfully for Dallas, the Vegas Golden Knights also lost tonight, and they’re still tied with the Nashville Predators for the first Wild Card spot, although they lose the tiebreaker. The Stars will try and move past this loss when they take on the Edmonton Oilers this Wednesday at 7:30 CT.
After some back and forth to begin the game, Oliver Ekman-Larsson rang the puck off the post roughly seven and a half minutes in. Which would have been fine had he not recovered it and then help set up a Connor Garland shot with a screen — the puck went in between Jake Oettinger’s legs, resulting in a goal the Stars’ netminder would have loved to have back.
Thankfully for Dallas, Brock Boeser almost immediately went to the box for interfering Ryan Suter. One commercial break later and Roope Hintz equalized the score:
That seemed to energize the Stars, who began to pepper Thatcher Demko with shot after shot. But then a defensive zone turnover led to Vancouver getting the puck behind the Stars’ net, and Elias Pettersson was able to squeeze it between the post and Oettinger’s blocker.
That seemed to energize the Canucks, who then spent the rest of the period almost exclusively in the offensive zone. They weren’t able to extend their lead, however, and the Stars went to the locker room down by only one.
Score: Dallas 1, Vancouver 2
Shots: Dallas 13, Vancouver 9
If you thought things would get better in the second, you would be wrong — just over a minute in, the Stars turned over the puck in the offensive zone, after which they attempted a line change. That in turn led to a 2-on-1 in which Pettersson fed Boeser for a laser that found the back of the net.
A couple minutes later, Tyler Seguin went to the box for holding Boeser, giving Vancouver a chance to extend their lead even further. But after Luke Glendening and Michael Raffl failed to score a shorthanded goal off a 2-on-2 rush, Hintz came to the rescue once more, scoring on a breakaway:
The Stars killed off the remainder of the power play, and Glendening got another chance point blank shortly afterwards. But a few minutes later at around the halfway point, Jason Dickinson scored his first goal against his former team, ending Oettinger’s night early.
What followed was continued possession domination by Vancouver, although Scott Wedgewood was calm and cool in net. With two minutes left, Jamie Benn delivered a massive hit on Quinn Hughes, prompting Luke Schenn to fight Benn (and decisively win). Shortly afterwards, Tyler Myers and Jason Robertson traded big hits.
Otherwise, things were relatively quiet as the period drew to a close, the Canucks now up by two.
Score: Dallas 2, Vancouver 4
Shots: Dallas 22, Vancouver 28
The final frame was more of the same for the Stars — after doing well in relief to wrap up the second, Wedgewood let in a soft goal of his own less than a minute in, courtesy of Vasily Podkolzin.
What followed for the rest of the period was back and forth that really didn’t amount to anything in terms of scoring opportunities, the Canucks willing to slow things down and ride the lead out. It wasn’t until the final ten minutes or so that the Stars finally began to put some decent pressure on Demko again.
With a little less than five minutes left, Wedgewood left the net to give Dallas the extra skater, But with 3:01 on the clock, Pettersson hit the empty net to complete the touchdown. An Alexander Radulov holding against Travis Dermott gave them a chance for the extra point, but that was all she wrote.
Final Score: Dallas 2, Vancouver 6
Final Shots: Dallas , Vancouver