Comeback Falls Short, Stars Lose 5-4 to Sharks

Don’t call it a comeback because it didn’t work.

The Dallas Stars have had two days to recover from the demoralizing loss in Winnipeg before taking on the San Jose Sharks at home in the American Airlines Center.

Matej Blumel makes his NHL debut tonight, drafted in 2019 in the 4th round, he’s been a point per game player with the Texas Stars and is in for Denis Gurianov after his injury on Tuesday night.

First Period

On his second ever NHL shift, Blumel had a great chance up close against Sharks’ goalie James Reimer, but it was stopped by Reimer.

Four minutes later, Reimer did not catch Jamie Benn’s wrister over Reimer’s left shoulder. Benn picked off a turnover in the Stars’ zone and found the back of the net.

Roope Hintz took a delayed penalty for a high stick against Timo Meier. Jake Oettinger, playing in his first game in two weeks, looked almost as good as ever on a big stop as Hintz headed off.

Unfortunately for Hintz and Oettinger, Alexander Barabanov scored off the opening face off of the penalty kill.

Which, as one might imagine, was rather deflating. Even more deflating, Evgeny Svechnikov got the go-ahead goal six minutes later after a terrible turnover by Nils Lundkvist.

The later part of the first was marked by multiple penalties. Ty Dellandrea took an offensive zone hooking penalty against Mario Ferraro, but the Stars penalty kill looked much better than the first and the Sharks did not manage to make much of their advantage.

Luke Kunin had a knee-on-knee collision with Jason Robertson, after which he was crosschecked by Miro Heiskanen (who took a penalty for it) and took a roughing minor himself against Ryan Suter. No one scored on the four-on-four but thankfully Robertson did not seem to be injured by the collision.

With twenty seconds left in the first period, Jamie Benn said “fine, I’ll do it myself” and got his second of the night off a turnover by the Sharks. Benn skated the puck down himself, weighed his options, and instead of attempting a pass as he might have done in previous seasons, took the puck over Reimer’s left shoulder again.

Shots: Stars 7, Sharks 7
Goals: Stars 2, Sharks 2

Second Period

In every measurable standard but one, the Stars outplayed the Sharks in the second period. Unfortunately for the Stars, the one metric they didn’t manage to get ahead in is goals.

Just a little over a minute into the second, the Stars were down 4-2, and that’s where they stayed the rest of the period.

Twenty-nine seconds into the third, the Stars got sloppy with the puck in their own zone and Timo Meier, who leads the NHL in shots and goal and was certainly going to shoot a puck he came into possession of when near an open goal, found the net behind Oettinger by way of the crossbar.

A little over thirty seconds after that, Heiskanen turned the pucked over in the Stars zone and everyone scrambled after the puck. No one had Logan Couture, completely open in front of the net, except for Barabanov, who added an assist to his goal for a two point night.

In a confusing turn of events, the referee whistled a goal for Tyler Seguin, who shrugged and on camera visibly seemed confused by the call. After review in Toronto the goal was waived as it very clearly never crossed the goal line. A frustrating whistle when the goalie had been scrambling and the Stars had possession of the puck.

Couture had a hard hit against Dellandrea and he and Jamie danced about it with less than three minutes left to go in the third. Both went straight back to the locker rooms.

Shots: Stars 18, Sharks 15
Goals: Stars 2, Sharks 4

Third Period

The Sharks certainly know how to start a period. Twenty-nine seconds in the third period, Tomas Hertl scored his fourth of the season.

Matt Benning gave the Stars their first power play of the game on an interference call against Joe Pavelski. The Stars did nothing with the power play except prove that even with a wide open net and Reimer flopping on the ice, they’re still gonna miss.

Roope Hintz started a late game come back with a ding off the crossbar and into the goal.

Then Joe Pavelski scored his second goal against his former team.

Timo Meier almost scored immediately after but Esa Lindell hustled down the ice, disrupted the breakaway, and Oettinger made the save.

The Stars pulled Oettinger with 1:44 left to go but the comeback was too little too late and the Sharks won 5-4.

The Stars will be on the road again on Sunday against the Philadelphia Flyers. Puck drop will be at 12 pm CST.