Stars Salvage Point In Shootout Loss To Hurricanes
Well, at least that rallied to get one out of this one.
Another game, another opportunity for the Dallas Stars to find a win against the Carolina Hurricanes. It’s only fitting that the Stars faced off against a team named after a natural phenomenon. Much like the incoming blizzard/winter storm conditions barreling towards the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, the Hurricanes managed to also paralyze Dallasites tonight.
It’s always interesting to me how a scoreless first period is framed in the context of whether a team is at home or on the road, or whether the scoreboard matches the perceived “effort” put forward in the 20 minute frame. A scoreless first period as a road team? Totally cool, it’s just getting the legs moving and feeling out the opponent. As the home team? Leaves a little something to be desired, especially when given two power play chances to jump out to a lead.
Dallas probably played well enough to come out of the opening frame with a lead, but a lot of the actual shots on goal were handled easily by Alex Nedeljkovic. More problematic was the Stars’ power play, where the first was cut short thanks to a tripping penalty Joel Kiviranta. It was one of those penalties, though, where coaching staffs usually are okay with it because it prevented a sure breakaway alone in on Jake Oettinger. However, the penalty was made necessary by the fact that the Stars couldn’t break into the offensive zone if an all-expenses paid vacation was on the other side of the blue line.
The second power play chance looked better in the sense that the Stars were able to finally get into the offensive zone. But that’s about where the improvements ended.
After a strong start to the period, the Stars finally got on the board first with a goal by Jason Dickinson. He cleaned up a rebound chance created by his line, and while not the prettiest goal, it’s the type of goal-scoring that Dallas hasn’t done enough of during this recent stretch as they’ve struggled to do more than one-and-done in the offensive zone.
It seemed that the Stars were well on their way to taking that 1-0 score into the second intermission — that is, until the Carolina Hurricanes finally got engaged in the battle. After being relatively quiet the first half of the game, Jordan Martinook took advantage of an extended shift by the Stars and some tired defenders to tie the game up.
Not long after, John Klingberg got tagged for a tripping penalty, sending the penalty kill unit out to work. Though effectively able to kill off a lot of the penalty time, the Stars got stuck in their own zone and eventually caved to tune of a Tuevo Teravinen goal with just 47 seconds left in the period.
The team seemed to be reeling from giving up the late goal in the period, and the Stars took another penalty early in the third — exactly what put them in that position to begin with. Once again, the Stars allowed one too many cross-ice passes to get through cleanly. Once again, Carolina was there to make them pay. Blake Comeau was late to recognize that Esa Lindell decided to go below the red line, and didn’t pick up Jordan Staal left all alone in front of the net. That mental mistake cost them another power play goal against.
With the line of Roope Hintz, Denis Gurianov, and Jason Robertson buzzing all game long once again, it was only fitting that the Stars’ rally came from this trio. Hintz collected the puck in the neutral zone, hit the line and found Robertson with some space, and Robertson absolutely blistered one past the Hurricanes netminder.
A strong push in the third period to get the tying goal was made possible only by the strength of Miro Heiskanen’s stick and a late-period power play. With the goaltender pulled, and less than two minutes to find a tying goal and salvage at least a point out of tonight’s contest, the Stars went with a 6-on-4 look to get there. However, it looked like Carolina was headed to a sure empty-net goal with a 2-on-1.
Then Heiskanen entered the picture. Just look at this astounding stick work that not only broke up the play but started the rush back up the ice leading to Joe Pavelski’s tying goal:
This sequence was electric pic.twitter.com/aJXwaL9fHh— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) February 14, 2021
Both teams had some chances, and the Stars nearly gave it all up thanks to a late power play for Carolina after a Comeau elbowing penalty. Luckily, time expired before the penalty kill could do more damage, sending the game to a shootout. With Jason Robertson, Joe Pavelski, and Denis Gurianov all unable to convert, it only took Vincent Trocheck’s backhander to seal the win and drop Dallas to a 5-3-4 record.