Stars Offense Strikes Early, Downs Panthers For Win
A big two points were earned by the Dallas Stars thanks in large part to a barrage of goals early in the game.
Jason Robertson continued to make his case for Calder consideration with a snipe right past Sergei Bobrovsky just one minute into the game. Then Justin Dowling setup Joel L’Esperance just 49 seconds later on a cross-ice feed that found daylight under a sprawling Panthers defender to give the Stars a 2-0 lead less than two minutes into the game.
After that initial sucker-punch of offense, the two teams started to settle into a groove. A power play opportunity by the Stars about midway through the opening frame gave them a 3-0 lead as Roope Hintz fed the puck to Joe Pavelski, who spotted Jamie Benn in the slot area. He settled the puck with his skate and then quickly snapped off a shot that picked the corner of Bobrovsky.
The majority of the second frame featured the two sides trading chances. Khudobin’s shutout looked to be broken on a wraparound attempt but the review showed the puck never crossed the line.
In the dying seconds of the period, a broken played resulted in Aleksander Barkov putting the Panthers on the board. Sadly the defensive stylings of Andrej Sekera in the crease with Khudobin wasn’t enough to keep the puck out of the net.
The three goal lead was restored by Robertson’s second goal of the game early into the third. Just 1:21 after the puck dropped, Robertson hit the zone with some speed and Hintz riding shotgun. With Hintz serving as a screen, Robertson appeared to be looking pass to a trailing teammate before he fired it from the slot area past Bobrovsky to make it 4-1.
The rest of the period was uneventful, and the Stars take a solid two points. A nice easy win in a season where that hasn’t been the case more often tha not. Good change of pace.