Stars Go Supernova, Lose 5-3 to Vegas in Round-Robin Opener

*sad trombone noises*




1. a star that suddenly increases greatly in brightness because of a catastrophic explosion that ejects most of its mass.

Such a definition is a rather accurate portrayal of the Dallas Stars’ 5-3 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights. After a decent first period, the Stars blew up in the second period, scoring three unanswered goals (and almost a fourth). They were dominate, with Vegas at their complete mercy, and all they seemingly had to do was keep up the pressure throughout the third period.

This being the Stars, however, they failed spectacularly at doing so. Embracing their secondary mascot, the turtle, the team abandoned the style of play that gave them a 3-1 lead and instead focused solely on goal prevention. That plan was indeed catastrophic, as Vegas proceeded to score three unanswered goals of their own, finishing it all with an empty netter to boot.

Much like a supernova, the Stars’ performance was loud, exciting, and ultimately ended in sadness as they deteriorated into nothing. Optimists will remind themselves that as a round -robin game, the results aren’t that important and that the game doesn’t truly “matter.” On the other hand, if the Stars can manage to score three goals in a game and still lose, that doesn’t spell well for the team’s future.

First Period

Shocking fans everywhere, Dallas actually managed to shoot first — this obviously upset they hockey gods as Chandler Stephenson shortly scored afterwards for Vegas, prompting a return to the status quo:

About a minute later, Vegas went onto the power play when Mattias Janmark got called for boarding. Thankfully, the Stars’ special teams kept the game from spiraling out of control, successfully killing the penalty without much issue.

What followed was a lot of back-and-forth hockey, with Dallas looking much better than they did against the Nashville Predators. Near the end of the period, Corey Perry went to the box for slashing, putting Dallas on the penalty kill yet again. Vegas only managed a single shot on net during the man advantage, however, and Dallas headed to the locker room down by only one.

Score: Dallas 0, Vegas 1
Shots: Dallas 8, Vegas 7

Second Period

The Stars came into the middle frame on fire, spending the majority of the first ten minutes in the offensive zone and pressuring Robin Lehner. Miro Heiskanen and Roope Hintz in particular had their names called often by the broadcast, but it was ultimately Joe Pavelski who struck first when his cross-ice pass towards Alexander Radulov bounced off of Alec Martinez’s skate and into the Golden Knights’ net:

Just 42 seconds later, Jamie Oleksiak channeled 2012 All-Star game Jamie Benn with an absolute beauty of a snipe, giving Dallas the lead:

Dallas would then get their first power play of the game when Shea Theodore got called for hooking. While normally that doesn’t amount to much, the Stars looked lethal with the man advantage, culminating in a Corey Perry tipping a shot from Miro Heiskanen past Lehner:

With about two minutes left, Andrew Cogliano almost gave Dallas their fourth goal of the game, but the puck sadly stopped on the goal-line and didn’t get knocked past until after the whistle had been blown.

That would be it for the period. But hey, at least Dallas wouldn’t need a fourth goal, right?

Score: Dallas 3, Vegas 1
Shots: Dallas 21, Vegas 17

Third Period

After dominating the second period, Dallas fully embraced “turtling” for the final frame, focusing on defense instead of continuing to generate scoring chances. That came back to bite them. Hard.

First off, Mark Stone made a fool out of everyone as he cut the Golden Knights’ deficit by one:

Then Nate Schmidt put one past Ben Bishiop on a two-on-one with Reilly Smith:

...and then William Carrier scored the go-ahead goal, with the original call of “goaltender interference” being overturned:

Mattias Janmark could have saved the day late in the game with a breakaway opportunity but failed to convert. Not much later, William Karlsson iced it with an empty net goal.

Final Score: Dallas 3, Vegas 5
Final Shots: Dallas 27, Vegas 33