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It Was the Worst of Times, It Was the Worst of Overtimes: Stars Lose 3-2 in Second Overtime

Credit: Tim Heitman / Dallas Stars


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The time has come, the playoffs are here, and while the Stars didn’t end up top in the West, they secured home ice against the Minnesota Wild for the first round of the playoffs. The Stars headed into tonight with a healthy roster (for once), a record breaking goal scorer, and a top six goaltender.

The Wild were also there.

First Period

Hold on to your butts, because the first period was definitely a twenty minute disaster for the Stars. They fought the puck, couldn’t move through the neutral zone, and chased the Wild through most of the period.

If you’d like to skip the words, here is how the period made me feel personally, as represented in graph form:

As previously mentioned and now also graphically represented, the Stars gave the Wild too much room to move with the puck, and in return the Wild gave the Stars absolutely nothing. Kirill Kaprisov, team leader for the Wild in goals in the regular season, was given far too much room to put together the first high danger shot of the game, and the Stars didn’t have much to control him for the rest of the period.

The Stars couldn’t figure out the neutral zone and frequently had to resort to long passes and dumps to get it out of their zone.

And despite having the number three penalty kill in the NHL, the Stars took the only two penalties of the first period (whether or not you agree that Wyatt Johnston should have been called for slashing at all) and ended up down one when they left Kaprisov undefended in front of the net.

Shots: Stars 5, Wild 10
Goals: Stars 0, Wild 1

Second Period

The Stars clearly got a talking to during intermission because they came out of the locker room ready to rumble, only to have the wind completely knocked out of their sales midway through the period.

Ryan Hartman went to the box for boarding Esa Lindell, Roope Hintz scored four seconds into the power play.

There’s a slashing call on Marcus Foligno and a bit of a dust up, during which Jamie Benn smiles the entire time, giving shades of psychopath and then Jason Robertson scored five seconds into the power play.

That’s right, the Stars scored two power play goals in nine seconds of power play time.

The Stars killed two penalties, one a hooking call against Hintz and one an incredibly weak tripping call against Joe Pavelski. Both penalties were killed handily.

And then, in minute 12 of the period, Matt Dumba had a late, high hit on Pavelski, who hit the the boards hard and then hit his head against the ice. He laid on the ice for a while, got to his knees, and needed the assistance of multiple people to leave the ice, and still wobbled.

Max Domi rushed in to fight Dumba and kept hitting him after the refs pulled him off. A five minute major was called on Dumba initially to give the refs time to review. At the end of their review time, the absolutely and truly inexcusable call was made to give Dumba two minutes for roughing and Domi two minutes for roughing and a ten minute misconduct for not stopping.

After which Sam Steel tied the game on a breakaway. Then Roope Hintz was tripped right in front of a ref and absolutely nothing was called.

Shots: Stars 15, Wild 29
Goals: Stars 2, Wild 2

Third Period

Rendered textually, this period was much better for the Stars. They figured out their neutral zone game, they had better possession, they got to the high danger areas for shots. And yet, no one scored, the Stars had several rough hits that didn’t get called, and it’s already been a long night.

Rendered in graph form, based solely on my feelings:

The Suter cross check is not represented here but it was also a truly unfortunate choice.

Shots: Stars 27, Wild 36
Goals: Stars 2, Wild 2

Overtime

Overtime started good for the Wild but honestly after Dumba’s shot on Oettinger and then one more big save a few minutes later, literally everything was about the Dallas Stars and their possession dominance.

The refs missed a high sticking on Tyler Seguin, so they made a weak call on Spurgeon right after to make up for it, supposedly. The Stars didn’t score with the man advantage but they got pretty close a few times.

It cannot be stressed enough how dominant the Stars were in this first overtime period, outshooting the Wild 17-6 and leading in shots for the first time all game.

The second overtime period was more even. The Stars still outshot the Wild but the Wild had some really amazing chances that Oettinger saved to keep the Stars in.

And then Hartman won it for the Wild in OT. The Stars lost Pavelski and the game, go down 0-1 in the series.

Shots: Stars 54, Wild 48
Goals: Stars 2, Wild 3

But wait! There’s more. The Stars will be back home against the Wild on Wednesday night. The schedule says puck drop is 8:30 but let’s assume closer to nine again.