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Stars Score Three Goals In Third Period To Beat Islanders 5-2

The Dallas Stars had a number of reasons tonight could have gone poorly.

“Missing a few guys, missing probably our best player in Roope [Hintz], some guys having long days, and some guys sick,” Tyler Seguin said after the game. “Just a weird day coming off a long road trip.”

Hintz didn’t dress thanks to a lower-body injury. Coach Peter DeBoer doesn’t anticipate that it will be a long-term thing and considers him day-to-day. With Denis Gurianov not quite ready to go with his upper-body injury, the team dressed 11 forwards and 7 defensemen tonight, with Joel Hanley filling in on the fourth line at forward at times.

The Stars opened a four-game home stand spanning six nights against the New York Islanders. These aren’t exactly the “2-1 trap you into submission” Islanders of yore, either. They’re 12th in goals for per game, and they’ve opened up their suffocating defense to afford themselves some more offense. Don’t get it twisted, though – they’re 11th in goals against per game, too.

It’s not that different of a look compared to Dallas, actually. The Stars have moved up to second in goals for per game and sit 8th in goals against. They’ve sacrificed a little defense to get a lot more offense.

Maybe it was the missing personnel or maybe it was trying to feel out each other’s defensive games, but whatever it was, the teams played out a scoreless first 20 minutes that felt sluggish and lifeless. The crowd was pretty subdued as a result. In other words, the vibes were not immaculate in the first frame.

After the feeling-out period, Mathew Barzal snapped his 18-game goal-less streak to put New York up 1-0 just 1:30 into the second frame. Then, Jamie Benn took over. The captain had a goal and two assists in the game, the first of which setup a glorious Radek Faksa goal to tie the game up. Barzal scored again on a power play tally to restore the Islanders lead 14:19 into the period, only to have Benn setup Mason Marchment to tie it 40 seconds later.

“Every time we scored a goal, they kind of found a way to get some momentum back,” Benn said, “and we finally broke through in the third there.”

That breakthrough came courtesy of three goals to turn a relatively tight game into a 5-2 win. The game winning goal and one that turned the momentum in Dallas’ favor? Scored by Benn himself.

Jason Robertson would keep his point streak alive with an insurance tally, extending the point streak to 11 games where he’s scored 10 goals and 10 assists in that span. Jani Hakanpaa sent the puck into an empty net for the 5-2 win.