The Dallas Stars hit the road to start a five-game road trip after going 3-1-1 on their home stand. This stretch out east isn’t easy, by any means. The Pittsburgh Penguins, New Jersey Devils, and Carolina Hurricanes are firmly playoff teams and the Washington Capitals are on the bubble. Only the Columbus Blue Jackets are a (very likely) non-playoff team, as they sit last in the Eastern Conference.
In other words, it’s a good measuring stick stretch for the Stars. Add in the fact that the East has all but dominated the West so far this season, and it adds another layer to these matchups.
After going to overtime in three of their last four games — and finally getting some victories after going 0-for-5 to start the season in their post-regulation games — the Stars took a low-scoring affair against the Penguins down to the wire and lost in heartbreaking fashion.
With 34 seconds left in the game, Evgeni Malkin finally found a way to break through Jake Oettinger to give the Penguins a 2-1 win.
Until that point, Dallas had actually spent a lot of the final five minutes in the offensive zone. Both Jake Oettinger and Tristan Jarry were sparkling. Dallas had several points in the game where they had Jarry down in the crease and weren’t able to put the puck in on the rebound chances.
The lone goal in this one came from Roope Hintz, and it took only 19 seconds of the game for him to get the Stars on the board.
AT LEAST LET US GET SITUATED FIRST ROOPE!!! SHEESH…19 SECONDS IN.
— Bally Sports Southwest (@BallySportsSW) December 13, 2022
Natural Stat Trick had Dallas with 18 scoring chances for at even strength and Pittsburgh with 13 scoring chances, giving Dallas a 58% SCF advantage at 5-on-5. For a measuring stick game, Dallas came out toe-to-toe with the Penguins.
According to MoneyPuck, this was basically the very definition of a tight game, with the teams practically 50-50 to win this one. All of the chances were there, they just couldn’t convert.
They’ll play again in less than 24 hours when they travel to the Rock in New Jersey to take on the Devils. The Devils are also played tonight, with their game going to overtime before the New York Rangers ended their night.