No Goal Call Spurs Dallas Stars To 3-2 Win Over Pittsburgh Penguins
An apparent Jason Spezza first goal this season gets waived off, and then the Stars got mad enough to not only tie it up but win the game with a buzzer-beater.
"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." Benjamin Franklin may have been talking about the Dallas Stars' first period of play with that quote.
A constant parade to the penalty box against the best power play in the league is the very definition of insanity, and most definitely is not a plan for success against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The penalty killing was putrid, allowing both goals on the man advantage. You know it's starting poorly when Jordie Benn scores on his own goaltender to start the game on Pittsburgh's first power play chance.
The Stars weren't playing well at even strength either. They didn't protect the puck well. Passes were weak, leading to a lot of turnovers. Battles along the boards were lost almost every single time, and the Stars were out-muscled by a hard hitting opponent.
It was a far cry from the speedy, pacey first periods the Stars have started each of their first three games with.
Continuing the trend of everything being turned upside down, the second period was much better -- somewhere they've struggled in this season so far; it's where goal leads have evaporated.
No trips to the box combined with change-ups in line combinations by Lindy Ruff gave the Stars a bit more of a spark to get them back into the game. Ruff went back to the line combinations he had been tinkering with in practice instead of the lines that he rolled against the Columbus Blue Jackets. It paid off when Vernon Fiddler and Antoine Roussel connected to cut the lead in half and get the Stars on the board.
The passes were a little better, the skating more in line with what we've come to expect from the Stars. The defensive zone positioning was a little less "scramble mode" than the first.
The biggest key to staying in this game, however, was Kari Lehtonen. While he had several times where he was completely out of position early, the posts were his friend and allowed him to get settled and make massive saves in the middle frame to keep the Penguins up by only one. The biggest one was a save on a 3-on-1; a goal against at that point would have probably made this game too far out of reach.
Instead, the Stars would get the chance to continue their better play into the third period.
More patience with the puck was seen in the third, with guys peeling back instead of trying to force something that wasn't there on the ice. They battled harder -- and won more battles because of it -- along the boards.
The real turning point came with about three minutes left in the game, when an apparent Jason Spezza goal was waived off. Tyler Seguin drove the net, and was tripped by Evgeni Malkin. He made contact with the goaltender which lead to the refs to waive Jason Spezza's ensuing goal off due to goaltender interference. It would have tied the game up for the Stars.
Jamie Benn then got really mad. A line of him, Spezza and Seguin came out and started buzzing Marc-Andre Fleury. Alex Goligoski rang one off the post, and then Benn took a Spezza rebound and roofed it over the goalie to tie it up.
They weren't happy with just getting a point, however.
Benn, who had been quiet all night, drew a tripping penalty that sent Sidney Crosby to the box. Seguin scored with just 2.5 seconds left in the third period for the Stars to earn the full two points.
A really great turnaround from a terrible start. That's a statement game right there.