Things looked scary for the home team 10 minutes into this one. Kari Lehtonen had allowed one he’d surely like back. They were losing to a divisional opponent. On home ice. The many irritants of a season ago seemed to be forming a confluence of defeat that would see the Stars lose their first consecutive games this season.
Luckily the Stars’ captain was there to save the day in the third.
Dallas lost 1-0 and 3-2 leads but used their power play when it mattered most to put the Jets away in a wildly entertaining, though not for the coaching staffs, 60 minute up-and-down affair.
A sensational night from Kari Lehtonen negated a less-than stellar outing from Dallas possession-wise as the teams traded power plays throughout, and the Stars get their first Central win in their first big test this season.
The final score read 6-3, but two empty-net goals mask what was a dead-even game for the duration. A war that won’t look great in the stats department, but one Dallas wins this time.
The festivities started tonight with a swapping of power plays- The Jets one of the league’s worst against a generous penalty kill in Dallas, but the Stars would survive. Seconds later when given their own John Klingberg needed just eight seconds to make them pay.
The 1-0 lead would last less than two minutes, however, as the Jets scored two quick ones bang-bang. Blake Wheeler would wheel (sorry) and fire on the boards to Kari’s right and sneak one through that never should had a chance. Then Jamie Oleksiak and Jordie Benn would combine to not handle a Jets rush particularly well leading to a Trouba goal just 18 seconds later.
A loose, to put it mildly, remainder of the first period would ensue and Colton Sceviour would capitalize on the wild play on a rebound to make it 2-2 heading into intermission.
The Stars played well in the early stages of the second period, potting their third on the night thanks to an Ales Hemsky breakaway, but a too-many-men penalty eight minutes in would tilt the ice sharply toward Kari Lehtonen and the home team needed intermission to recover.
Winnipeg out-shot Dallas 14-6 in the middle frame.
The Stars would re-gain their composure to start the third period, trading mild chances in the period’s first half, but then the officials would change the game.
An obvious slash saw Jason Demers‘ stick go flying in the defensive zone but two individuals of over 18,000 did not see it, and the Jets would score seconds later to knot the game at 3-3.
Tyler Seguin would foul similarly seconds later but that would be called, to the tune of a four-minute double minor for high sticking, ensuring the Jets would spend four of ten remaining minutes on the power play. Alex Goligoski and Vern Fiddler were terrific and the Stars survived.
Cody Eakin would draw a call- another poor one from this crew, with 8 seconds remaining in the double-minor, and once Seguin re-joined the discourse it didn’t take long for him to put a puck on net and for Jamie Benn to put the rebound home for a 4-3 lead.
Antoine Roussel and Vern Fiddler would add empty-net goals to salt it away.
- The premature (anticipatory) goal horn on the Sceviour tally was amusing, because live it seemed like it might have frozen Pavelec at the critical moment. But you can’t review goaltender interference on the goal horn.
- Dustin Byfuglien was always on the ice, seemingly, playing with a couple of different partners as the game wore on into the third period. That’s a horse the Stars don’t have, though you wonder if they did if Lindy wouldn’t just roll through the pairs 1-2-3 anyway. No way to test it.
- Hey fans of other teams- We have a John Klingberg. You do not. This ends this public service announcement.
- 24 and 5 were out there with less than four minutes to go as the Stars attempted to get a one-goal lead home. Lindy Ruff is going to roll his lines and his pairs. In order. That’s what he does.
- Add to the officials’ bad night the interference on Sceviour behind the rush on the Jets’ second goal. It’s a tough job.
- Kari Lehtonen was great tonight, sans the first goal. His recovery from that 18 second span was as impressive as it was necessary, as the Stars capitulated through large chunks of the second and third periods after a 15-shot performance in the first.