Stars Collapse in Third, Rangers Win 3-6

It was a game of what could have been for the Dallas Stars. Jake Oettinger exited the game early due to injury and a coach's challenge turned the momentum in the third period for the Rangers.

The Dallas Stars, donning their Blackout Jerseys for the first time this season, hosted the New York Rangers in an afternoon matinee Saturday. The Rangers were coming off a four-game losing streak and were expected to jump out of the gate trying to add a mark to their victory column. Miro Heiskanen remained out of the Stars line up and Igor Shesterkin, not surprisingly, returned to the Rangers crease to face the hottest goalie in the NHL, Jake Oettinger. Let’s recap this afternoon affair.

First Period

Those who came later to their seats in the AAC might have missed the first chance of the game which resulted in the first goal in the 69th second of the game thanks to a very NICE shot by Mason Marchment, already his fourth of the very young season, assisted by Tyler Seguin.

The game was played in a rather high tempo and both goaltenders had to be focused on multiple chances for both teams on the ice. After a failed defensive zone clearing attempt by the Stars defensemen in their zone, the Rangers took initiative and Chris Kreider buried a loose puck past Jake Oettinger to make things even.

To make matters worse for the Stars, Nils Lunkdvist was called for interference and Dallaa had to battle off a Rangers powerplay, which they did successfully. After the kill, the momentum shifted to the Stars’ favor for a bit. Unfortunately for the Stars, Jason Robertson hit only the goalpost. Dallas had a chance to be on a powerplay too, but that was cut short by an ever-so-slight trip in the offensive zone.

At the end of the first, a rather clumsy Ty Dellandrea tripped Igor Shesterkin to anger the Rangers bench quite a bit and the Stars had to face another powerplay to start the second period.

After the first:

Shots: Dallas 10, NY Rangers 7
Score: Dallas 1, NY Rangers 1

Second Period

The Rangers clearly prepared their attack diligently during intermission as they converted the powerplay opportunity 59 seconds into the second stanza by a nice shot from Vincent Trocheck after a feed from Mika Zibanejad to make it 2-1 Rangers.

If we started this review by stating Jake Oettinger was currently the hottest goalie in the NHL, fortunately for the Stars, they possess probably the hottest line in the league, too. The trio of Jason Robertson - Roope Hintz - Joe Pavelski responded almost immediately after the Rangers goal and it was the Finnish center with the equalizing tally.

After six minutes and 39 seconds played in the second period, Jake Oettinger was substituted by Scott Wedgewood in the Stars’ crease, creating a bit of a panic amongst Stars fans during the game. Wedgewood was tested early but stood tall against multiple Grade-A opportunities by the Rangers players. It was only during yet another minor penalty from Joel Hanley that he was bested by the tip-in of Mika Zibanejad, who benefited from a nice feed from Artemi Panarin.

When it looked like the Stars would be heading to the second intermission trailing by one goal, the first line in Skyline Green had other plans. After a draw in the offensive zone, Jason Robertson sniped a puck through Shesterkin’s five-hole and the game was tied once again to start the third period.

After the second:

Shots: Dallas 25, NY Rangers 20
Score: Dallas 3, NY Rangers 3

Third period

The third period was sometimes sluggish but also up and down as both teams were trying to get closer to the victory. Dallas seemed to have the upper hand early, but Jason Robertson’s goal was called off for offside after a successful coach’s challenge by Gerard Gallant and his staff.

What wasn’t meant to be for the Stars, happened for the Rangers on the other end just eight minutes before the final buzzer. And lightning struck twice in 15 seconds to make matters even worse for the Stars. Unfortunately, both goals felt like ones Scott Wedgewood could’ve had. First, a shot trickled through his glove for what was a first career goal for Zac Jones.

Then it was an untimely attempt to cut the breakaway short and negate a scoring chance that was just miscalculated and handed an easy goal for Julien Gauthier to make it 5-3 Rangers.

Shortly after, Stars were (again) on the penalty kill and it was (again) Vincent Trocheck who made them pay, 6-3 Rangers. From what looked like a nice turnaround from 2-3 to 4-3 by the hands of Jason Robertson, the game very rapidly became a sour taste in the mouth of every Stars fan. At the end, a couple of Stars powerplays didn't really materialize into anything so the Stars lost to Rangers in a somewhat cruel form, 6-3.

Final result:

Shots: Dallas 33, NY Rangers 27
Score: Dallas 3, NY Rangers 6

Key takeaway from the game

You could argue the Stars lost yet another winnable game but it was a great lecture from scoring effectivity as the Rangers were hardly a better team throughout the game. The Stars also really need to clean up their game a bit as it was another myriad of penalties that really cost them a lot. A big question mark looms over the health situation of Jake Oettinger, who exited the game due to a lower-body injury and did not return. Let's see how the young goalie of the Stars’ future feels and hope it's only a short-term thing to worry about.

The next game

After two full days without a game, the Dallas Stars (currently 5-3-1) will host the Los Angeles Kings team (4-5-0) on Tuesday night at the American Airlines Center to finish off a three-game homestand. It will be the second night of a back-to-back for the Kings and their third match in four days with travel, so the Stars might want to take advantage of the scheduling here and finish off the home stand with a winning record.