The Dallas Stars are on their way back to the drawing board after dropping the season opener to the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday.
On a night when the Stars both honored the victims of the Las Vegas shooting and the late Dave Strader in front of a packed American Airlines Center, it was the Vegas defense that stole the show.
Stanley Cup winning goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 45 saves and Vegas saw strong play from defenseman Nate Schmidt.
But despite the disappointing loss, Dallas has some things to look at moving forward.
Tyler Seguin started the scoring on a power-play goal with 2:59 remaining in the second period which broke a surprising scoreless tie. Then, newly added Ben Bishop had to leave the game in the third period after suffering a cut to the head.
That’s when the tide began to shift.
Former Star and 40-goal scorer James Neal struck not once, but twice in the third period (10:27, 17:16) to tie and take the lead for Vegas.
Both goals were scored on replacement goalie Kari Lehtonen and the second came off an assist from a 2016-17 Dallas Star, Cody Eakin.
Early on, Dallas also struggled in terms of penalty minutes, which may not have played a factor in the third period goals, but could’ve influenced the offensive efficiency. Dallas ended up killing all seven penalty tries and had eight penalties for 16:00 of penalty time.
Also on the positive side, the Stars ended with a 46-30 advantage in shots on goal and the front line of Jaime Benn, Tyler Seguin, and Alexander Radulov looked very good along with winning the faceoff battle.
Defensively, the debut of a new set of players and a new mindset looked decent as well with 20 blocked shots and a shutout lasting through the first two and a half periods.
And looking back at the
Overall, this was a Vegas team that was playing with not only the emotion of a new franchise, but with the pride of a community. You could see that as soon as the Golden Knights left the locker room in the third period.
Dallas will be better. And they can’t think too deeply into this loss, as they have to travel and take on the St. Louis Blues Saturday night at 7.
Player to Watch Result: Ben Bishop had a great season opener despite being relatively untested through the first two periods. Before he had to leave the game in the third period, Bishop made 19 saves and helped kill six power-plays. This game is exactly what Dallas fans needed to see out of the veteran after having a poor preseason.
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