The Dallas Stars were hopeful in continuing their hot streak of road wins tonight as they faced the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. After two consecutive victories earlier this week against Boston and Detroit, having a single day of rest before tonight’s game, they fell to the Blue Jackets, who were coming off of their bye week, in a close game that ended in a nerve-wracking shootout, 2-1.
It was a Blue Jacket dominated opening period. The scoreboard was bare until the remaining seven minutes of the first, when Jordan Schroeder scored Columbus’ first goal, catching Ben Bishop off guard after miscommunication with the defense, being unable to find the puck until it was too late.
The second period was full of lots of turnovers with the Stars playing as if they weren’t expecting any pressure from Columbus. Generating a few good plays, they just couldn’t quite pull through and breach Columbus goaltender Joonas Korpisalo’s crease. Can we also just take a moment to note that Korpisalo is only 23 years old?!
Even though the Stars had been playing hard, the final period was when the heat really turned up. Dallas opened the frame by finishing out a penalty kill that dragged out from previous period and things started to look up with Alexander Radulov’s goal making it an even score…until it was recalled for goal tender interference! Needless to say, Hitchcock had a few choice words to say about the call. Now with a new fire lit under them, Dallas pressed on with a significant increase in aggression after the disallowed goal. Radulov came back to score again on Columbus to make it 1-1 with two minutes left in regulation. Bishop made what could easily be labeled the best and most beautiful save of the entire year in the last 28 seconds, flashing his glove to the center of the net and sending the game into overtime.
Of course, who doesn’t like some good ol’ three-on-three hockey? Overtime was fierce but scoreless, forcing the teams to go to a shootout. The Stars have won the last three shootouts they’ve encountered against Chicago, the Rangers, and Nashville so not all hope was lost. All eyes looked to Dallas’ top scorer, Tyler Seguin, to wrap up the game with a win, but Blue Jackets’ left winger, Artemi Panarin, put the final goal on the board to make it 2-1, Columbus.
A big part of the Blue Jackets’ success against the Stars in regulation was in their penalty kills. The Stars had some blips in their power plays, which in this case, caused their weakness to become the Blue Jackets’ strength. The Stars team we used to know would have lost this game in regulation and would have never made it to overtime, much less a shootout. But all to say, we can’t be completely mad at the Stars. After all, they did manufacture a point tonight, which was well earned. They will continue on their road trip taking on the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday afternoon before returning back to D-town for a three game homestretch!
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