The Stars have dominated the Pacific Division, with 5-0-1 record gainst the divison, prior to this game. It may not have been the best game, but they now boast a 6-0-1 record thanks to Tyler Seguin. The Flames had been surging at home and the Stars were able to cool them down en route to picking up a much needed extra point.
The Stars came out immediately looking for the goal that eluded them in Edmonton. Radek Faksa spied a creeping Jason Spezza in the slot and was able to slide the puck to him. Spezza then shot it up and over the left shouler of Rittich to give Dallas the lead. Then for a majority of the period, the Stars were just pinned in their zone. Most of this was due to the fact that Dallas took three consecutive penalties. However, they did not break as their penalty killing units were sound. The Flames were barely able to get any shots on goal as the Stars played them perfectly. Unfortunately, the Flames pulled even late in the first as Hathaway ripped a one-timer that squeaked through Khudobin.
The second frame was pretty even in terms of chances. Both teams had some difficulties getting through each others defenses as they both played extraordinarily well. The biggest excitement came late in the period as the Stars were finally able to score on the powerplay. Tyler Seguin saucered a gorgeous pass over to Jamie Benn who easily tapped it in back door for the lead. That was a much needed power-play as it gives the Stars some momentum going into the third.
The third period is never dull for Dallas. Whether they win or lose, the Stars make the final frame a must-watch. The Flames were given a couple more powerplays and eventually on their fifth one they were able to strike. Johnny Gaudreau sniped one over the left shoulder of Khudobin and the game was tied at two. Shortly after that, roughly 72 seconds later, defenceman Mark Giordano picked the same corner that Gaudreau did. The Stars then trailed for the first time and desperately needed someone to step up. Well, with about five minutes left, Gavin Bayruether got a lucky bounce, settled the puck and ripped one over Rittich to knot the game at three. Then, similar to last night, a puck squeaked through Khudobin once again, but Radulov cleared it before it caused any more danger. Both teams could not do much after that and were content with going to overtime.
Unlike the game against Edmonton, the Stars dominated this overtime. The extra period didn’t last long due to some great forechecking. Jamie Benn chased after the puck in behind the net, cut off the puck from Rittich and threw it out to Seguin in the slot. Then, Seguin missed his opportunity, and Benn went back to work. When RIttich was outside of his crease, Benn skated through it and slightly clipped Rittich, but was able to outmuscle the Flames defense and get the puck back to Seguin. This time Seguin waited out Rittich and was able to snipe on past the goalie for the OT win. The Flames were then denied their argument for goaltender interference because Rittich recovered from the contact.
Not enough credit can be given to the hard work of Gavin Bayreuthr, Joel Hanley and Miro Heiskanen. These rookies have been no short of excellent and are essentially saving the Stars season. Ben Gleason also deserves some credit. Also it has been a wonderful suprise to see that Roman Polak has been a fantastic signing. Polak has been logging huge minutes and is one of the Stars best penalty killers. This team has been entertaining to say the least, and excpetional at certain times. Khudobin played outstanding once again, and the top line contributed. This Stars team is still trying to discover their identity with the constant changes in the lineup, but have done admirably so far. This OT win was humungous as it keeps the Stars in a Wild Card spot. However, only time will tell how long the Stars can battle through injuries and keep that position in the standings.
The Stars will stay in Canada as they head to Vancouver to take on the Canucks.
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