The Dallas Stars used a wild third-period comeback to defeat the Edmonton Oilers 5-3 on home ice on Tuesday, Mar. 22.
Back and Forth and Back and Forth
This game was bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S. From the drop of the puck, the momentum swung wildly back and forth between both clubs. First, Edmonton got on the board as a seeing-eye wrister was tipped in front, beating Jake Oettinger to the blocker side at the 16:31 mark of the frame.
Following a fairly quiet start to the second in which fans were growing frustrated with the lack of offense from their home team, Jamie Benn stole a puck, stayed onside, and eventually found Jason Robertson on the backside to tie the game at one. This is where things got crazy.
1:20 after the Robertson goal, Joe Pavelski picked up a rebound in tight just seconds into the Stars second power-play, giving Dallas their first lead of the night. It all seemed like smooth sailing as Dallas continued to push and eventually got back on the power play early in the third period with a chance to increase their lead and likely put the game to bed.
Instead, Connor McDavid raced up ice and found Evander Kane in front for the shorthanded goal to tie the game at two. Just 43 seconds later, Devin Shore left the penalty box, took the puck, and threw it across to Leon Draisaitl, whose shot was deflected in off of a Stars defender, and just like that, the Oilers were back on top, completely stealing the momentum that Dallas believed they had.
But wait, we are not done yet. When all hope seemed lost and the clock ticked under six minutes remaining in the game, Dallas decided it was their turn to flip the game on its head once again.
John Klingberg took a pass at the offensive blue line and made a quick behind-the-back drop pass to a high-flying Roope Hintz, who seemingly appeared out of thin air. Hintz split the defense and snuck a shot through Mikko Koskinen to tie the game. 24 seconds later, Tyler Seguin raced down the left-wing and made a slick pass across the crease where Denis Gurianov slammed it home, sending the American Airlines Center crowd into a complete frenzy. Seguin added the empty-net goal, his 300th career NHL goal, and the game was decided.
“It was a great hockey game,” said Stars coach Rick Bowness. “That’s an excellent hockey team over there. That was a fun game to be a part of. It was back-and-forth, it was fast and it had a lot of good chances at both ends.”
These types of games are so easy to try to break down and analyze but in the end, it was a fantastic hockey game featuring two teams playing their hearts out in the thick of a playoff race. With Dallas battling for the final playoff spot in the West, we may not have seen the last of this type of game, and they are fine with that.
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“Great hockey game,” said Seguin. “From the start and the drop of the puck, I thought it was chippy, it was intense, it was fast, and they have a lot of skill. They’re playing a lot different than maybe the first time they were in here. I don’t know if it was from the coaching change or what, but they’re a lot more defensive in ways and a lot more structured, and they’re a good hockey team. It was a good game.”
Denis Gurianov Steps Up
Denis Gurianov was noticeable all night long. After an up and down season so far, he showed his potential, recording the game-winning goal and three shots. When he plays well, the puck seems to find him and he shows the confidence to use his speed, take on defenders, and put pucks on net. The Stars have been waiting for him to find this level consistently and perhaps this game will be a start.
“I thought he was skating well all night and all of the sudden there is a penalty and now you’ve got to go through the rotations all over again,” Rick Bowness said. “I thought right off the getgo he was skating great and without the penalties, he would have been out there more.”
With the goal on Tuesday, Gurianov now has 11 goals and 29 points on the season. He has had some success on a line with Jamie Benn and Seguin, has had his long droughts, and now found a way to perform in a huge game and help his team steal two points with a late comeback.
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“Just trying to think about defense first,” Gurianov said. “If I have the puck, just skate with it, try to find my partners, and just using my strong sides and what I do best and help my team to win.”
Stars Top Line Racks Up Points
While it may sound funny calling just four games a slump, the top line of Robertson, Hintz, and Joe Pavelski found themselves in unknown territory over the last week or so. Both Robertson and Pavelski had not scored in four games while Hintz had tallied just two goals over the last nine games (both coming against Washington on Sunday). On Tuesday against Edmonton, however, all three players stepped up and found a way to get on the scoresheet, each recording one goal and one assist on the night.
“We are always getting looks, sometimes the puck just doesn’t go in the net,” Robertson said. “We are getting our chances and as long as that happens, we are feeling good.”
With the win and a Vegas loss, Dallas jumps the Golden Knights into the final playoff spot. They now hold a one point lead with two games in hand as they head onto the road to face a tough Carolina Hurricanes team on Thursday.
“We’ve been saying from day one that our team, on paper, is really good,” Seguin said. “Paper doesn’t mean anything, so, it’s about putting it all together at the right time. We have a lot of vets on this team, and we know what that means. Once the trade deadline’s gone, it’s the exciting part of the year. You have 20-ish games left. It’s the push and it’s getting ready to try to get into that dance and then get in. Once you’re in, I don’t want to face us.”
He Said It
“They’re resilient, this is a resilient group,” Bowness said. “I know we have had some tough third periods all year, we get that. But what is done is done and you play through it. This group will learn to play through those situations.”
Sam’s Three Stars
- Third Star: Roope Hintz, DAL (1 goal, 1 assist)
- Second Star: John Klingberg, DAL (2 assists, +1)
- First Star: Tyler Seguin, DAL (300th Career Goal, one assist, +2)