The Stars took a long winding road but eventually skated off with a 4-3 overtime victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night. The win snaps a three-game losing streak and earns Dallas a massive two points that bump them back into a playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Klingberg Comes Up Big
John Klingberg has struggled to score goals all season long. He had only one until March 8 against Nashville but now has two tallied three in the last four games. His goals against Montreal were huge for the Stars. First, he tied the game with under five minutes remaining and then scored the game-winner in overtime after collecting his own rebound in the final seconds.
“I’ve got to shoot more, we’ve got to shoot more,” Klingberg said. “Obviously, individually it was great to get two goals.”
Defensively, Klingberg struggled at times in the game. He and Thomas Harley were pinned in their own zone a few times, he turned some pucks over, and he took the penalty in overtime that forced Dallas to kill off a full two minutes of 4 on 3. However, the 29-year-old defenseman responded and found a way to make a mammoth difference in the game.
“There are some hiccups from the D and myself especially, that I am not happy with but obviously, it is just a great finish to get out with two points in a game like that,” Klingberg said.
Klingberg now has eight points in his last five games. After scoring each goal, his emotion was obvious, displaying just how much this means to him and the club overall.
Faksa Finally Ends the Drought
It had been 40 games since Radek Faksa scored a goal. Tonight, he had a few chances early and finally ended his drought with a nice redirection to the side of Jake Allen in the closing minutes of the first period.
“It felt like forever,” Faksa laughed. “Hopefully, I won’t ever have that long without a goal again.”
The 28-year-old forward needed this goal very badly. He has struggled all season offensively and has not been the best version of himself defensively either. Once it went in, he was a different player with the puck and around the puck throughout the remainder of the game. Hopefully, this goal gives him confidence and urges him to play better as the playoff push continues.
“I had lots of chances before,” he said. “When you don’t score for so long and you get the chance, you are not comfortable with it and I wasn’t comfortable when I had some chances. Hopefully, it will turn around and I will execute and score more goals and help the team get to the playoffs.”
Sloppy & Far From Perfect, But Two Points for Dallas
This game was far from impressive for the Dallas Stars. They had long stretches where they were outplayed, they looked sloppy in the defensive zone, they could not convert on their chances around the net, and their special teams were far from perfect. However, it was exactly the type of game they needed to find a way to win, and they did just that after overcoming late adversity.
“We were playing well in the third,” Bowness said. “We turned the puck over twice [leading to the two Montreal goals], it happened, so you deal with it. But we knew we were playing well and we knew we were going to get more opportunities. Three games in a row was enough and we needed this one tonight and we got it.”
These are the games you remember when looking at the standings at the end of the season. They are the types of games that Dallas consistently lost last season, resulting in them missing the postseason, and they are the games they have found ways to win during the 2021-22 season. If they can continue to do that no matter what it looks like or how they get it done, they will give themselves a chance to make a run come May.
Reverse of Fortunes for Dallas
With the win, the Stars improve to 12-1-2 (W-OTL-SOL) past regulation, the best record in the NHL past 60 minutes. If you watched this team last season, losing 17 times in those situations, you may not believe how drastically they have turned it around.
“Last year we couldn’t catch a break in overtime, we just couldn’t,” Bowness said. “We hit goal posts, we missed nets, and our overtime record was dreadful because of it. Every time they came down, it was in the net. This year, our goalie is making saves and we are getting huge goals. This year they are going in.”
Dallas is now halfway through the current road trip and will wrap it up over the weekend with two matinee games against the New York Islanders and Washington Capitals. They will then play five more games in the month of March (3 away, 2 home) before they see a home-heavy April to finish out the regular season.
What I really like is the way we bounced back after that bad game in Toronto, very happy with that,” Bowness said.”
He Said It
“He played great, Klingberg takes a penalty in overtime and he gets the winner in overtime, so it was one of those games,” Rick Bowness said. “Apparently, he set a franchise record for most goals by a defenseman in overtime, good for him.”
Sam’s Three Stars
- Third Star: Cole Caufield, MTL (1 goal, 1 assist)
- Second Star: Jamie Benn, DAL (1 goal, 2 assists)
- First Star: John Klingberg, DAL (2 goals–overtime winner, 1 assist, 29:06 TOI)
Sam Nestler is a credentialed Dallas Stars contributor for the ‘The Hockey Writers’. Growing up in New Jersey, Sam has been playing hockey since he was 7 years old. Developing a love for writing in college, Sam uses his hockey knowledge to create analyses and articles on every aspect of the game. Sam also hosts his own podcast on Spotify, the “Slapshot Sammy’ podcast, breaking down action across the Stars, the NHL, and college hockey. Check out the podcast here, and give his latest article a read!