Dallas Stars Game Takeaways: 3/2/22 vs Los Angeles Kings

It was a vital game between the Dallas Stars and Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night in Dallas. Heading into the game, the Stars trailed the final playoff spot in the Western Conference by just two points while LA has inched closer to the top seed in the Pacific Division. Following a wild 60 minutes, it was Dallas skating away with the 4-3 victory on home ice, and a playoff spot to boot. 

Radulov Shines In Eventful 500th Game 

Alexander Radulov played in his 500th career NHL game on Wednesday night. The 35-year-old forward is in his ninth season across three clubs, with a few different stops in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) throughout.

“It’s a great number, but I was trying not to think about it because it’s time to worry about winning the hockey game,” Radulov said, finding a way to combine all the motivation and fun. “That’s the most important thing to us right now, especially if you look at the standings. LA is right there with us. It’s nice. It’s always nice to get those numbers, but I was trying to focus on the game.”

Radulov certainly had his focus set on the game as he was the most noticeable player from the drop of the puck. Within the first 20 minutes, he had blocked two shots that forced him to limp off the ice (one from his own teammate), hit the post on an open net, and was punched in the face as an innocent bystander during a scrum in the corner. It was a very Radulov type of performance and was clear that he had his motor running even higher than usual. 

“That’s the best I’ve seen him skate,” said Stars coach Rick Bowness. “He had a great jump in his legs tonight and when he’s skating like that, he’s a very effective player.”

His line along with Joel Kiviranta and Jacob Peterson created many scoring chances throughout the game. However, the breakthrough did not come until the final minute of the second period with Dallas on the power play. 

The goal gave the Stars their first lead of the game after trailing 3-1 just minutes before. 

“Even though we were down 3-1, we were very confident in the way we were playing,” Bowness said. “We were controlling play and getting tons of chances, so we just had to stay with the program. You play the right way and do those things and we got rewarded tonight.”

Back And Forth We Go In Dallas

It was a wild affair as the Stars and Kings battled back and forth all night. After LA took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission, the second period brought the ‘Noche Mexicana Night’ fans just about everything you could want in a hockey game. First, Dallas tied the game on a shot from Luke Glendening in the first minute. Then, LA scored two straight goals, both from Arthur Kaliyev down the right-wing and both to the blocker side of Jake Oettinger. 

Moments later, Jason Robertson swerved his way into the zone and found the back of the net as a Kings defender rammed into his own goaltender, knocking him out of position. 

Nope, we are not done yet. 

Five minutes later and with Dallas clearly pushing the pace and controlling play, Ryan Suter blasted a one-timer past Cal Petersen to tie the game at three. The craziness was still not over yet though, as Radulov buried a power-play goal in the final minute to give Dallas the 4-3 lead, one that they would not relinquish. Radek Faksa added a heated fight at center ice just seconds before the period ended, bringing the near sellout crowd to their feet once again. 

Overall, the second period featured six goals, a fight, and a huge swing from 1-0 LA, to 3-1 LA, to 4-3 Dallas.

Stars Get What They Were Looking For

It was one of those strange games on Wednesday where the Stars received a boost in every category they had been working towards. First came the depth scoring with goals from Glendening and Radulov, then the defensemen scoring from Suter, and finally, they found success on the power play which had gone 1 for their last 19 and looked bad in the process. 

“It’s nice to see, look at the start of the second period, the checking line going and getting a huge goal,” Bowness said. “That’s the strength of any really good hockey club is having balanced scoring. So there it is right there, your bottom-six scoring, your defense scoring, and your power play getting a goal, that’s why you score four goals.”

Ryan Suter Dallas Stars-Dallas Stars Game Takeaways: 3/2/22 vs Los Angeles Kings
Ryan Suter, Dallas Stars (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Stars now embark on a three-game road trip against Central Division opponents. The trip begins on Friday night in Winnipeg, travels to Minnesota for a Sunday matinee, and finishes up in Nashville on Tuesday night. If you look at the standings in the Western Conference, Dallas has closed the gap on the first wild card spot, trailing Nashville by only one point. They have also inched closer to the third seed in the division, currently sitting just two points behind the Minnesota Wild. 

“We’re going to chase these guys all year,” Bowness said. “We’re in a playoff battle. I know they’re in the other division, but you look at how tight the race is right now with Vegas, us, Anaheim, and Nashville. Somebody’s going to miss the playoffs and have a really good year.”

He Said It 

“A lot of desperation tonight,” said Suter, who had a goal and an assist. “We knew that team was good. They had gotten beat the game before and we knew they were going to come hard. We were prepared. We were ready. When you get down 3-1 against a team like that, they can really shut you down defensively. For us to find ways to score was good for us.”

Sam’s Three Stars 

  • Third Star: Arthur Kaliyev, LAK (2G)
  • Second Star: Ryan Suter, DAL (1G, 1A, 25:22 TOI)
  • First Star: Alexander Radulov, DAL (GWG, 500th game)
Sign up for our regular 'Stars Newsletter' for all the latest.