Stars Dominate Bruins with Special Teams (but Not How You Think)

In a 5-3 win over the struggling Bruins, the Stars’ special teams played a big part in their success. While most teams strive to control their game with a dominant power play, Dallas instead won this one with their penalty kill. When Boston gained the man-advantage for Antoine Roussel’s five-minute, cross-checking major in the first period, Dallas’ penalty kill units went to work.

Vernon Fiddler Roofs a Short-Handed Goal

When David Krejci’s failed a saucer pass, Fiddler picked it up to roof the game’s first short-handed goal on rookie goaltender, Niklas Svedberg. As the final team in the league to not allow a short-handed goal in the 2014-15 season, the goal stunned the Bruins.

Trevor Daley’s Coast-to-Coast, Short-Handed Goal

As the Stars took a 3-1 lead to the locker room thanks to two Jamie Benn goals, Boston replaced Svedberg with Tuukka Rask in the second period. Initially, the change thwarted Dallas’ offensive influx. In classic Stars fashion, Dallas gave up their two-goal lead to a soft, shorthanded breakaway by Patrice Bergeron. After the Bruins tied the game at three, Ryan Garbutt put Dallas on the penalty kill for hi-sticking Dougie Hamilton. This is where Trevor Daley’s persistence on a coast-to-coast, short-handed goal regained the Stars’ lead. An “independent contractor,” as color commentator, Razor Reaugh, called him, Daley caught his own rebound to put the Stars up 4-3.

Erik Cole Clears the Clincher

While scoring two shorthanded goals in a game is rare, the final goal in the Stars’ 5-3 victory was the icing on the cake. The Bruins pulled Rask with two minutes left on the clock, before Erik Cole’s clearing attempt took a strange turn. Rolling not just on its edge, but on a corner, the puck made a left arc toward the net at the last second in a bizarre turn of events to secure the Stars’ win. Even Cole couldn’t believe his eyes as he watched the replay from the bench. In disbelief, Razor Reaugh exclaimed, “it never put its signal on!”

With a struggling power play and a recent loss to the Sabres, the Stars needed the wins against the Rangers and Bruins to pull them out of the doldrums. This game was by no means perfect, or even great, but the Stars made it work to pick up two points. Last night’s win puts Dallas three points out of a wild card playoff spot, tying the Kings who have a game in hand. In coming days, the Stars have time to reset before playing the Panthers and two crucial Central Division matchups against the Avalanche and Blues. In these divisional games, “finding a way to win” is the way to play as the Stars make up for losing dominant games in the early season.