The Dallas Stars took on the leagues number Tampa Bay Lightning in Florida, but the high scoring Tampa club lit the light 4 times in the opening period, something the Stars couldn’t recover from.
The team atop the entire NHL makes it’s way to Dallas for a match up with the Stars as the Tampa Bay Lightning are in town. This is their 3rd game in 4 nights they will start their backup goalie and the man who leads the league in points, Kucherov will also sit this one out so the Stars will look to expose a team who are a little tired and missing some key individuals.
Hitchcock has reunited the top line, so Benn, Seguin and Radulov will get a chance to light things up.
Ben Bishop gets the start against his old club and Louis Domingue gets the start for the Lightning.
The game is underway and the Stars top line come out to start things off, they get the puck into Tampa’s zone and Benn gets a shot on goal early on.
The lightning win a battle behind the Stars net and work it in front and Brayden puts the Lightning up 1 to nothing just over 1 minute in to the game.
The game is flowing end to end, but neither team can hold the puck in the offensive zone for any period of time. Dallas are struggling to get the puck into Tampa zone, they chip it into the zone and it’s Domingue who jumps out to stop the puck, the Stars will need to find another way to get the puck deep.
Almost half-way through the period and the best chance for the Stars comes to Jamie Benn who on a pass from Seguin cuts across the front of the Tampa net but is robbed by Domingue on what looked like a sure goal.
Since this chance the Stars have looked more threatening, and with some pressure they generate the first power play of the game when Conacher holds Tyler Seguin up on a Dallas attack.
The Stars win the opening draw and keep the puck in the zone and the power play is looking good.
Tyler Seguin gets a good one timer on net, the Stars recover the puck and Klingberg gets a shot on net to, and the puck is yet to leave the Tampa zone.
The Stars Captain Jamie Benn gets the puck over to Seguin who gets another one timer off, this time it finds it’s way past Domingue and we are tied at 1.
A few minutes after the goal and it is now Dallas that look like the stronger team and are able to get the puck in the zone and keep the pressure on.
Elie gets a chance as he races Stralman to a lose puck, Stralman wins the race but Elie wipes him out on the boards and Paquette retaliates and slashes Elie, putting the Stars back on the power play.
It is another good-looking power play as the Stars win the draw and control the play, Tampa Bay manage to get the puck out the zone this time, but the Stars are looking much better on the power play tonight but the Lightning manage to kill this one off.
The first period is flying by, with just a few minutes left in the Period Brett Richie gets a quick shot on Domingue and there are some discussions after the whistle is blown as the game is getting a little chirpier.
The Stars top line is the next line who get a chance as Seguin flies through center ice, gets the puck to Radulov, but his shot is blocked on what looked like a promising chance.
The period comes to a close with the Stars having the upper hand, the Lightning came out strong and it looked like the Stars were going to be in for a tough night, however, the Stars reacted fast and it looks like this is going to be a good one!
Shots: 6-13 DAL
PP: 1/2 DAL
Hits: 6-14 DAL
It’s a ferocious start to the 2nd, it’s pretty even as both teams are looking good.
The game continues to be a little choppy, the Stars then take their first penalty of the game when Johns slashes Killorn.
The Stars who had the best penalty kill in league through February kills the penalty off and we remain at 1-1.
The Lightning keep the pressure on after the penalty had expired, including a shot of the post. The extended zone time and pressure by Tampa leads to Dan Hamuis hooking Gourde and the Stars are back on the penalty kill.
Methot breaks his stick right of the opening draw and the Stars are in trouble but manage to keep the puck in the corner and eventually clear it, however, as Methot goes of to change the Stars are nailed with a too many men call, and the Lightning have a 5-on-3.
Some great work by Tyler Seguin draws a call on Gourde and the Stars are still one of just a few teams yet to surrender a 5-on-3 goal.
Dallas kills the 4-on-3 penalty off, and while playing 4-on-4, Klingberg gets the puck deep in the Tampa zone and on a patient play manages to feed Tyler Seguin in the slot who slaps it home from his knees, Dallas are up 2-1.
The top team in the NHL however, don’t like this turn of events, and almost exactly a minute later in his first game in the NHL Anthony Cirelli wrists one short side on Bishop and we are back to a tied hockey game.
The Stars get the next good chance when Remi Elie receives the puck in front of the net for a tap in, but he is tangled up and cannot get the deflection. The play goes the other way and Bishop struggles to hold on to the puck on a shot from distance and Killorn shoves the puck through Bishop and the Bolts have their lead back.
The Stars put some pressure back on Tampa but can’t get it past Domingue, then a quick lead pass by Miller puts Stamkos on a break-a-way and it beats Bishop five-hole. 4-2 Bolts.
Just one and a half left in the middle frame and Rousel tries to spark something after a whistle. The top line comes out and Jamie Benn makes a big hit and the Stars end the period in a good way.
Score: 4-2 TBL
PP: 0/3 TBL – 1/3 DAL
FO: 57% DAL
Hits: 15-26 DAL
The 3rd period and once again Hitchcock starts with the big line for the Stars, it’s a good start for the Stars and less than two minutes into the period Brett Richie gets a pass from Dickinson and the Stars are back to within 1. 4-3 TBL.
5 minutes in to the 3rd and for the most part the Stars continue to push the Bolts, but they still sit 1 shot away from tying the game.
The lines have been mixed up as Spezza, Benn and Seguin now come out, we will keep an eye out as Radulov double shifted so may have just been having a rest.
Radulov comes out with Janmark and Shore so looks like the lines have been changed, and it worked as Radulov and the line spend over 1 minute in the Tampa zone, followed by the top line who also spends an entire shift in the zone, and the Stars look seconds away from equalizing as we head to a TV timeout. The shots have been pretty equal all game, but the Stars now leading 27-21 as they try to get back into the game.
Another great shift by Radulov leads to a face off in Tampa Bay ice Benn, Seguin & Spezza come out to make something happen, but cannot get one past Domingue.
The Stars now owning all the play with attack after attack on the Bolts but nothing yet working it’s way in the net.
With 1:45 left in the period Bishop heads to the net for the extra attacker.
They have the puck in the Tampa zone, but turn it over and Tampa shoot at the net but miss and it results in an icing, the Stars call a time out.
The Stars get several chances before Domingue can hold on to one and a get a stoppage. However, the play gets going again and the Stars have chance after chance on the net amongst all the opportunities the clock in the building freezes for a few seconds, the Stars keep the pressure on and Seguin keeps the play alive in front of the net and the puck comes to Janmark who shoots one in over Domingue and the Stars have tied the game with 9 seconds to go.
However, the Play is immediately looked at due to the clock freezing to confirm there was time still on the clock. – It was determined that there was time on the clock, however, the play is then challenged by the situation room for goaltender interference prior to the goal, this review takes much longer but eventually they come back and confirm it is a good goal and we are tied at 4 with just 9 seconds on the clock, we are heading to OT.
The Stars win the opening draw and get the first chance as Domingue comes out and Benn intercepts his pass and almost gets one through the traffic.
Tampa take it the other way but Bishop makes the stop.
The play then comes back as Pitlick skates it up the ice, Johns joins the rush and Pitlick finds him and Johns rings one off the post, the Stars keep control and Pitlick receives it all alone in front of the net and Pitlick also hits the post.
The play is then blown down as Domingue is hurt. There is a long wait while Domingue stretches things out and eventually we are underway again.
Both teams get more chances one after another, until with 40 seconds left Conacher brings the puck down the ice and with a strange backhander he manages to roll one up and over Ben Bishop and the Bolts win it in overtime.
Score: 5-4 TBL
Shots: 25-35 DAL
PP: 0/3 TBL – 1/3 DAL
FO: 56% DAL
Hits: 23-36 DAL
Next Up: St. Louis Blues (35-26-4) @ American Airlines Centre
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The Dallas Stars continue their homestand tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning who lead the entire league with 90 points.
Dallas won their last game at home versus the Calgary Flames to hold on to the first wild card position. The Lightning lost last night in overtime to Buffalo.
The Stars are in the middle of a tightly packed bunch in the west, and every game counts, the Lightning may be in a more comfortable position, but they are at the top of the league and will want to keep the wins coming to stay there and be in full winning mode for the playoffs!
Ben Bishop will get the start and another chance at his old team, it is the second of two meetings between the two clubs with the Lightning taking the first, it is the last road game for the Lightning in a while as they head home after Dallas for an 8 game homestand.
After a good performance against Calgary top line has been reunited to take on the Lightning, the stars of the Stars will need to perform to get past the Lightning.
The Stars and Lighting have spent the last few seasons topping the league for goals for and have plenty of scoring power. Both teams have strong records against the opposing conference and divisions, so tonights game in one way or another will not go as per the book!
Get set, it’s going to be a good test and a great game.