The Stars carry a four game losing streak into Friday’s game against the Phoenix Coyotes in what is the first game of a home and home against their division rival. Dallas last faced the Coyotes on opening night in a 4-3 Dallas victory. Big news prior to the game as Jamie Oleksiak was set to make his NHL debut, also making a season debut tonight for the Stars was forward Antoine Roussel.
It was a very slow start to the game, not much action in the opening minutes. Both teams had accumulated one shot each on net within the first seven minutes of gameplay. The game started to pick up physically as the Stars were quick to put a hit on Phoenix players. The first goal of the game came at the 9:53 mark of the first as a broken play by the Stars led to more of a chip and go and a streaking Antoine Roussel went backhand on Phoenix goalie Mike Smith and gave the Stars a 1-0 lead, and Roussel his first career NHL goal. The assists on the goal went to Ryan Garbutt and Brenden Dillon, also Dillon’s first career NHL point. The goal gave Dallas momentum as a little over two minutes a rolling puck found the stick of Brenden Dillon who fired a slapshot from the left point past Mike Smith for his first career NHL goal, the Stars now led 2-0. Phoenix seemed to wake up after the goal as they controlled the puck for the rest of the period trying to score on Kari Lehtonen. At the 14:00 mark of the first, what seemed to be good defensive coverage by the Stars turned into a Phoenix goal as a shot from the point was tipped by Radim Vrbata and went off the skate of Jamie Benn and into the Dallas net. The Stars led 2-1 at the end of the first period
Jordie Benn took a minor at the end of the first period that carried over to the second and had Phoenix on the powerplay to begin the period, and it didn’t take them long as just 45 seconds into the period Martin Hanzal was screening Kari Lehtonen and put the rebound off a Oliver Ekman-Larsson slapshot just as the Benn minor expired. The game really picked up physically through out the second, led by Antoine Roussel for the Stars and captain Shane Doan for the Coyotes, even a fight between Brenden Dillon and Kyle Chipchura after a high hit by Brenden Dillon. The next goal in the game came at the 14:14 mark as Michael Ryder shot a quick wrister past Mike Smith giving the Stars a 3-2 lead. The assists went to Cody Eakin, his team leading fifth, and Ray Whitney, his fourth. A little over four minutes later the Coyotes struck back as Martin Hanzal shot the puck past Kari Lehtonen scoring his second goal of the game in his first game back after injury. The game was tied 3-3 at the end of two periods.
No goals were scored in the third but the two teams went back and forth in each other’s zone the shots were 8-7 Phoenix and no penalties were called as the referres put there whistles away. Kari Lehtonen and Mike Smith each made excellent saves to make the game go to overtime tied 3-3.
Phoenix led in shots 6-3 as they controlled the puck for the most part of the overtime period, but Kari Lehtonen and the Dallas Stars’ defense had an answer for everything. The game went to a shootout.
- Mikkel Boedker went first and went backhand, but Kari Lehtonen made a glove save
- Loui Eriksson went first for the Stars and went with a forehand wrist shot but was stopped by Mike Smith
- Radim Vrbata went next for the Coyotes and scored on a sweeping back hand move.
- Ray Whitney went next for the Stars and tried a dragging wrist shot, but Mike Smith made a good glove grab.
- Antoine Vermette went forehand on his opportunity but Kari Lehtonen made a pad save.
- Jamie Benn went with a backhand-forehand move and shot the puck past Mike Smith
- Oliver Ekman-Larsson tried a stick deke and then forehand shot on Lehtonen but another pad save.
- Jaromir Jagr went next for the Stars and shot the puck off the cuff of Smith’s glove and it slowly crossed the goal line giving the Stars the shootout victory.
- Dallas finally ended its four game losing skid
- In his debut Jamie Oleksiak played 15:32 and had 1 hit and 1 shot on goal, along with some good defense as fans got a small taste of what Oleksiak will bring in the oncoming years.
- Antoine Roussel made his season debut tonight taking the place of Reilly Smith on the fourth line. Smith was sent back down to the Texas Stars on Thursday.
- Brenden Dillon had the Gordie Howe hat trick tonight as he scored a goal, got an assist, and got into a fight.
- Tonight’s announced attendance was 18,101
- Three Stars of the Game chosen by Mark Stepneski of DallasStars.com are 1. Brenden Dillon 2.Martin Hanzal 3. Antoine Roussel
- The Stars and Coyotes face-off again Saturday night at the Jobing.com Arena in Glendale. Puck drop at 7:00