Dallas Stars Fall Apart in Third Period, Lose to Canucks in OT
The Dallas Stars played well for the first two periods of the game, but gave up too much in the third period and ultimately fell to the Vancouver Canucks in overtime, 5-4.
The first period saw early scoring as Patrick Eaves put Dallas up 1-0. On the next shift Vancouver scored to tie the game, but the game was only tied until the next shift when Dallas’ Lauri Korpikoski scored his third goal in as many games to put the Stars up 2-1.
With a little under five minutes remaining in the second period Dallas took a 3-1 lead after a beautiful pass from Tyler Seguin to Eaves.
Dallas, however, was unable to retain their two-goal lead. Loui Eriksson scored three and a half minutes into the third period to make it 3-2 Dallas. Then while Stars defender John Klingberg was in the box for hooking the Canucks scored to tie it.
Antoine Roussel scored with 8:11 remaining in regulation to give Dallas a 4-3 lead. The Canucks, however, came right back and scored to tie the game 4-4. Dallas challenged the call and it was overturned for goaltender interference, so the Stars still led 4-3.
Vancouver then scored with goaltender Ryan Miller pulled for the extra attacker and the two teams went to sudden death overtime.
The Canucks scored in overtime to win 5-4 and leave Dallas with just one point in the game.
Thoughts and Obvservations
Practicing is Overrated
Eaves scored two goals tonight for the Stars and is currently living a professional athlete’s dream. The man doesn’t practice during Dallas’ required time slots and simply suits up for games.
Apparently something about not practicing with the team works for No. 18 because he’s been on a tear. Eaves is well rested and able to do what he needs on the ice to contribute to the Stars’ offense. It helps that Lindy Ruff separated Seguin and Jamie Benn because it ensures that the opposition has two first line-caliber trios to deal with.
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The ability of Eaves to work well with Seguin is a big deal for the Stars, especially with the absence of Jason Spezza. No. 91 is a tough player to keep up with and Eaves has done an incredible job of skating with one of the best in the game.
Five Man Unit
Dallas looked like a team with intent today. They were able to have defenders get involved in the offense and vice versa. In the NHL, that characteristic is invaluable because of how good every player is.
Today the Stars looked like a well oiled machine. They were able to turn offensive opportunities into rather impressive goals and they weren’t caught up in looking for the perfect pass. While the Canucks struggled to pass tape-to-tape, something Dallas had issues with a few weeks ago, the Stars were able to know where their line mates were on the ice.
In particular, the combination of Seguin, Roussel and Eaves was great for the Stars. They had a lot of cohesion and speed on the ice, which posed a big problem for the Canucks.
Having the right players in the right spot, whether it’s a defender pinching or a forward staying back, having all five men involved is fantastic.
The one downfall of the Stars’ performance tonight was their inability to sustain their two-goal lead in the third period. A giveaway by Jamie Oleskiak attempting to exit the Stars’ zone led to Eriksson’s goal and a questionable penalty by Klingberg led to a tie game yet again.
Those kind of plays could be attributed to fatigue, both mental and physical, on the Stars’ part, but it’s the NHL. Travel and long, grueling road trips are a component of the game and the Stars have to find a way to reduce their goals against after establishing multiple goal leads.
This is especially important considering Dallas’ struggles with the overtime frame this season. They have to find a way to work together more cohesively, even with just three skaters on the ice.
The Stars will head home after their road trip to host the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30. The upcoming home stand will be crucial for the Stars.