You don’t have to look far to find the biggest moment of the Stars victory over Nashville on Thursday. In his NHL debut, 19-year-old Wyatt Johnston became the youngest player in Dallas history to score their first career goal.
The tally came off a beautiful passing play that bounced from Mason Marchment to Ryan Suter to Tyler Seguin and eventually to Johnston on the backdoor for the power-play goal. Johnston finished the game with one goal in 13:33 TOI.
The YOUNGEST player in Dallas Stars history to score a goal in his @NHL debut. 🚨
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) October 14, 2022
“You grow up dreaming of your first NHL game, I was just so excited and lucky enough to get my first goal, so it was pretty cool,” Johnston said.
The game itself was near perfection for Dallas. They got early scoring, flawless penalty killing (Nashville went 0-for-5), two power-play goals, excellent goaltending from Jake Oettinger, and the new system was evident all over the ice.
Head Coach Pete DeBoer urges his team to push the pace and dictate play and the veteran coach should be thrilled with the high-pressure game and overall team play that Dallas showed.
One thing that was very notable to me was how little space Nashville had to make plays. Whether it was in the neutral zone, on the breakout, or in the Dallas end, the Stars were quick to close off lanes, pressure the puck carrier even when shorthanded, and frustrate Preds skaters. Dallas also blocked 17 shots in the game.
Another new face, Marchment got things rolling just a couple minutes in with a highlight-reel rush goal and added to his Stars debut with a power-play goal later in the frame assisted by yet another newby, Nils Lundkvist. Even without the goals, Marchment may have been the most noticeable Dallas skater, mixing things up, holding onto pucks, and making key plays leading to scoring chances.
Tyler Seguin had been under a lot of pressure but felt that he was finally healthy coming into this season and capable of getting back near the elite production he once had. One game in, so far so good as the 30-year-old tallied three assists, including the primary on Johnston’s first goal.
Jake Oettinger was clean and comfortable again in net for Dallas. He finished with 30 saves on 31 Nashville shots.
Sam’s Three Stars
First Star: Wyatt Johnston, DAL (first career goal in first game)
Second Star: Mason Marchment, DAL (2 goals)
Third Star: Tyler Seguin, DAL (3 assists)