It was a wild back-and-forth afternoon affair on Saturday between the Dallas Stars and New York Rangers. In the end, the Rangers pulled away in the third period and won the game 6-3.
Defense was secondary in this one. Both teams were flying right off the bat and the chances were at a premium. It had all the feels of a high-scoring game, and it was.
But each team had very different success offensively.
“We didn’t do enough to dictate the game for sure,” Stars Head Coach Pete DeBoer said. “You want to dictate, you’re at home. They should have to adjust to us and that wasn't the case.”
The Rangers controlled most of the possession game, largely because of their faceoff advantage. Their goals came mostly from long shifts in the offensive zone, cycles, and two power-play tallies on five extra-man attempts. Penalties were once again an issue for Dallas. Eventually, the Rangers pulled away with three quick-strike goals in the third. The approach was more consistent and more sustainable.
Dallas, on the other hand, struck mostly off the rush and on quick plays. Mason Marchment ripped home a Tyler Seguin pass one minute into the game, Roope Hintz immediately answered a Rangers goal on a quick rebound in tight, and Jason Robertson went five-hole on Igor Shesterkin right off an offensive-zone faceoff.
Robertson beat Shesterkin one more time in the third to temporarily give the Stars a 4-3 lead, but the goal was overturned on a coaches challenge for offside.
For a game between two unfamiliar teams from different conferences, it was a heated matchup. There were a total of 26 penalty minutes, multiple scrums, and some heated moments in front of and including both goaltenders.
Stars goalie Jake Oettinger left the game unexpectedly in the second and did not return to the game, although he did return to the bench in the third period.
Even mentioning an injury to Oettinger is a dagger to the stomach of all Stars fans, especially with how good he has been early in the season. DeBoer told the media that he jammed his skate up against the post on the play and gave an update following the game:
“He left, so there’s an injury there,” DeBoer said. “The doctors are seeing him now, so we’ll probably have some updates tomorrow.”
“The fact that he left the game isn’t a good sign, he added. “Jeff Reese (Stars goalie coach) said he hasn’t seen him pull himself out of a game, so that’s probably the concerning piece.”
Scott Wedgewood entered the game in relief for Oettinger and finished with 13 saves on 17 shots. Outside of the first two third-period goals from NY, Wedgewood was pretty solid. Unfortunately, those goals are likely two that he would like back and they put the Stars down and out.
“We were in it, we had a chance,” Wedgewood said. “Offside call on a go-ahead goal, a little ricochet goes through me, call it an unfortunate play. All of the sudden, we’re chasing our tail and they make a good play on a 6-on-5 and the game’s out of reach.”
Sam’s Three Stars
- First Star: Mika Zibanejad, NYR (1 goal, 1 assist)
- Second Star: Julian Gauthier, NYR (1 goal, 1 assist)
- Third Star: Jason Robertson, DAL (1 goal, 1 assist)
He Said It
“As long as we keep the same principles that they instilled since I’ve been here: stopping on it, being in the right place at the right time defensively,” Robertson said. “It’s something that’s non-negotiable and unfortunately, we got away from it today.”