The theme of Saturday’s 6-2 victory for Dallas: responding to adversity. For the Dallas Stars, that has become a common theme this season.
The Stars got off to a 2-0 start against the Edmonton Oilers, with goals from Joe Pavelski (first period) and Colin Miller (second period). But just as they began to feel comfortable, they got themselves into penalty trouble and eventually, Leon Draisaitl slammed home a one-timer for the power-play goal that brought the game to 2-1.
That could have very easily been the turning point that allowed the Oilers back into the game. But it was not.
Instead, Dallas went back to work and restored their two-goal lead when Jason Robertson beat Jack Campbell off of the near post. It was the second straight goal that Campbell should have stopped and it gave Dallas the momentum right back.
"It's important," Jamie Benn said on the Stars road success. "We want to be a great team at home, but you've got to go on the road in tough buildings and win some games. We are finding ways to do that right now."
After Jamie Benn scored a goal for the second straight game, Edmonton’s Darnell Nurse made things interesting once again. His rush goal put the game at 4-2 with plenty of time left in the third period.
But again, Dallas responded. Just 20 seconds after the Oilers goal, Benn scored his second of the game, this time a dunk off a scramble in front of the net on the power play.
Benn completed the hat trick with a 2-on-1 goal late in the third period. It was the seventh hat trick of his career and his fourth goal of the season.
"I really felt for him early," Stars Head Coach Pete DeBoer said. "I think he just needed a bounce to free himself up a little bit. I think it was just getting a bounce on the first one and then relaxing a bit. He is playing really well, he is skating well, playing a really direct game. He's been excellent."
Responding to adversity has been a theme for Dallas this season. In fact, it is yet another very positive attribute that has made them successful. They start quick, roll four lines, and earn and maintain big leads, and it has led to a very good 8-3-1 start.
"I think we are [clicking as a team], we are winning games," DeBoer said. "We still have a lot of things we want to improve at. Your game, from a coaching perspective, is never exactly where you want it to be and it sure isn't this early in the year. But we've got great buy-in and great contributions from a bunch of different people, so that's a great start."
Although the Oilers second-ranked power play was given plenty of chances, the Stars still managed to win the special teams battle. Dallas went 2-for-3 on the power play with goals from Robertson and Benn, while Edmonton only tallied once on six chances.
McDavid check: Connor McDavid (1 assist) and Leon Draisaitl (1 goal) were each held to one point. They have averaged more than two points per game this season.
Sam’s Three Stars
- First Star: Jamie Benn, DAL (3 goals)
- Second Star: Jason Robertson, DAL (1 goal, 2 assists)
- Third Star: Scott Wedgewood, DAL (28 saves on 30 shots)
He Said It
"They are fun, but they are not important. If it helps your team win, then that's good," Benn said on his hat trick.