Stop me if you've heard this one before: penalties were a problem for the Dallas Stars.
Beyond penalty trouble: In an eventual 3-2 shootout loss to the Colorado Avalanche, the Stars were short-handed six times. While the penalty kill was successful on five of them, the disruption of all the penalties was once again costly to the flow of the game.
On the flip side, the Stars only earned one power play, although the sellout AAC crowd would argue that they were due a few more.
“Our concentration has to be on us and our game, avoiding penalties,” Stars Head Coach Pete DeBoer said. “Not the ones that aren’t being called on the other end.”
As they have all season, the penalty kill stepped up again. Dallas killed off five of six opportunities but none were bigger than the full two minutes of 4 on 3 in overtime. Colorado kept the puck in the zone for a majority and tested Oettinger, who stood tall.
Even Steven: The first 40 minutes were about as even as they could be.
Each team tallied one goal, Colorado in the first and Dallas in the second. The shots were nearly even. Each goalie stood on their head when it mattered most. And unlike most of the Stars games this season, Monday’s game went into the third period tied at one.
As nice as it was for Dallas to be up by three goals in the third early in the year, these tight games serve as a huge learning experience and a necessary step for a team to be ready for the playoffs. Remember when Tampa Bay was unstoppable in the 2017-18 regular season? They were swept by Columbus in the first round.
So for Dallas, playing a lot of different styles of hockey games will only be beneficial down the road.
“I thought through 40 minutes, it was a pretty good game,” DeBoer said. “Really even, both teams had chances.”
Defending Champs: But in the third, Colorado took over. The Avalanche held a 12-2 shot advantage in the final minutes despite picking up the go-ahead goal early in the frame. Jake Oettinger was heroic, stopping 12 of 13 shots in the final 20 minutes. Oettinger finished with 33 saves on 35 shots.
“You know what I like about him, he reminds me of when I was in New Jersey, I had Marty Brodeur,” DeBoer said. “Regardless of how the game had gone, at the most important moments, he was able to raise his level. That’s what I thought Jake did tonight for us.”
Otters are mystical creatures: Oettinger was particularly special when facing down Nathan Mackinnon, one of the best players in the world. By my unofficial count, Mackinnon registered nine shots on goal. The netminder was perfect on all of them.
In their last head-to-head of the night, Oettinger finishes the shutout #texashockey
— Sam Nestler (@samnestler) November 22, 2022
“He’s one of the most dynamic players,” Oettinger said. “He is fun to play against, always a fun challenge to play these guys. A good measuring stick for us. And now we have another opportunity to play them this weekend.”
Just when Dallas looked to be down and out, it was Jason Robertson to the rescue…again.
After tallying the tying goal in the second period and extending his point streak to 12 games, ‘Robo’ found the far side of the net past a screened Alexander Georgiev with just 25.8 seconds to go. The Stars were back to even and they gave themselves the chance to earn a point.
— Bally Sports Southwest (@BallySportsSW) November 22, 2022
Eventually, Mikko Rantanen scored the lone goal in the Stars first shootout of the season to give Colorado the win. Tyler Seguin, Joe Pavelski, and Jason Robertson were all unsuccessful for Dallas in the shootout.
Sam’s Three Stars
- First Star: Mikko Rantanen, COL (1 assist, shootout winner)
- Second Star: Jake Oettinger, DAL (33 saves on 35 shots)
- Third Star: Cale Makar, COL (1 goal)
He Said It
“It’s always a good point when you’re playing the Stanley Cup Champions,” DeBoer said.”