Wednesday night was not the Dallas Stars night. Until it was.
In a game against a struggling Chicago Blackhawks team, the Stars were held to just seven shots through 30 minutes and found themselves trailing 4-1 in the third period.
But then things changed. And fast.
The captain gets things rolling: Jamie Benn brought the Stars closer with a power-play goal from the left circle about midway through the period. That got the sellout crowd at the AAC going and the Stars fed off of it. In the blink of an eye, they were skating off with a 6-4 victory on the eve of American Thanksgiving.
“That’s a great win for our group going into the Thanksgiving break,” Stars Head Coach Pete DeBoer said. “Those kind of wins galvanize you. They test your character, they test your gumption. It would have been easy to mail it in at the end of two. But we didn’t”
Mason Marchment’s wrister and Ty Dellandrea’s tip came just 14 seconds apart to tie the game.
A little over four minutes later, Radek Faksa raised his arms in celebration after throwing a puck on net. But the goal light stayed off and play went on.
Shortly after, the buzzer sounded, signaling that the puck had gone in, giving the Stars their first lead since Jason Robertson opened the scoring in the first.
“I wasn't sure because I was behind the goal line,” Faksa said. “I knew at least half of the puck is in but I couldn’t tell if it’s all the way. But right away when I came on the bench, they told me it was in because they saw it from the video. I was just happy, it was big relief and a big turnaround.”
Crowd’s gone crazy: As the crowd went crazy and my Apple Watch warned me that the noise levels could damage my hearing, the Stars added an empty netter to seal a huge win within their Division and head into the Holiday on a high note.
The Stars scored five goals in a total of 9:45 in the third period.
“Once we got that power-play goal, and the crowd started to go, you could feel it,” DeBoer said. “I don’t know on the road, if maybe you win that game. I think the crowd was a big part of that in the third period.”
Dallas mauled Chicago in the third period. They outshot the Hawks 21-5, outscored them 5-1, and completely took over the game.
“I think they sat on the lead a little bit, which is natural,” DeBoer said. “It’s hard to hold a lead in this league right now. I think it was a combination of them sitting back and then us pressing as a five-man unit. Up until the third, we were disjointed, we weren’t working and pressuring as a five-man unit.”
“Just winning those battles, getting in the O-zone, and not letting them have easy exits,” Marchment said about the message at the second intermission.
“It feels good. It’s a game of momentum,” he added. “I think the boys all rallied around it and that was a big win.”
Robo rises to the top: Jason Robertson’s first-period goal extended his point streak to 13 games. With his empty-net goal in the third, he now sits tied atop the NHL with 16 goals (Connor McDavid).
Happy American Thanksgiving Stars fans. Enjoy the day. Enjoy the win.
Sam’s Three Stars
- First Star: Jason Robertson, DAL (2 goals)
- Second Star: Jamie Benn, DAL (1 goal, 1 assist)
- Third Star: The crowd at American Airlines Center (exceeding 90 decibels)
He Said It
“We talked at the end of the second period that we felt there was three or four goals there for us if we decided we wanted to come out and play," DeBoer said. "Sure enough, they were.”