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Stars Dressing Room: DeBoer, Players Proud of Their Compete, Pavelski’s Milestone

After overcoming multiple two-goal deficits to earn a point against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Dallas Stars players and coaches were proud of the team’s ability to stay in games.

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The Dallas Stars erased two separate two-goal deficits to earn a point against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday. 

After the game, players and Head Coach Pete DeBoer showed their pride in the ability to remain in games, despite the score and circumstances. 

Stars Rally Twice to Earn a Point, Fall to Canes in OT

“Down 4-2 in the third. I’ve been happy with the group. I think we’ve played four of the hottest teams in the NHL on this trip so far and we’re finding ways every night to be competitive, so that’s a big point,” said DeBoer.”

“We won the other night in Washington but I don’t think we were as happy with our game. The challenge was to come and play a better game and I thought we did that.” 

Dallas responded to adversity and actually outplayed Carolina for a big chunk of the game. After swimming a bit in the first period, the late power-play goal by Joe Pavelski gave Dallas life. They would come back to tie the game at two and then overcome yet another two-goal deficit in the third period. 

Milestone Joe: Pavelski skated in his 1,200th NHL game and also recorded his 158th career power-play goal. The goal moved him past Mike Modano and into fourth on the list of U.S.-born power-play leaders.

“Yeah 1,200 games, what an accomplishment, what a player,” DeBoer said. “Again tonight, huge goal in the first period, a Joe Pavelski goal. Amazing athlete, amazing leadership. Great message for young players out there. When people tell you you’re too small, too slow, or you’re not an early draft pick, you overcome.” 

Stars Joe Pavelski's Impact Immeasurable Through 1,200 Career Games 

“A lot of fun times along the way. A lot of laughs,” Pavelski said. “Very fortunate, good health. A lot of little things you learn along the way from your teammates and coaches to hopefully give you a chance to keep playing in the future and racking up some games along the way. A lot of good times.”

To challenge or not to challenge? After allowing the go-ahead goal in the third period, the Stars coaching staff and players were all staring down at the screens on the bench. From the replay, it looked like a Carolina player had touched the puck with a high stick just seconds before Teuvo Teravainen beat Scott Wedgewood on a 5-on-3 power play. 

After a brief discussion with their video coach, Kelly Forbes, Dallas opted not to challenge the play. The goal stood and the Canes stayed on the power play for another minute. So how close were they to calling for a coach’s challenge? 

“Really close,” DeBoer said. “You’ve got to have a conclusive view of the puck changing direction, his stick was definitely there. We didn’t have that, at least in the replays we had. It was definitely high, we just didn’t have a clear view that we thought would’ve overturned it. And if you're wrong there, they get another 5-on-3.” 

Just keep tippin’: Outside of the four power-play goals, the most common theme was the number of deflections. Of the nine goals in the game, four of them were scored by a redirect. 

First, it was Stefan Noesen, then Pavelski, followed by Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. Was it a coincidence that this happened in Pavleski’s milestone game when he is known to be one of the best tippers in the history of the game? I refuse to think so. 

“What was their four?” Pavelski said. “It’s just in tight games, playing against good teams, power plays, goalies are good. You’ve got to find ways to get free and if you can get your stick on it, great. Tonight they were going in. Every night is a little different. Tonight, that was the case.” 

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