The Dallas Stars broke their four-game slide on Friday night, notching an overtime shootout victory over the visiting Phoenix Coyotes. Jaromir Jagr got the game-winner in the shootout for Dallas, as the Stars improved their season record to 3-4-1.
“We’ll take the points for sure,” said Stars’ head coach Glen Gulutzan. “They’re a big two for us moving forward.”
But, the head coach knew that the win didn’t mean that everything was working well once again.
“I thought it was a back and forth game,” Gulutzan continued. “We still have areas we have to clean up in our game. And the turnovers. We need to play the game the right way. I think that’s important for us moving forward. There’s some clean up that still has to happen here regardless of the points. We can’t get fixated on when we get two points. There are still some issues. We still have to clean up some areas of our game.”
The Stars needed the win, for sure. Starting off the season at 2-4-1, fans were already railing against the team online and wondering why a team that looked strong on paper was having difficulties on the ice. The Stars reacted by shuffling their lineups a bit and recalling two energetic young players from the AHL’s Texas Stars – Antoine Roussel and Jamie Oleksiak.
Roussel made an impact early in the game, scoring the Stars’ first goal, which was also his first career NHL goal.
“Yeah, that was fun,” Roussel remarked. “That was my third shift I think, and I was excited about it. But getting a good start and obviously that worked. I had a good bounce on that goal and it went in, so I’m lucky.”
Stars’ defenseman Brendan Dillon also scored his first NHL goal, just a little over two minutes after Roussel scored his first. Dillon’s tally pushed the Stars lead to 2-0.
The Phoenix Coyotes pushed back, though, drawing to within one with seven minutes remaining in the opening period. The Coyotes then tied the game at 2-2 with a Martin Hanzel goal just 45 seconds into the 2nd period.
The Stars took back their lead on a Michael Ryder wrist shot mid-way through the period, but then Hanzel knotted it up once again for Phoenix, scoring his 3rd of the season.
Both teams skated without scoring a goal in the 3rd period and the five minute overtime period, so the game was decided by a shootout. Radim Vrbata got the first shootout goal for Phoenix, before Jamie Benn kept it alive by scoring on the Stars’ final opportunity. Kari Lehtonen made a save on Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s shot and then Jagr netted the game-winner for Dallas.
The two teams will face each other again tonight in Phoenix. Start time for the game is 7:00 PM.
- ANTOINE ROUSSEL tallied his first-career NHL goal in his NHL debut Friday night, becoming just the sixth player in Dallas Stars history to score in their NHL debut.
- Stars defenseman BRENDEN DILLON notched his first-career points on Friday, posting one goal and one assist for the first multi-point game of his career.
- BRENDEN DILLON also recorded a fighting major in Friday’s contest. DILLON becomes the first member of the Stars to register a Gordie Howe Hat Trick since Brenden Morrow accomplished the feat on Jan. 23, 2006 vs. Phoenix (1G-1A-2 PTS, 7 PIM), and the first defenseman in Dallas Stars history.
- With Friday’s 4-3 shootout win, the Dallas Stars have now played in a league-leading seven one-goal games this season
- The Stars were a perfect 3-for-3 on the penalty kill on Friday night, and have now killed off 18 of their last 19 shorthanded situations.
- With Friday night’s victory, Dallas moves to 2-1-0 in the first game of a back-to-back series. The Stars take on the Coyotes on Saturday night in Phoenix.
- After Friday’s 4-3 shootout decision, the Dallas Stars and Phoenix Coyotes have now gone to overtime in seven of their last 11 meetings against each other.
- MICHAEL RYDER scored his fourth goal of the season on Friday night, marking his 400th-career NHL point (201G-199A). RYDER has now tallied points in four of his last five games against Phoenix.
- JAROMIR JAGR registered the game-clinching goal in the fourth round of the shootout in Friday’s tilt. JAGR is now 6-for-24 (25%) in the shootout over his career.