Dallas Stars Rebound Against Bruins, 5-3

Boston Bruins
Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars made no mistake about what they had come to Boston for. Stellar performances from Kari Lehtonen and from Tyler Seguin against his former team put the Stars up 5-3, and not even the NHL’s power play leaders could claw their way back.

First Period

The game started off on a sour note when Chris Kelly’s leg buckled under him and he had to be helped off the ice. When play resumed, Kari Lehtonen had a sharp start, with play remaining predominately in the Stars’ zone. Lehtonen endured quite a few dangerous shots from the point from Boston, but remained solid.

The first goal of the game came, appropriately, from Tyler Seguin 5:46 in with assists from linemates Jason Spezza and Jamie Benn. Not only was it the Stars’ first shot of the period, but it was also Seguin’s first goal against his former club and his 300th career point.

This goal was answered by another milestone goal netted by Colin Miller at 7:14, his first NHL goal. Throughout the rest of the period, the Stars faltered at face offs and tolerated more threatening activity in their zone, which ultimately led to a Bruins power play.

Former Star Loui Eriksson scored off the power play 19:35 into the period, and the first ended with the Stars down 2-0 in goals and 15-6 in shots.

Second Period

The Stars started the second off on a power play which faded quietly after Lehtonen shut down a break away shorthanded attempt from Brad Marchand. The Stars got another chance on the power play after Brett Connolly went off for tripping.

This time, Tyler Seguin waited all of 6 seconds before letting rip a crazy hard shot that earned him his second goal of the game 4:37 into the second period, assisted by John Klingberg and Jamie Benn.

When Alex Goligoski took his turn in the box for high sticking, the Stars demonstrated their improving penalty kill skills. Halfway through, the Stars were still being outshot by the Bruins 17-11, but Lehtonen continued to prove reliable in the crease.

After killing off another Bruins power play, Jyrki Jokipakka netted his first career NHL goal 17:18 in, with assists from Valeri Nichushkin and Jordie Benn, who both earned their first points of the season. Though the clock ran out with the Bruins still leading in shots 25-12, the Stars were all smiles as this period ended.

Third Period

Due to a delay of game, the Stars got another power play opportunity to open up the third, Tyler Seguin made it clear he had no intentions of easing up, scoring 1:18 into the third with a PPG that rounded out a hattrick. Jason Spezza and John Klingberg were credited with the assists.

With another Bruins power play effectively killed, the Stars relaxed a bit, though the Bruins still led in shots by a huge margin of 29-16. On another Stars power play, Alex Goligoski put a backhander home at 9:13 in, with assists from Mattias Janmark and Colton Sceviour, to make it 5-2.

Loui Eriksson also had a multi-point night, scoring his second goal at 17:45 into the third. Though the Bruins emptied their net and battled it out for the remaining minutes of the period with 39 shots on goal to the Stars’ 19, their attempts were in vain and they fell 5-3 to the Stars.

Thoughts and Observations

Tonight was a high-rolling, record-breaking, milestone kind of night in Boston. A defenseman from each team netted his first NHL goal. And maybe the crowd at TD Garden was a little bitter, but Tyler Seguin and the Stars had the last laugh as Seguin not only scored his first goal against his former team, but recorded a hatty (perhaps in this case more aptly called a regret trifecta).

This tilt against the Bruins also saw marked improvements in a lot of areas of the Stars’ play. The Bruins’ top-ranked power play was intimidating at first, but the Stars demonstrated their ability to adjust on their feet, developing an effective penalty kill through the course of this game.

The Stars’ own power play improved drastically, as well. Having previously been 0-25 in power plays at TD Garden, the Stars blew their own record out of the water by scoring on 3 out of 4 power plays.

And despite some very real flaws in the Stars’ play, such as their weak face-offs, Kari Lehtonen demonstrated fantastic mental toughness in the crease, contributing to this win in a very big way.

Chris Kelly, who was helped off the ice 1:40 into the first period, unfortunately suffered a fractured femur which will require surgery, keeping him out 6-8 months.

The Stars will take on the Hurricanes this Friday at 6 PM for game 3 of  their 4 game road trip. As always, we’ll be keeping you up to date on all things Stars!