3 Reactions To the Stars Comeback Win Against Penguins

DALLAS, TX - JANUARY 06: Dallas Stars left wing Jason Robertson (21) looks to shoot during the shoot-out between the Dallas Stars and the Florida Panthers on January 6, 2022 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Dallas Stars scored two goals in the third period to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins and capture their fourth straight win. The Stars fell into an early 2-0 first-period deficit but battled hard to stay in the game. Denis Gurianov scored the first goal late in the second, with Joe Pavelski and Roope Hintz scoring in the back half of the third period. The Penguins were on a league-leading 10-game win streak while also being 18-0-1 when leading after two periods. Here are three reactions to the Stars comeback win:

Overcame a Sloppy First Period

For the second-straight game, the Stars needed heroics. The Stars were down three separate times on Thursday night in an eventual 6-5 win over the Florida Panthers. On Saturday afternoon, the Penguins scored twice within a minute to put the Stars down multiple scores early in the game. The Stars struggled to maintain offensive zone possession, and the Penguins dominated the first part of the game. Many of the Stars rushes were one and done, meaning they only took one shot before the Penguins controlled the puck.

The Stars survived that period only down two goals when it could have been a lot worse. Penguins wingers Evan Rodrigues had numerous chances to beat Stars goalie Jake Oettinger, but he either missed the net or hit the post. Oettinger himself looked better as the period went on. On both Penguins’ goals, Oettinger was deep in his own crease. Oettinger was starting his first game since the NHL Covid pause, so understandably, he was a bit rusty in the first.

Aggressive in Period 2

For most of the second period, both the Stars and Penguins were in a stalemate. Neither team was controlling the game, nor were there many dangerous chances. After an intense scuffle in front of the Penguins’ net, the game tempo started to change. Alexander Radulov continued to wack at Penguins goalie Tristin Jarry after Jarry had frozen the puck. Radulov and defenseman Mark Friedman began shoving each other, ending up in offsetting two-minute rough calls.

After Radulov’s penalty, the Stars began outmuscling the Penguins, including more scuffles post-whistle. Radulov gave his team a spark that generated positive momentum. The Stars started to log large amounts of offensive zone time, and Guiranov capitalized on the pressure. Denis Gurianov scored on a rush with less than four minutes remaining in the second.

The Stars were on the counter-attack from their own zone, with Gurianov leading the rush. Gurianov positioned himself slightly out of the slot, but a Penguins’ defenseman blocked his shot. Gurianov collected his own ricochet and blasted home the Stars’ first goal of the game. Gurianov has six points in his last three games.

“He’s been a big part of our success lately,” Joe Pavelski said during the post-game press conference. “Usually, when we’re good as a team, he’s one of the guys that’s contributing and driving the pace. He’s found a nice little home there. I think with [Benn] and [Seguin] that line has been really good for us.”

Oettinger Proved Himself

Jake Oettinger was flawless after the two goals he let up in the first period. Once he calmed down, he was able to get more aggressive in his saves and overall look more comfortable. He did get some lucky breaks, like a blistering shot from Rodrigues hitting the post, but he closed out the third period with a one-goal lead. He has consistently proven that he should be the outright starting goalie for Dallas. Oettinger posted his third-straight win as a starter tonight.

Dallas’ final two goals materialized because of driving to the net. Pavelski cleaned up a rebound off of a shot from the blue line by Jason Robertson. That goal tied the game with just over five minutes to go in the period. Hintz scored the game-winning goal with 3:45 remaining as Jarry sprawled out to save attempts by Roberston and Miro Heiskanen. Hintz gathered the puck on the side of the net and dangled around a prone Jarry. The Stars stayed strong defensively with the help of stellar goaltending from Oettinger and won the game. The win snaps the Penguins’ 10-game win streak, as Dallas stayed hot.

The Stars will face the ST. Louis Blues on Sunday afternoon.

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