3 Takeaways from the Stars OT Win Against the Flames

CALGARY, AB - NOVEMBER 04: Dallas Stars Right Wing Alexander Radulov (47) skates with the puck during the third period of an NHL game where the Calgary Flames hosted the Dallas Stars on November 4, 2021, at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, AB. (Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Dallas Stars captured their fourth overtime win of the season against the Calgary Flames. Jamie Benn scored the game-winning goal three minutes into the overtime period. Denis Gurianov, Blake Comeau, and Tyler Seguin also scored goals earlier in the game. The Stars played decent in the early periods but were outmatched by a young Flames team as the game went on. They blew a 3-2 lead late in the third, while both teams were four-on-four. Overtime was a similar story. Anton Khudobin made two sprawling saves on Flames breakaways. Benn got the puck in neutral ice and buried the game-winner in a turn of luck for the Stars. After an exciting back-and-forth game, let’s look at the takeaways from the Stars OT win.

A Shift in Puck Luck

The Dallas Stars had two flukey goals that went past Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom. With five seconds left in the second period, Blake Comeau was returning from the penalty box. Noah Hanafin whiffed on the puck in an attempt to keep it in the Stars zone. Micheal Raffl wrestled the puck away from Hanafin right as Comeau was coming out of the box. Raffl passed to Comeau, but the shot came from a weird angle. The turnover became a two-on-one with Raffl leading Comeau into the Flames’ zone. However, Markstrom misplayed the puck, and Comeau tied the game.

The Stars carried that momentum into the third period. Under two minutes into the period, Alexander Radulov took a shot from the point that banked off Tyler Seguin and into the net. Markstrom was completely out of position as he committed to covering Seguin on the far post. The puck slowly sputtered past him, and the Stars regained the lead.

There were a few bad omens that questioned this theory. The Flames’ first goal banked off of Milan Lucic before entering the net. Khudobin made the initial save, but it slowly trickled through his pads. Also, while the Stars were up 3-2 in the third, shots from Seguin and Roope Hintz rattled off the post. If the Stars increased the lead by a goal there, they ice the game and don’t need overtime.

Overall, the Stars generated offense, and the players at the top of the lineup generated points. Gurianov, who was benched for Tuesday night’s game against Winnipeg, scored on the powerplay. Coach Rick Bowness hasn’t shied away from using the media to pump up his team. Gurianov also told the media that he needed to step up his game.

They Need to Finish Games

The Stars blew another late lead, forcing them into an overtime period. This is one brutal flaw that has followed them from last year. The Stars had somewhat of command on this game in the second period. The Stars and Flames played very tight to each other, causing perpetual turnovers. The Stars were able to keep pace until the Flames went on a five-minute flurry. The Stars had trouble clearing the zone, eventually leading to a Flames goal. The Flames took 13 shots in the second period, likely due to the five-on-three powerplay. The game started to turn in Calgary’s favor at this point.

In the third, the Flames had an aggressive forecheck that endlessly pressured the Stars. Dallas had multiple opportunities to take a two-goal lead in this game. A minute removed from the Seguin goal, Joel Kiviranta whiffed on a shot when he had an open net in front of him. If you include the two separate instances of Hintz and Seguin hitting the post, that’s three chances missed. The Stars struggled to capitalize when Markstrom was down and out.

Costly Penalties

The Stars penalty kill got plenty of work on Thursday, as they took five penalties. The Flames officially converted on one, but Nakita Zadorov scored the game-tying goal for Calgary during a 4-on-4. Dallas’ penalty kill was hindered by usual members taking penalties. Comeau, Hakanpaa, Glendening, and Benn all had penalties in this game. Adding to that, Radulov took his first penalty of the year. These penalties kept Calgary in the game and helped push the Stars into yet another overtime finish.

I’ve gone into the possibility of Dallas switching Hakanpaa out of the lineup. Having a heavy-hitting defenseman is fine, but he may lose his lineup spot when he becomes too reckless with taking penalties. Before this game, Hakanpaa hadn’t taken a penalty since his five-minute major that ejected him from the game against the LA Kings during Dallas’ home opener. In his season debut on Tuesday, Rookie Thomas Harley was paired with Hakanpaa but moved up the lineup to the second defensive pairing for this game. Hakanpaa was paired with Esa Lindell.

Radulov took a strange penalty during the Zadorov goal. After seeing a replay of the goal, Radulov was sent to the box for slashing. The time of the penalty matched the time of the goal, and the penalty was upheld. The Stars penalty kill didn’t have much trouble, but, oddly, the penalty wasn’t washed out by the goal. Radulov, who is considered a leader on the team, lacked discipline in that spot.

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