A quick correlation can be found when looking at the Dallas Stars and the 2019 NHL Playoffs. Simply put, if Stars rookie, Roope Hintz manages to score, they win. Hintz has scored in two games during the playoffs, with Dallas winning both. Most recently, he scored twice in a 4-2 win over the St. Louis Blues on April 27, tying the series 1-1.
20 seconds into the game, St. Louis had their first shot on goal. Even though Ben Bishop gloved the shot, it seemed like it could be a long night for the visiting Stars. St. Louis was coming off a 3-2 win in game one, getting a pair of goals from Vladimir Tarasenko. Still on their home ice, they were hoping to get an early goal and feed off their crowd’s energy. Except, that’s not how it panned out.
Following the early shot by the Blues, Dallas went on a charge with five shots of their own, with each saved by Jordan Binnington. Just over seven minutes in, Mats Zuccarello put a shot on goal and seven seconds after the ensuing faceoff, Hintz finally got the Stars on the board.
A few minutes later, Hintz was in on the action again, this time picking up an assist. With a pass off the stick of Zuccarello, Hintz found an open Miro Heiskanen skating towards the crease, who then evaded Binnington and finished with a finesse goal.
Both teams were down one man with Tarasenko in the box for Roughing and Jamie Benn was also penalized for Roughing. 30 seconds into the four on four, Heiskanen put the Stars up 2-0.
Dallas had full control and just when it seemed like they could put it out of reach early, the Blues answered. Less than a minute after going down two, the Blues managed to get the puck to Colton Parayko and he did the rest by sliding the puck through the five-hole.
Being on home ice and on the board, the blue-clad crowd came to life, urging their guys to keep it going. When things were looking bleak for half the opening quarter, one quick possession changed the whole complexion.
As quickly as all that happened, the momentum was stolen right back. Within 20 seconds of seeing their lead go down to one, the Stars put another puck in the net. This time, Mattias Janmark got in on the action, earning his first goal of the playoffs.
As big as the goals were for both sides, Bishop and Binnington combined for some incredible saves as well.
Not to be outdone, Binnington made this incredible save later in the game as well.
The first 14 minutes of play resulted in only four total penalty minutes served by Tarasenko and Benn. In the last three minutes of period one, the two sides combined for eight penalty minutes. Taylor Fedun (Dallas) was assessed two minutes for Interference at the 17-minute mark, then Radek Faksa (Dallas) was called for Hooking just under the 19-minute mark.
As time expired, Patrick Maroon (St. Louis) and Janmark were assessed penalties for Roughing.
They would cool off during the intermission and the second period was penalty free for the first nine minutes. Shortly after that, David Perron (St. Louis) was sent to the box for Holding and right after he came out, Blake Comeau (Dallas) was sent in for High-Sticking. Nobody was really able to make do with their power play opportunities, which were racking up the later they went into the game. John Klingberg picked up another two minutes for the Stars with an Interference call at the 16-minute mark of period two.
Closing the gap
Dallas continued their charge in the early minute of the third period, getting one shot blocked and a second shot saved by Binnington. Just under two minutes in, St. Louis saw Jaden Schwartz cut into the deficit with a goal. Dallas was trying to get the puck out of their own zone but failed to do so and Parayko whistled off a slap shot towards the crease. Schwartz slid in front of Bishop and deflected the shot, then tripped over Bishop in a diving motion.
Officials came together to decide whether or not Schwartz interfered with Bishop or not and look at whether or Bishop had a chance to make a play on the puck. After deliberating, the officials didn’t see anything to overturn the initial calling, ruling it a good goal and cut the deficit 3-2.
Not much else happened in the third, aside from Dallas getting another power play with Perron assessed Goalkeeper Interference at the 12:40 mark. Dallas would throw nine shots at Binnington with their advantage, but each shot was swallowed up.
With just under three minutes to go, Hintz was sent to the box for Delay of Game, flipping the puck over the glass unimpeded. It would be the last quality chance St. Louis would get, generating one shot on net.
With Binnington pulled, Dallas got the clincher in the final seconds when Hintz scored on the empty net.
Bishop finished up with 32 saves on 34 shot attempts, while Binnington had 31 saves on 34 shot attempts. Dallas was able to keep Tarasenko off the board with a -2 rating, though he did tally five shots on the night.
The series now heads to Dallas for game three on April 29.