The Dallas Stars’ season so far has truly not been for the faint of heart. On Wednesday, the Texans lost 4-3 after overtime to the Arizona Coyotes at their home American Airlines Center, despite a three-goal lead. Regardless, that result was enough in the end to qualify for the 2022 Stanley Cup NHL Jerseys playoffs.
On a positive note, the Stars ended up doing exactly what it took to reach the finals. Once this has been achieved, anything is possible. This insight is also well known in Dallas, after all, the team only made it to the Stanley Cup finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning two years ago as outsiders in the 2020 NHL Jerseys playoffs. A project that, after last year’s finals took place without the Texans, can now definitely be tackled again this season after a season full of ups and downs.
“Reaching the NHL Jerseys playoffs is tough,” Jamie Benn said afterwards. “You don’t get that every year, so I think there’s something positive about the 81 games we’ve played so far.” Goalie Scott Wedgewood was also satisfied after the defeat: “Of course, the whole club is happy now. It’s an important point and a playoff place is what we fought for. It’s great for our organization, our team and the lads what they’ve done all year. It’s been a tough fight since I’ve been here. Of course it’s sad when you end up losing a game like that, but reaching the knockout stages early takes a lot of pressure off away from our last main round game.”
It wasn’t pretty for long stretches of what the spectators in Dallas were offered on the ice on Wednesday, but the one point they got was enough for the hosts to reach their first goal of the season. After points were scored in the last three matches (2-0-1), this year’s NHL Jerseys playoffs will once again involve the stars. As the 16th and last team, Dallas booked the playoff ticket. This is the organization’s 34th overall appearance in the NHL Jerseys playoffs and 17th since moving to Texas for the 1993-94 season.
Tyler Seguin was the home side’s most conspicuous player on the ice against the Coyotes. He scored one goal and provided one assist. Veteran Joe Pavelski contributed two assists and goaltender Wedgewood made 33 saves for the Stars (45-30-6).
The evening started out befitting the hosts. Jani Hakanpaa gave Dallas a 1-0 lead after 4:42 of the first period when his flick deflected off Travis Boyd’s shin into goal. Seguin made it 2-0 in the 14th minute of the game. Harri Sateri lost sight of the puck in this scene after parrying Jason Robertson’s first shot, and Seguin deflected the disc with his left skate into the net of the goal. Miro Heiskanen extended the lead to 3-0 after 2:58 of the second period when he scored a one-timer on a 5-3 power play.
But anyone who believed that the resistance of the guests had been broken prematurely was disappointed. Anton Stralman made it 3-1 for Arizona (44th) when he accepted and converted a pass from Nick Schmaltz. Shayne Gostisbehere reduced the lead to 2:3 after 7:20 minutes in the final period. His shot from the left cushion was deflected over Joe Pavelski’s skate into goal.
Barrett Hayton equalized to make it 3:3 (52nd) a good eight minutes before the end of the period when he used a cross pass from Phil Kessel at the right post during a 5v3 powerplay. With this intermediate result, the extra shift began, in which Travis Boyd crowned the Coyotes’ comeback with his winning goal after 1:43 minutes in overtime. Kyle Capobianco’s pass down the middle caught Benn’s skate and Boyd fired quickly into the near post while Wedgewood was heading the other way.
It is logical that Stars coach Rick Bowness was not happy with the player run in retrospect. “It was just my fault,” criticized the coach. “We won the face-off, passed the puck to them and then we let their boys run past us and score. And then we get a completely unnecessary penalty when we’re already outnumbered.”
But the coach’s gaze quickly shifted forward again. “We’re getting ready for the NHL Jerseys playoffs now. Right now we’re in seventh place and we’ll see what happens in Colorado tomorrow night. The most important thing is that we’re in the NHL Jerseys playoffs and we’re going to be focused.” Heiskanen also preferred to reflect on the positive after the final siren: “Of course I’m looking forward to the NHL Jerseys playoffs now. It’s great to be back. It’s the best time of the year, so I’m really looking forward to it.”