The Dallas Stars are back on home ice tonight after a road trip that net five points after playing three games in four days.
The Stars had two days to rest up for the game against the Minnesota Wild tonight, something they needed as fans are expecting them to come out strong against a team that showed a 7-0 win down the Stars throats back on January 18, 2020.
Games haven’t been boring against the Wild this season. The first tilt was on October 29, 2019 in Dallas. Fans already frustrated with the way the Stars were playing, booed the team off the ice after the first period that ended with Minnesota in the lead 2-0. Goaltender Ben Bishop was pulled after the first period.
Near the end of the second period, the arena had already started emptying out as fans left in frustration as the scored jumped to 3-0. And this is when things got interesting. In the last minute of the second period, Alexander Radulov made a desperate shot attempt as he fell to the ice. The goal made it to the back of the net putting the Stars on the board for the first time with a score of 3-1.
Something happened after that goal that galvanized the entire team. The players on the Minnesota bench sat in stunned disbelief during the third period as the Stars went on to score five more goals. It was a come-back win, 6-3, of epic proportions that no one saw coming. It was a turning point for the Stars and in many ways felt like the season had finally started.
When the Stars were matched up against the Wild again on December 1, 2019 at Xcel Energy Center, it was expected revenge would be on the minds of players in Minnesota.
It was a tight game with the Wild prevailing, 3-2, in a shootout that went four rounds. Disappointing but not heartbreaking.
And then there was the January 18, 2020 game that also took place in Minnesota. It seems winning the last game wasn’t revenge enough. It was an ugly game with the whole team looking unprepared. Khudobin had a rare bad start and was pulled out early in the second period. The Wild shut out the Stars with a 7-0 victory.
Adding another level to the loss was that it somewhat marred defenseman Stephen Johns’ first NHL game in almost two years after a long battle with post-traumatic headache syndrome. It was an amazing site and one fan wondered if they would ever witness again. It was the best thing that happened that night and provides the only way to remember it without cringing. Ironically, the Stars were playing the Wild at Xcel Energy Center when Johns was injured on March 29, 2018. This ended up being his last NHL game before the long road to recovery.
The tilt tonight should be entertaining with the Stars looking to even the score against the Wild. The Stars have had two days of rest while the Wild are playing their second game in twenty-four hours.
Hopefully, this works to the Stars advantage and we leave the game tonight cheering.
Featured Image: Dallas Morning News