Opening Night has come and gone for the Dallas Stars. The Stars got the W at Madison Square Garden for a positive 1-0-0 start to the season. The newest Stars players were in the majority of the spotlight. Stars fans cringed when they got to 3-on-3 but they pulled through. Last year the injuries were a major problem so the first game had its scares. There are lots of takeaways from Thursday’s Opening Night.
Rookie Provides in Debut
The first Stars goal of the season belongs to Jacob Peterson. Peterson scored in the 1st period of his 1st career NHL game. The Stars drafted him in the 5th round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft (10 years after Jamie Benn went in the 5th round). Peterson earned himself a spot on the team and is already showing he belongs at the NHL level. This rookie has an opportunity to provide relief on this team’s history of injuries.
The Injury Problem
Some fans were thinking “here we go again,” with the injuries. The Stars missed 301 man-games due to injury in a 56-game season last year. John Klingberg took a nasty spill but came back later but missed the 3rd period and overtime. Braden Holtby dazzled in his Stars debut. He made an unbelievable point-blank glove save in the 2nd period. “Holtbeast” seems the Stars’ primary goaltender but backup Anton Khudobin got the win. Holtby took a stick off the helmet and left the game with “dehydration issues.” The Stars do not need injuries especially with Jason Robertson and Blake Comeau missing this road trip.
The defensemen are getting in on the goal-scoring. Miro Heiskanen scored the overtime winner at MSG. Heiskanen recorded 2 points on the night and now leads the Stars in scoring. New acquisition Ryan Suter got an assist. Most of the Stars’ defensemen had a negative +/- last season except for a few. Defensemen can be a big factor in the scoring department.
Stars fans cringed every time a game ended in regulation with a tie. 14 overtime losses in 56 games was an alarming number. This time around the Stars won in overtime. 1-0-0 is a good start with lots of positives to build on. They continue their 4-game road trip against the Boston Bruins on Saturday.
Photo Credit: Dallas Stars Twitter