Five days after the Stars defeated the Washington Capitals, the Stars finally played their third game of the season against the Winnipeg Jets, a Central Division opponent. It finally happened again: The Stars played a divisional road game in the Central Time Zone. First time in 15 years.
Sorry, I got sidetracked.
The Jets were on the second night of a back-to-back, losing 2-1 the night before against the Minnesota Wild. Watching the Jets play, it was evident they were not fresh at all, and the Stars took advantage in a dominant three-goal first period.
Let’s take a look.
Alex Chiasson’s Power Play Goal
Did you see that pass by Tyler Seguin? Oh, we’ve got to take another look at that.
Do we have another look at that play? You bet.
It’s still early, but I think that Seguin guy is pretty good.
Alright, let’s fully examine this play.
Here, defenseman Mark Stuart has Seguin covered. Mark Scheifele and Jacob Trouba are also focused on Seguin, leaving Chiasson and Sergei Gonchar uncovered. Not in the frame is Evander Kane, who is trailing the play.
When Seguin bounces the puck off the boards to himself, it catches Stuart and Scheifele off guard, and now they are out of position to defend a centering pass towards the slot.
The problem for the Jets right here is that there are three players on the penalty kill on one side of the ice all watching the puck. The Stars have a lot of space to work with if a pass gets through.
Kane moves to defend a pass back to the point.
Except, Seguin makes a backhand pass to Chiasson, and now three Jets are completely out of position to prevent a scoring chance.
The Stars are basically on a 2-on-1, with Trouba, a rookie, the only Jets penalty killer around to prevent a scoring chance. Trouba is in no-man’s land here. If he tries to attack the puck carrier, Chiasson can pass it to Jamie Benn in the high slot, and then a wide-open Benn can shoot on Pavelec from the slot. He stands pat, anticipating the pass.
But, Chiasson pulls a fast one on Trouba and Pavelec by cutting hard to his backhand.
Pavelec doesn’t close the gap between his pads in time, and Chiasson sneaks it through him. The Stars take a 1-0 lead.
Tyler Seguin’s Knucklepuck One-Timer
This is a special goal, not only because it’s a knucklepuck and it reminds everybody of the Mighty Ducks movies, but it is also extremely difficult to control a fluttering puck.
Man, what a shot.
Jamie Benn has the puck near the benches. Look at all the space the Jets are giving him in the neutral zone to make a cross-ice pass.
So, Benn takes what the Jets give him and sends a cross-ice pass to Rich Peverley on the opposite side of the rink. Bennie and the Jets, you know?
So, Rich Peverley carries the puck across the line. Grant Clitsome, the closest defender, has the passing lane from Peverley to Benn covered.
Clitsome closes in on Peverley, but Peverley drops the puck to a trailing Seguin, who is just entering the frame.
Clitsome is completely out of the play, and Seguin has a lot of room to shoot the puck. The closest player to defend the shot is Olli Jokinen in the high slot. Trouba has Benn covered to prevent him from getting a rebound.
Seguin one-times the bouncing puck short side over Pavelec’s left shoulder. The defensemen have their men covered. To reiterate what I’ve said, this is a damn good shot. 2-0 Stars.
Captain Jamie’s Rebound Goal
Yes, Jamie Benn scored his first goal of the season as the new Stars captain. This GIF only shows part of the play, though.
This play shows the game in a nutshell. The Stars were skating circles around the Jets, and the Jets looked like a team playing on the second night of a back-to-back.
Erik Cole carries the puck across the blue line.
Cole drops the puck for Seguin, who goes to the right while Cole crosses over to the other side of the ice.
Seguin throws the puck behind the net because Dustin Byfuglien has cut off the shooting lane. Seguin will go behind the net, while Byfuglien will retreat towards the net.
Cole eventually gets the puck and cycles it back to Seguin.
Seguin carries it all the way to the left wing half-wall and passes it to Brenden Dillon at the point.
Dillon unloads a one-timer on net.
Pavelec makes the initial save, but Benn beats Byfuglien to the loose puck, goes to his backhand and then quickly to his forehand, shoving the puck in the goal around Pavelec. 3-0 Stars.
One more look at it.
Tyler Seguin’s Second Goal
Seguin’s slap shot is a thing of beauty.
Sergei Gonchar starts this play from the point. The Jets have all converged to one side of the ice, eliminating Gonchar’s shooting lane, but Rich Peverley is all alone on the other side of the ice.
Gonchar makes the easy pass to Peverley.
Peverley shoots the puck towards the net, but Jacob Trouba blocks his shot.
Alex Chiasson picks up the loose puck and shoots point-blank on Ondrej Pavelec, and the rebound goes to his left. Jamie Benn is there to pick up the rebound.
Benn carries the puck behind the net. Andrew Ladd and Mark Stuart chase Benn behind the net, while Trouba covers the far post. Bryan Little is the lone Jets player not on the goal line. This is a penalty kill for the Jets, and nobody is covering Seguin.
Benn makes a nifty backhand pass to Seguin at the left faceoff dot.
Ladd makes a valiant effort to block Seguin’s shot.
But Seguin gets the shot off before Ladd can get his stick in front of the shot. Seguin beats Pavelec short-side. 4-0 Stars.
One more look at this sequence.
Blake Wheeler’s Rebound Power Play Goal
The Stars gave up 20 shots in the third period. Here, they did not look great at all.
Andrew Ladd starts this sequence by passing the puck over to Dustin Byfuglien at the point.
Byfuglien sends the puck over to Tobias Enstrom.
Enstrom winds up for a slap shot, but Trevor Daley aggressively cuts off the shooting lane.
Since the shot is no longer available, Enstrom pivots and sends a slap pass back to Byfuglien at the point. Since Daley forced the pass, he left Blake Wheeler uncovered in front of Dan Ellis.
Byfuglien one-times the puck on net through everybody. Vernon Fiddler tries to block the shot from the high slot to no avail. Jordie Benn has Bryan Little covered in case the rebound comes his way. Daley realizes a little too late what is about to happen, and begins to rush hard towards the net to get rid of a possible rebound.
However, Daley doesn’t make it. Dan Ellis has no chance to stop Wheeler’s shot. He desperately dives to try to block it, but this is a layup for Wheeler, and he buries it. 4-1 Stars.
Here’s the sequence from behind Ellis’ net.
The Stars defeated the Jets 4-1, taking care of business against a tired Jets team.
This concludes this game’s GIF breakdown. The next GIF breakdown will frustrate many Stars fans, but delight many Wild fans.