Tyler Seguin's line was over the boards, and Patrice Bergeron's trio would soon be hopping over the boards to matchup up with the Stars' top line.
But the Bruins had momentum, the Stars had twice turned the puck over and Gregory Campbell and his linemates decided to keep putting on the pressure. Craig Cunningham made a simple play, throwing the puck at the net from in front of the Bruins' bench.
Gregory Campbell went hard to the net, and pounced on the rebound. Fanning the puck on the shot from his knees, Campbell fooled Kari Lehtonen, and put the Bruins up 2-1 with 1:33 left in the second for the eventual game-winner in their 3-1 victory. It marked his fifth goal of the season. It marked Cunningham's first NHL assist.
The Stars had been left exhausted from the extended time in their defensive zone. Defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka was stuck on the ice for a whopping 2:19.
"Just from our whole team's perspective, I thought in the second period, especially with the tough changes, we did a good job of moving the puck up quick and putting it deep, so we were able to not give them too much," Head Coach Claude Julien said postgame from the American Airlines Center, before the Bruins jetted off to Denver to finish their back-to-back agains the Avalanche on Wednesday night.
"I think that was important on that Campbell goal late in the period, it was just a sure effort from that whole line," said Julien. "I thought Cunny played a great game there."
"And Soupy," the bench boss said with a smile. "He needed three tries to get one of the goals to count in this building so he finally gets one. It was nice to see him get that break."
With 9:22 left in the first period of a scoreless game, Campbell snapped the puck in after a quick pass from Jordan Caron off a turnover. It was immediately called off, though, and Caron was sent to the box for hooking.
Campbell shook his head, looking up to the rafters, no doubt remembering that when the Bruins played in Dallas in last season, he had another "no goal" call against him for a "distinct kicking motion."
"It was unfortunate on the first one, actually happened last year too I remember, so I was grateful to get the other one, that counted," smirked Campbell, who has been working to find chemistry with Cunningham.
"We're trying to create that chemistry and sometimes it's Jordy [Jordan Caron], sometimes it's Piesy [Daniel Paille] [on the other wing], whatever it may be. But the role has to stay the same," said Campbell. "And on that goal, we hadn't been out there for a while, that's part of our job is to really be prepared. It's challenging mentally."
Campbell hadn't seen the ice in six minutes, while Cunningham hadn't been out for a shift in seven minutes.
"But that's our job, so we have to stay focused and be ready for when the time comes and we were in that instance," said Campbell. "But you know our game's simple, on that play he put it at the net and I went to the net."
Overall, at the other end, the Bruins were able to keep their game basic with defensive layers against one of the league's most potent offenses that constantly pushes to make plays off the rush.
"It was an important game for us to bounce back after Saturday's [3-1 loss to Columbus],} said Campbell. They're a highly skilled team, a fast team and they have the ability to make plays at a high pace so it was important for us to really be kind of stingy and play our game."
"Obviously Tuukka was good, made some good saves. They make really good plays, cross-ice, laterally, they find guys, so it was good for us and our penalty kill was good too, so overall it was a pretty good effort."
In the first period, both teams traded three power play opportunities, and neither converted on any of their chances. The heavy special teams prevented either side from finding a rhythm.
"You've got guys that sit out for a while and don't get that much ice and it's tough, because it ends up pushing players out sometimes," said Julien. "But you know, the whole night seemed to be a lot of penalties and power plays, so it was one of those nights where you've got some guys that didn't see as much ice as they normally would, and eventually I had to end up cutting my bench down too in the third."
As a result, with Julien rolling three lines, Caron didn't play a shift in the third period. The bench boss opted for three veteran lines, as David Pastrnak only played two shifts in the final frame. Campbell, Cunningham and Daniel Paille rotated through playing with Milan Lucic and David Krejci, and Patrice Bergeron and Reilly Smith.
Brad Marchand was sitting out the second game of his two-game NHL-imposed suspension.
Amidst all of the special teams, the Bruins ended up killing six penalties, keeping Tyler Seguin and his teammates off the board on the power play.
"Yeah they were moving it around really well and a lot of dangerous players and good plays," said Dougie Hamilton. "I think we had good sticks and it comes down to the goalie saves, it's good saves and good clears from the front of the net and I think we can probably give that to Tuukka for playing so well."
Rask made 36 saves on 37 shots. The only goal he let in came from Vernon Fiddler off the rush at 6:46 into the second period, when the Star shoveled a backhander that fooled Rask and gave his team a 1-0 lead.
"[We] did a good job, we blocked a lot of shots, took seams away," said the netminder, who is now 8-1-3 in his last 12 starts. "It was a fun game to watch, I bet. A lot of chances both sides, a lot of power plays and we were able to get a couple of goals there."
While the Bruins thwarted the Stars' man advantage, they finally broke through on their fourth opportunity of the night.
Carl Soderberg drew an elbowing penalty, and then took away Lehtonen's eyes in front, as Hamilton netted his eight goal of the season to set a new career high in single season. The power play goal marked the Bruins' first in four games and gave them 3-1 insurance at 7:41 into the third period.
"We talked about not losing two in a row and we knew that this was their last game before the break and they were going to come out hard," said Hamilton. "We came out and played a lot better in the second and started to get some zone time and then some big goals at the end and then just kept playing hard from there and tried to limit their opportunities."
When the Bruins found themselves down 1-0 in the second period, they stayed the course.
With 14:17 left in the period, Chris Kelly and Soderberg set up a perfect passing play to Loui Eriksson in the slot for the one-timer to tie the game at 1-1. It was the Bruins' 18th shot of the game, and marked Eriksson's 11th goal of the season.
That line was the only one to stay intact for the whole game, given their undeniable chemistry and strong play.
"It's a good feeling. We're making plays out there and creating chances and I thought the other game before against Columbus, we had some real good chances to score some more goals," said Eriksson. "We had the couple really good chances and we're playing real well."
Dallas continued to have surges for the rest of the game. Boston had make another strong kill to start the third period, and then again to end the game. The Stars rang the iron, and Seguin didn't pull the trigger like he wanted to on a one-timer.
"They've got a lot of shooters on that team and you have to respect that," said Julien. "I liked our effort. This is a good team, it has a lot of speed and as I mentioned this morning they love the rush game and you could see them trying to get going there on the rush, but our layers did a pretty good job."
The Bruins were headed off to Colorado late Tuesday night, before facing the Avs on Wednesday in their final game before the All-Star Break that won't see them play again until January 29.
"It's definitely nice to get the win and head to Colorado now and we're going to have a tough battle there," said Eriksson. "We'll have to give it everything we have and try to get the two points."