The biggest takeaway from this game was that the Lightning scored a sixth-attacker goal with 1:26 remaining to salvage a point. With the Lightning currently on the positive side of the playoff cut line, every point gained helps them greatly in this post All-Star Break stretch of the season.
What about the rest of the game? It was, in many respects, a tale of three different periods. In the first, the Lightning owned a big edge in scoring chances. The Stars enjoyed a possession advantage during the first half of the frame, but failed to translate that possession time into Grade-A looks. On the other hand, the Lightning were extremely dangerous in the offensive zone. Brayden Point almost scored on the Lightning's first shot on goal, but Ben Bishop robbed him with a glove save. Later, after killing their second penalty of the period, the Lightning dominated the final seven minutes, posting nine of their 11 first period shots. Bishop was sharp in keeping the game scoreless.
In the second period, the script flipped. The Stars were the more dangerous team, as the Lightning struggled with turnovers and rush coverage. Just as Bishop did for the Stars in the first period, though, Andrei Vasilevskiy bailed out his team during the second. Each team scored once in the frame - Steven Stamkos tipped in a Kucherov point shot before Denis Gurianov knotted things with a goal off the rush.
As a whole, both teams defended well in the third. But the Lightning committed a couple of isolated mistakes at the offensive blue line. Both led to breakaways for the Stars. Jamie Benn scored on the first to give Dallas the lead. But Vasilevskiy stopped Mattias Janmark on the second, keeping the Lightning within a goal. Dallas didn't yield much in the period, but Stamkos did convert with Vasilevskiy on the bench for an extra attacker. Within a 13-second span, he took three consecutive shots from the left circle. The first missed the net and Bishop stopped the second. But the third tied the game.
In overtime, the Lightning won the opening faceoff and controlled the puck for nearly a minute. But they failed to post a shot on goal. Once the Stars grabbed possession, they took over. Prior to Benn's winner, the Lightning lost three straight defensive zone faceoffs and couldn't get out of their own zone. Eventually, Benn intercepted a Lightning outlet pass, pushed the puck forward, and scored on another in-alone chance.
Especially compared to many of the games during their 12-2-0 run prior to the bye week, this was not a crisp defensive performance for the Lightning. They allowed a number of rush chances, many of which were fueled by inopportune turnovers. They'll look to clean up that part of their game when they continue the trip on Wednesday in Los Angeles.
Lightning Radio Three Stars of the Game:
1. Jamie Benn - Stars. Two goals, including OT GWG.
2. Andrei Vasilevskiy - Lightning. 32 saves.
3. Ben Bishop - Stars. 23 saves.