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'We just don't want to lose:' Stars rally past Blues in OT

Radulov ties the game late in regulation and Benn adds the winner to give Dallas a 3-2 win

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

For the second straight game, the Dallas Stars scored late to force overtime -- and this time, they finished the deal in the extra period.

After Alexander Radulov scored the game-tying goal with 2:56 remaining in regulation, Jamie Benn netted the winner with 1:56 left in overtime as the Stars defeated the St. Louis Blues, 3-2, at American Airlines Center on Saturday afternoon.

"It says a lot," said Benn. "It's back-to-back games where we've come back, we obviously don't want to be coming back in too many of these games, but I like the way we're finding a way to stick with it."

 

[WATCH: All Stars vs. Blues highlights]

 

The Stars scored with 3.5 seconds left on Thursday to force overtime and get one point before falling to Tampa Bay. On Saturday, the Stars dominated the overtime period and Benn capped it off by taking a pass from Tyler Seguin and beating Blues goaltender Carter Hutton with a wrist shot from the slot.

The goal snapped an 11-game goal scoring drought for Benn, who broke his stick over his knee in celebration.

Video: STL@DAL: Benn gives Stars win in overtime

"Obviously nice," said Benn. "It's tough to score goals when you don't hit the net."

And about that stick breaking?

"Oh, it's just a bad batch of sticks tonight," he said.

After Jaden Schwartz had given St. Louis a 2-1 lead with 7:17 remaining, Radulov tied the game with 2:56 remaining, scoring off a backhand shot from close range. Tyler Pitlick also scored the for the Stars, and Seguin chipped in two assists. Ben Bishop came up big in goal, stopping 35 of 37 shots.

"I think last game and this game, being down in the third period and finding ways to claw back and getting that point, and getting the extra point in overtime is huge," said Bishop. "A lot of gutsy efforts at the end of the game and ... it doesn't matter how you get them, as long as you get them. Tonight took 60-whatever minutes to get it, but we stuck with it."

Video: STL@DAL: Radulov crashes net, buries Seguin's feed

The two points pushed the Stars (37-23-5) into third place in the Central Division. The Stars are tied with Minnesota in points (79), regulation/overtime wins (33), season series (two points each) but the Stars own the goals differential tiebreaker (plus-22 to plus-11), so they get third for now, and Minnesota drops to the first wild-card spot in the West. The win also pushed the Stars four points ahead of the Blues, who remain outside the playoff picture.

Carter Hutton stopped 31 shots, and Ivan Barbashev and Jaden Schwartz scored as the Blues (35-26-5) lost for the eighth time in the last nine games (1-6-2).

"Familiar feeling. We've had a few of these this year," said Blues coach Mike Yeo. "We get the lead, and late in the game we have to play with a lot more confidence, a lot more assertion, a lot more aggressiveness. I feel like a lot of times we go into a shell, and we just sort of hope to hang on in these situations. That's not the right way to do it. You've got to keep defending, but you've got to do it aggressively. We need more of a killer instinct."

Stars forward Antoine Roussel and Blues forward Chris Thorburn fought just after the first puck dropped and Roussel picked up an instigating minor to put the Stars on the penalty kill early. When defenseman Esa Lindell airmailed the puck over the length of the ice and over the glass from his own end the Stars were down two men for 20 seconds. The Stars killed off both penalties allowing just one shot.

Bishop came up big the rest of the period to keep it a scoreless game through one, making sharp saves on Alex Pietrangelo, Alexander Steen, and Brayden Schenn.

Video: STL@DAL: Bishop denies Berglund on the doorstep

"Two saves he made in the first period saved our bacon," said Stars coach Ken Hitchcock. "Both breakaways, both times we had the puck and gave it away. Those two really settled him in and helped us get through the first period."

Devin Shore had the Stars best chance after a nice setup by Radulov, but Carter Hutton got a glove on the shot to keep the Stars off the scoreboard.

After the Stars killed off a third St. Louis power play early in the second they started to step up the pressure on the Blues and created some good chances. They finally broke the scoreless tie when Roussel made a nice pass from his own end to spring Pitlick on a breakaway and Pitlick beat Hutton with a wrist shot from the slot to put the Stars up 1-0 at the 7:04 mark.

The Blues pushed back and tied the game 1-1 when Barbashev scored off the rebound of a Vince Dunn shot at the 13::06 mark.

The Blues grabbed a 2-1 lead with 7:17 left in the third. Schwartz scored off the rush, flying down the left wing and beating Bishop short side from the left circle.

Video: STL@DAL: Pitlick goes top shelf on a breakaway

"He was coming at me with a lot of speed and I wasn't sure where he was going to go," Bishop said. "He chipped it high on me last game and I kind of had that in the back of my mind, and then he went low. Maybe would like that one back, but the guys did a great job of responding."

The Stars drew even with 2:56 left in the third. Benn fired wide on a shot, Seguin grabbed the rebound and centered the puck from behind the goal line and Radulov directed it past Hutton to tie the game 2-2.

Just 35 seconds later it appeared the Stars took a 3-2 lead when Shore scored off a scramble in front of the net, but a video review of the goal determined Shore kicked the puck in the net, so it was no goal.

"I didn't know where the puck was, so I didn't even know it went off me at first. We just saw the puck go in after a huge scramble and we were all excited, but when I watched the video, it looked borderline. So, you just kind of have to wait for them to make the call and then react. It was tough to see it turned back, but it's no biggie. We responded really well and, especially getting the win in overtime, it's like it never happened."

And it was like it never happened, thanks to Benn's shot from the slot in overtime.

Video: STL@DAL: Bishop stones Schenn after a turnover

 

Notes
  • The Stars are 8-5 in games that have gone beyond regulation this season, including 4-3 in overtime and 4-2 in shootouts.

  • The Blues outshot the Stars 37-34. The Stars had a 61-59 advantage in shot attempts.

  • Jamie Benn led the Stars with 8 shots on goal and 14 shot attempts. Alexander Radulov had 5 shots on goal and 10 shot attempts.

  • The Stars were 4-4 on the penalty kill and 0-1 on the power play.

  • The Stars are 16-17 on the penalty kill over the last five games.

  • The Stars won 36 of 69 faceoffs (52 percent). Tyler Seguin won 9 of 17 (53 percent). Radek Faksa won 9 of 18 (50 percent). Jamie Benn won 8 of 10 (80 percent).

  • John Klingberg led the Stars with 27:00 of ice time. Esa Lindell was next with 25:05.

  • St. Louis lost defenseman Jay Bouwmeester (lower body) and forward Scottie Upshall (lower body) during the game.

Video: Stars fight off Blues in OT

     

    What's Next

    The Stars host the Ottawa Senators on Monday in the final game of their five-game homestand. It will be the first meeting of the season between Dallas and Ottawa. The game will be the front end of a back-to-back for the Stars, who play at Nashville on Tuesday.

    Video: Benn wins for Stars in overtime

     

    Stars Lineup

    Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Jason Spezza
    Devin Shore - Mattias Janmark - Alexander Radulov
    Antoine Roussel - Radek Faksa - Tyler Pitlick
    Remi Elie - Jason Dickinson - Brett Ritchie

    Esa Lindell - John Klingberg
    Dan Hamhuis - Greg Pateryn
    Marc Methot - Stephen Johns

    Ben Bishop
    Kari Lehtonen

    Scratched: Julius Honka, Gemel Smith
    Injured: Martin Hanzal (back)

    Video: Benn, Bishop lead Stars to 3-2 overtime victory

    This story was not subject to approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.

    Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow him on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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