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Fedun sees hectic evening rewarded in Stars' OT loss to Golden Knights

Replacing Klingberg as a last-minute addition to the lineup, the defenseman scores in his first game since Nov. 26

by Jeff Odom @jeffodom / DallasStars.com

DALLAS -- Taylor Fedun was in the middle of eating dinner at home Friday night when the phone call came.

Forty-five minutes before the Stars were set to take the ice against Vegas, Fedun learned that John Klingberg wouldn't be suiting up as he was excused for a personal matter. That meant for the first time in six games, Fedun wasn't going to be a healthy scratch as originally planned. He was in the lineup.

"I put it in high gear and boogied over here," Fedun said.

 

[MIKE HEIKA: Stars starting to learn what it's like to live in chaos]

 

Fedun didn't make it to American Airlines Center in time for the team's 6:30 pregame warmup.

Turns out, he didn't need to.

Video: VGK@DAL: Fedun snipes sharp wrist shot past Subban

Fifteen minutes, 14 seconds into his first game since Nov. 26, Fedun rocketed a shot through traffic and past Golden Knights netminder Malcolm Subban's glove side to give Dallas an early lead in what became an eventual 3-2 overtime loss.

It was Fedun's second goal of the season -- a nice reward amidst an otherwise chaotic evening.

"It was a good possession and a great shot," Stars interim coach Rick Bowness said. "That's a hard-working goal. You're not going to get a lot of pretty goals in this league, especially against that team, and you've got to get some hard-working goals like that."

One that underscores the type of player that Fedun is.

It was a little more than a year ago when the Princeton graduate was acquired by the Stars in a mid-November trade with Buffalo. An AHL veteran fighting just to see the ice at the time of the deal, Fedun pounced on his opportunity with the big club when he was called up from Texas as a fill-in replacement on a wounded Dallas defense. He became a regular contributor, even seeing action in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, as he evolved into one of the Stars' best stories of 2018-19.

Video: VGK@DAL: Fedun discusses hectic pregame, early goal

This season, Fedun has again relished his share of feel-good moments. Signed to a two-year, two-way contract in June, Fedun made the Stars' opening night roster and has seen playing time in 22 of 33 games.

Friday was yet another unexpected positive. His nine points are tied with Jason Dickinson and Esa Lindell, and one fewer than Klingberg on the season.

"I think initially I had found some good spots to jump in offensively," Fedun said of his night, where he finished with 13:39 of ice time. "I think my legs were a little bit heavy, personally. Being out of the battle in the games, I think that's gonna take a little bit of getting used to again, so I think there's definitely some room for improvement there."

He certainly impressed Bowness in helping the Stars earn another important point as they moved into a tie with Winnipeg for third place in the Central Division standings.

"He scored a big goal ... that's Feds," Bowness said. "You can put Feds in any situation and he just deals with it."

Video: VGK@DAL: Bowness on Klingberg's absence, OT loss

 

Fast facts
  • Jamie Benn scored the tying goal late to force the extra period, but it wasn't enough as Vegas' Max Pacioretty took a long pass up ice while the Stars were in a change, hustling past defenseman Esa Lindell to pot the winner just 51 seconds into overtime.

  • With his assist on Fedun's first-period goal, Alexander Radulov now has points in three straight games.

  • Stars goalie Ben Bishop turned aside 28 of 31 shots.

  • The Stars finished 0-for-2 on the power play.

  • Miro Heiskanen led the Stars in ice time with 24:39 followed by Lindell (24:04) and Roman Polak (20:26).

Video: VGK@DAL: Lindell discusses Stars' OT loss to Vegas

     

    They said it

    "We just lost our legs. We weren't skating and weren't supporting the puck. The pressure we put on them in the first was all due to our forecheck but we didn't do that in the second period at all. We didn't manage the puck properly and they cranked up their intensity. They played very, very well, they're a good hockey club. They had a great second period, we had a great first and even in the third."

    -- Bowness on the Stars' rough second period, which saw Vegas outshoot Dallas 16-7 in the frame

     

    "Well, we are getting used to it now. It seems like it's just one thing after another around here."

    -- Benn on the Stars' frenzied week

    Video: VGK@DAL: Stars celebrate Zubov and Carbonneau

     

    Up next

    The Stars meet the Predators for the first time this season on Saturday afternoon at 5:30 at Bridgestone Arena (FS-SW+; KTCK).

    "It's the playoffs that create rivalries, it's not the regular season," Bowness said of Nashville. "We played them last year in the playoffs and this is their first kick at us. I'm sure they're going to come out and recreate that rivalry. It's a big divisional game and we've got to be ready for it."

    Video: DAL Recap: Stars earn a point in OT loss

    Don't miss your chance to see the Stars take on the Edmonton Oilers as they return home to American Airlines Center on Monday at 7:30 p.m. Get your tickets now!

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

    Jeff Odom is the manager of DallasStars.com and writes about the Stars/NHL. Follow him on Twitter @jeffodom.

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