Mattias Janmark scores twice to give Stars 4-3 OT victory over Blackhawks

Write the Chicago Blackhawks off at your own peril. They have scored 13 goals in their last two games at home and sit dead even with the Dallas Stars in the Central division standings. As long as they have Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, along with the perpetually underrated Corey Crawford (.930 SV%) manning the pipes, they can play against anyone. Adding to their firepower this season are their old buddies Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp, the former Stars ally soaking up third line minutes. Heading into Chicago on Thursday night in the first game of a home and home set, the Dallas Stars were joined once again by their fathers and mentors, and have won four of their last five. In the past two games, the Stars have had tricks from Tyler Seguin and Radek Faksa respectively. They were also without Martin Hanzal due to an undisclosed injury suffered against the Vegas Golden Knights causing Ken Hitchcock to reunite the high octane top line.

It would take overtime, but the Stars won their third straight game, and a second consecutive game on the road and picked up some critical secondary scoring as Mattias Janmark finished with two goals.

The Stars weren’t executing an early formula conducive to winning on the road. Jamie Benn had a huge missed opportunity to take the crowd out of the game early when he fanned on a point blank rebound from a point shot. Tyler Seguin had another crack at it, but they let Crawford off the hook. On the back check, Benn tripped up Brandon Saad and ended up in the penalty box. Janmark had a decent shorthanded scoring chance on a 1-on-1. Janmark then tripped up John Hayden and sent the Blackhawks on a second power play. The Stars had another successful kill but had to dodge a bullet as a shot from Alex DeBrincat rang off the post.

Janmark made good on his earlier gaffe by scoring on the rush with a wrap around goal. He turned on the jets, got behind the net, and threw the puck off of Crawford’s shin pad. Within seconds, DeBrincat was rewarded for the Blackhawks. A puck that bounced off a retreating Jamie Oleksiak landed on the young forward’s stick in the offensive zone and the Stars had no chance to defend the play. He beat Ben Bishop with a wrist shot to tie the game. To top it off, Remi Elie went to the box on yet another tripping call to give the Blackhawks their third power play of the game.

Responding to adversity is the only way the Stars are going to win consistently on the road and make a push up the standings. They responded in a big way on the ensuing penalty kill. Faksa created a shorthanded breakaway chance in which Kane had to commit a hook to break up the play, resulting in a career first penalty shot for Faksa. Faksa made the penalty shot look easy and picked a high corner against Crawford.

Not looking to make things easy on themselves, the Stars’ parade to the penalty box continued with Elie committing another minor. It was frankly a ticky-tack call, but the Stars weren’t earning the benefit of the doubt. To close out the first period, and give fans of both teams high blood pressure, Bishop mishandled the puck behind the net on the penalty kill and gave Gustav Forsling a wide open net from two feet away. Forsling only found the post with his backhand attempt, and the Stars took a one goal lead into the first intermission somehow outshooting their opponent 15-7.

If you give the Blackhawks enough chances on the man advantage they will eventually burn you. Early in the second period, the Stars almost had themselves a fourth consecutive kill, but couldn’t survive the Kane to Artem Anisimov connection. Kane probed the Stars’ defensive set and found a lane to feed Anisimov in front of the net for a back door score. The top line for the Stars had another excellent scoring chance generated by Benn and Alexander Radulov on the forecheck. Radulov found Seguin in the slot for the one timer, but it missed the net.

Both teams were mostly stagnant on offense, and the Blackhawks were the only team to record shots on goal for the majority of the second period with two. With seven minutes until second intermission, Jason Spezza, back to centering the second line, helped his linemates create a series of quality chances. They spent a good minute and a half in the offensive zone, and the ice was just starting to tilt slightly. The Blackhawks attempted a pass through the neutral zone, and it was intercepted by Tyler Pitlick. Pitlick got the puck to Faksa who dumped it into the Stars’ offensive zone. Elie got in ahead of everyone and nailed Crawford with a double deke that opened up enough space for him to cash in.

Radulov finally got the officials to give the Stars a whistle as he was being hooked by Toews. Though they weren’t able to score, they did create a few good looks and sapped the energy from the building.

To the finish the game, the Stars needed Bishop to really turn it on and lock down his net. It began as a tall task when the Blackhawks ran a set play from a face-off win and plastered Bishop in the chin area with a wrist shot. Bishop cleaned up the rebound but stayed down for a few moments that had to put a scare in his coaching staff. Radulov created another scoring opportunity for Seguin from the slot that was blocked by Brent Seabrook. There is simply no panic in Radulov’s game when he has the puck on his stick.

It didn’t take long for the Blackhawks to even things up. They created a turnover in the neutral zone and were able to get set up. Forsling fired a shot from the point that was redirected by Kane in front of the net. Bishop was in position but had no chance to make the save as the puck took a favorable bounce for Chicago

The Stars had a chance to rectify the situation when Benn drew another penalty on Toews. John Klingberg put himself in a bind a couple of times and it cost him when Hayden came in on the forecheck and caught the business end of Klingberg’s stick. Due to the blood on Hayden’s chin, Klingberg was assessed a double minor, and the game went to a 4-on-4. The Blackhawks spent 2:48 on the power play when their man came Toews was freed from the penalty box. The Stars killed off the penalty, and things started to get chippy with a scrum in front of Bishop’s net.

In a familiar refrain, Radulov intercepted a puck on the forecheck from Crawford and centered to Seguin who came awfully close to scoring. The fourth line, centered by Gemel Smith, almost came up big with multiple chances in front of the net from Elie and Brett Ritchie. Crawford had to perform all kinds of acrobatics to keep the puck out of the net. The Stars did manage to squeeze another power play out of the deal.

The top power play unit did some good work to have Crawford flailing once again but couldn’t cash in. The puck was bouncing Dallas’ way, and Radulov had an amazing opportunity to recapture the lead but couldn’t quite find the range from an awkward angle. As the penalty expired, Esa Lindell tried to force a pass across the blue line which was picked off by Chicago. It led to a 2-on-1 that Lindell had to break up with a tripping minor. The Stars survived even with Stephen Johns breaking his stick on an otherwise routine clearing attempt that kept the puck in the zone for the Blackhawks.

The game went to overtime after the Stars won a couple of critical face-offs in their own zone. Seguin was out there with Janmark and Klingberg. It seemed to be the right recipe as they forced Chicago into puck battles and won possession from some hard work. In the neutral zone, Seguin dumped the puck at the Chicago blue line for Janmark. Janmark picked it up and turned on the jets to get in front of Crawford and finish with his forehand.

Gifting the Blackhawks one point in the standings isn’t exactly ideal, but the Stars will take the two points and head back to Dallas to take on Chicago again in two days.

The Goals

First Period

14:46 Mattias Janmark came in on the rush, went behind the net, and scored with a wrap around that bounced off the shin of Corey Crawford. Stars 1, Blackhawks 0

14:55 Alex DeBrincat evened the game up with a wrist shot from the slot after the puck bounced off of Jamie Oleksiak. Stars 1, Blackhawks 1

17:20 Radek Faksa scored on the penalty shot after freezing Corey Crawford and beating him in the high corner. Stars 2, Blackhawks 1

Second Period

Artem Anisimov scored on the Blackhawks’ fourth power play. Patrick Kane found a passing lane, and Anisimov finished back door. Stars 2, Blackhawks 2

Tyler Pitlick forced a neutral zone turnover and got it to Radek Faksa who dumped it in the offensive zone. Remi Elie got in ahead of everyone on the forecheck and went backhand to forehand to freeze Corey Crawford and score his third goal of the season. Stars 3, Blackhawks 2

Third Period

Patrick Kane redirected a shot from the point by Gustav Forsling that found the back of the net to tie the game up. Stars 3, Blackhawks 3

Overtime

Mattias Janmark put the game away in overtime with a wrist shot on the short side. The puck was left for him at the blue line by Tyler Seguin. Stars 4, Blackhawks 3

Blackhawks lineup
Brandon Saad — Jonathan Toews — Richard Panik
Nick Schmaltz — Artem Anisimov — Patrick Kane
Patrick Sharp — Ryan Hartman — Alex DeBrincat
Lance Bouma — Tommy Wingels — John Hayden

Duncan Keith — Cody Franson
Connor Murphy — Brent Seabrook
Gustav Forsling — Jan Rutta

Corey Crawford
Anton Forsberg

Injured: Michal Rozsival (concussion)

Scratched: Michal Kempny, Tanner Kero, Jordan Oesterle

Stars lineup
Jamie Benn — Tyler Seguin — Alexander Radulov
Mattias Janmark — Jason Spezza — Devin Shore
Antoine Roussel — Radek Faksa — Tyler Pitlick
Remi Elie — Gemel Smith — Brett Ritchie

Esa Lindell — John Klingberg
Dan Hamhuis — Greg Pateryn
Jamie Oleksiak — Stephen Johns

Ben Bishop
Kari Lehtonen

Injured: Marc Methot (knee), Martin Hanzal (undisclosed)

Scratched: Julius Honka

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