Coach Peter DeBoer would like to see his Dallas Stars take care of business Saturday afternoon against the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning.
And he would not mind at all if they did it in 60 minutes of play.
The Central Division-leading Stars returned from the All-Star break on Monday with a 3-2 win in a shootout after blowing a third-period, two-goal lead against the Anaheim Ducks.
Tyler Seguin provided the game-deciding tally in the third round, and goaltender Jake Oettinger denied Adam Henrique in the bottom of the frame to preserve the win and provide some relief for the Stars.
In three-on-three overtime thus far, Dallas is 3-8 after going 10-4 last season.
Over the final week before the break, the Stars saw three opponents tally in the five-minute extra session — the New Jersey Devils’ Jack Hughes, the Carolina Hurricanes’ Martin Necas and the Buffalo Sabres’ Owen Power — to deprive the Texas bunch of three extra points.
“Sometimes when things start happening like this in overtime, you start thinking about it maybe a little too much instead of just going out and playing,” Seguin said after the Jan. 27 loss to the Devils.
Added DeBoer as his club headed to the break, “I’ll go sit in a dark corner somewhere in Florida and try to figure out this overtime thing.”
Playing the sixth match of a season-long eight-game homestand on Wednesday, the Stars topped the Minnesota Wild 4-1. Captain Jamie Benn, Radek Faksa and Jani Hakanpaa scored in a three-goal, second period, and Oettinger made 38 saves to improve to 23-7-7.
Since defeating Dallas in six games in the Stanley Cup Final in September 2020, the Lightning are 8-3-0 against the Stars, including eight meetings when the teams were division rivals in 2021.
More importantly, though, for coach Jon Cooper and the Lightning is that they got back to winning after consecutive losses to the Florida Panthers and San Jose Sharks (0-1-1).
On Thursday, Tampa Bay looked more like the club that finished the pre-break schedule with three consecutive wins over playoff-gridded teams than the one that got whacked 7-1 by Florida and fell in overtime against lowly San Jose.
In a home shutout of the Colorado Avalanche in a Stanley Cup rematch, the Lightning dominated every aspect of the matchup, from goaltending to special teams to even-strength play, in a resounding 5-0 blanking of the champs.
Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy forged his team-record 29th career shutout and first of the season to help the Lightning earn points in a franchise-record 14th straight home game.
“A huge response, obviously,” said left winger Brandon Hagel, who scored twice in a three-point effort to extend his season total to 21 markers. “That wasn’t the way we wanted to start after the break. … It was all about the response tonight before we head on the road.”
Tampa Bay is 22-5-1 when netting the game-opening goal and is 21-0-1 when leading after one period of play.
Defenseman Victor Hedman sits on 499 career assists in his bid to become the second active Swedish defenseman to reach 500, which would put him in the company of countryman Erik Karlsson (560) of the Sharks.
–Field Level Media