Stars have no choice but to believe after heartbreaking OT loss in Game 4


EDMONTON – This was what so many Game 4s turned out to be. The point was, the Tampa Bay Lightning could lose and win the series. The Dallas Stars couldn’t.

If the Stars couldn’t turn that Stanley Cup to their liking in Game 4 on Friday, in a game that meant everything to their Cup dreams, then they couldn’t turn the page at all.

You can’t lose three of four to a team like Tampa, look in the mirror the next day and say, “you’re going to beat the Lightning three games in a row,” and believe the guy talking to you.

Well, this is where the Stars come together after a game where everyone played as hard as they could – they scored four times, but lost 5-4 on a power play goal from Kevin Shattenkirk in overtime. .

“I think we’ve got more,” said defiant Tyler Seguin, who was just fantastic for the full 66:34. “We would have won if we had got everything from everyone.

“I believe in the team, I believe in boys. We have another level here.

What choice does he have? What choice do any of them have?

“We’re going to bounce back,” head coach Rick Bowness said, about 20 hours before the puck dropped in Game 5 in a rare series of back-to-back games in this COVID Cup. “I have full confidence in our hockey club. We will fight. We’re going to bounce back and we’re going to play (Saturday) like we played tonight.

It was, without a doubt, a fine effort wasted by Dallas. Maybe their best in this final.

How many nights will they pin a minus-3 on stud defender Victor Hedman? Or pump three of their first nine hits past Vezina’s annual contestant Andrei Vasilevskiy?

How many more times can the Stars ask 36-year-old Joe Pavelski for two goals? Or getting such a stunning effort from Seguin, who got two assists, three shots on goal and was an incredible 70% in the circle?

“It’s his best game of the playoffs,” Bowness said of Seguin, whose lack of production has been rightly criticized so far.

During the playoff games, it surely wasn’t one of those nights when you walked out of the ice wondering who officiated the game, as the zebra tandem of Kelly Sutherland and Francis Charron had a bit of a adventure for three periods and extensions.

The pair missed a few early Tampa calls, including an inadvertent trip from Tyler Johnson that sent Roope Hintz off the boards so hard he didn’t return. Then, with 29 seconds remaining, Corey Perry dug his stick into Brayden Point’s private parts, and Sutherland called Perry for interference and Point for embellishment.

Seguin shot a legitimate early penalty in the OT when he drove the net for a scoring chance, and the Lightning managed to kill a long 4v3 and the rest of the disadvantage 5v4. Then Benn had a little too zealous in a battle with Johnson 5:10 in overtime, and he gave Charron a chance to raise his arm.

Shattenkirk would score on the ensuing power play, and that might be it for the Stars, who came down with their captain in the box.

” I see him. It’s in front of Kelly (Sutherland), ”Pavelski replayed. “He has a great look, and the back umpire (Charron) calls him out.

“I don’t have a lot of time for a play where Tyler Johnson walks past Jamie Benn and has no real effect on the game,” the veteran continued. “There is a battle going on there. It’s the playoffs. It’s overtime. We expect 5v5 to go head to head. ”

You hear it every year. All a hockey player asks for is a chance to decide for himself, but by taking the penalty, maybe that is exactly what Benn did.

“The players want to play 5v5 and let’s see what happens. The players are right, ”said a disappointed Bowness. “I saw two guys attacking a loose puck. Their dude hooks our dude and our dude trying to fight through the hook. It’s a hockey game. Two guys in the playoffs try a loose puck.

What Bowness also saw was his own power play unit with a chance to complete the game earlier in OT, and it failed.

“We had the 4 on 3. You have to put the puck in the net – it’s that simple,” he admitted. “Our power play had a chance to end the game and they didn’t.”

They did not do it.

Every year, whether it’s spring or fall, we say this about one of the teams lucky enough to make this happen.

The guy in the Stars’ mirror on Saturday morning tells them they can still do it. This 3-1 decline against the Tampa Bay Lightning is not a death sentence.

He says here, big luck.


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