If the Stars are going to win their first playoff game in six years, they’re going to have to do it without one of their most important defensemen.
Brenden Dillon will miss tonight’s game at American Airlines with what’s believed to be an injured foot, per the Dallas Morning-News. It’s the third straight playoff game the 23-year-old has missed, and his absence was noticeable as the Stars fell behind two games to none in Anaheim.
Dillon scored 17 points in 80 games for Dallas this year, averaging over 21 minutes a night (third on the team) while leading all skaters in hits (168) and finishing second in blocked shots (149). Without him in the lineup, the Stars have just seven d-men available and relied on a six-man unit Friday: Alex Goligoski, Trevor Daley, Sergei Gonchar, Kevin Connauton, Patrik Nemeth and Jordie Benn, the latter three all in the midst of their Stanley Cup playoff debuts.
Dillon’s absence has resulted in a hefty workload for Goligoski and Daley especially — Goligoski played 27:25 and Daley 24:10 in Game 2.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger