DALLAS — Far from being classified as a Christmas miracle, what the Dallas Stars pulled off in their last game before the holiday break was one more dramatic comeback, a hallmark for the team that has a number of reasons to have good vibes going into the new year.
Roope Hintz scored twice while Wyatt Johnston put home the game-winning goal late in the third period as the Stars came back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Montréal Canadiens 3-2 inside American Airlines Center Jake Oettinger made 22 saves as the Stars, who have had a penchant for coming back from big deficits in home games this season, go into the league-wide holiday break winning four out of their last six contests.
“You have to give Montréal credit. Last game before Christmas, it’s always hard to keep your team focused on the task at hand,” Stars coach Peter DeBoer said. “Everyone’s got family and places to go. I give them credit. They came ready to play, they were really good and put us in a hole.”
The Canadiens put Dallas in that hole after Jake Evans scored at the end of a power play early in the first and Michael Pezzetta tallied at the 2:24 mark of the second to give Montréal a 2-0 lead.
Dallas’ comeback was driven by its power play, with Hintz scoring twice with the man advantage, and both on deflections from passes by the team’s leading scorer, Jason Robertson. From the bumper spot, Hintz deflected a shot-pass from Robertson at 15:19 mark of the second to cut the Canadiens’ lead in half before deflecting a shot from Robertson at 2:27 of the third period to tie the score.
Wyatt Johnston then put the Stars in front with five minutes left in regulation when he scored on a rebound from his own shot. The 19-year-old Johnston, Dallas’ first-round selection in last year’s NHL Entry Draft, became the youngest player in franchise history to score in three consecutive games with his goal tonight.
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Friday evening’s game, with all photos taken by Dallas-area photographer Ross James. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 31 pictures in total.