DALLAS — Two-thirds of one of the most dangerous line combinations in the National Hockey League came barreling down on an odd-man rush for the Dallas Stars, a glorious chance to finish off the game in overtime on Saturday evening. The chance went begging after a remarkable save, however.
No worries. The third member of that line soon buried his chance seconds later to provide another grandstand finish for Dallas to begin the new season.
Joe Pavelski scored with 2:47 remaining in the extra frame, giving the Stars a 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers inside of American Airlines Center on Saturday. Wyatt Johnston had a goal and two assists, with his second helper being the lone assist in Pavelski’s game-winner, a backhander in front of the net that beat Flyers goalkeeper Samuel Ersson.
Just twenty second prior to the overtime tally, Ersson made a spectacular glove save on Roope Hintz, who one-timed his shot off a pass from linemate Jason Robertson during a 2-on-1 opportunity. Pavelski, normally the third member of that line, was paired with Johnson on the next shift, and after Pavelski won an offensive zone draw, he received a feed from Johnston in the slot before beating Ersson and giving Dallas its third one-goal win of the season — two coming in overtime.
“I take it for granted – you never think he’s going to miss. It’s always in big moments and he always rises to the occasion,” Stars head coach Pete DeBoer said about Pavelski. “In this case, it’s two face-offs against [Sean] Couturier, who is one of the best face-off guys in the league. He digs in and finds a way to win two in a row in the offensive zone, and we win the game. Not even the finish, all the little things that lead to the finish are great to watch every night.”
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Saturday 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 27 pictures in total.