Last night was a very important game for the Stars on so many levels simply because they have not beaten the teams ahead of them in the standings so far this season (they were 0-6 going into the game this season against those top teams).
It took them just about as long as it can take to nail down a win, but the Stars held on during overtime and Radulov and Seguin scored in the shootout to finally get the Stars a win against the Predators.
This was a win that was a complete team win.
There were some small collapses, but overall, everyone chipped in to make sure the Stars put one more W in the books before the Christmas break.
And, I cannot say enough about the penalty killing unit, which recently went through a small rough patch.
This was something Hitchcock stressed after the game, saying, “The best thing was the job that those guys did at the end killing penalties. The importance of guys like Hanzal and Faksa are just incredible.”
He continued, “[Hanzal] acts and behaves like a winner. That the reason we brought him. We saw him do that in the playoffs last year, and now he’s starting show us.”
Bishop has had better games, but his overtime performance was stellar, stopping all five shots to send it to the shootout.
With the Predators being a faster team, they were bound to have better chances in the 3-on-3 overtime, but Ben came up huge for them to get them to the shootout, where the Stars excel.
The Stars took two penalties in overtime due to the Predators better speed, but the team killed off both penalties and Bishop stopped everything sent his way.
The importance of this win cannot be overstated. The Stars have been beating teams they should beat, but now they are learning how to beat teams that are quicker than they are.
They can now go into the break stacked with confidence and ready to get back at it when the games resume on Wednesday.
Seguin scored for the second consecutive night with a power play goal in the first period to cut Nashville’s lead in half.
Roussel (5) and Hanzal (3) both scored in the second period.
Ben Bishop saved 29 of 32 shots on goal.
The Stars (20-14-3) are off for a few nights for the Christmas break, but will hit the road on Wednesday to play against Minnesota (18-15-3), then follow that up with a big game against St. Louis on Friday night.