The best of the West Conference has done just that in the Stanley Cup playoffs, as Dallas has built a 2-0 lead over Minnesota, though the last victory was not with controversy.
The first goal of Game 2 in the Lone Star State was initially ruled ‘No Goal’, but was overturned on replay which to this reporter’s was shaky at best. Minnesota goalie Devan Dubnyk, who became the “victim” of the goal, might well have put it best.
“It’s mind-boggling the outcome of that play in the playoffs,” said Dubnyk, to the Pioneer Press. “It’s not the ref’s fault. He waved it off. You tell me how they come up with conclusive evidence to overturn the call? It’s crazy. The ref made the right call on the ice. Somehow they have enough to overturn it in Toronto.”
Checked the NHL odds at Intertops and they have Dallas as a -130 favorite with total of Ov5 (-120). Does Minnesota have any shot to make this a series?
Lost in the controversy, the Wild actually played well in Game 2, as they trailed 2-1 after a power play with just over seven minutes remaining. Minnesota did not allow Dallas to play as usual tempo after the first period, which was scoreless, and actually held the high-scoring Stars to just 14 shots the final 40 minutes.
Being at home, Minnesota has to pick the aggressiveness, not only in hitting, but apply more pressure on Dallas goaltender Keri Lehtonen, who has stopped 47 of 48 shots he’s faced. This does not mean play faster, since they could get steamrolled playing that style against the Stars, rather, short crisp passes that make Dallas defend and putting the puck on net and having somebody in front for rebounds or redirects.
Dubnyk has been good between the pipes but he needs to be great, if he does not want his team to fall behind 3-0.
The Stars were fortunate on overturned call and though Saturday’s contest was tighter, you never had the feeling Dallas could actually lose. Their chances for sweep or at least a short series have been bolstered by the return of Tyler Seguin, who played in Game 2 after sitting out 11 contests with left Achilles injury.