DALLAS (AP) — Anton Khudobin stared upward earlier than Dallas’ delayed season opener, watching because the Stars’ Western Convention championship banner was unveiled excessive above the ice.
The goalie then stopped 34 pictures in his first season-opening begin, and Dallas scored 5 power-play objectives in a 7-Zero win over the Nashville Predators on Friday evening.
”First recreation, it was emotional in the beginning,” mentioned Khudobin, who later heard his identify chanted by the 4,214 followers in attendance for what was his 100th profession regular-season win and ninth shutout. ”Unbelievable. … That was a particular second.”
5 of Dallas’ objectives got here within the second, together with three on the ability play and an unassisted short-handed wrist shot by Esa Lindell.
”Too many simple pictures obtained via they usually made some good tip performs, credit score to them in that scenario after they made them,” Nashville coach John Hynes mentioned.
”We had been little out of types in that first interval, which was to be anticipated, however we performed via it, and Doby made the large saves,” Stars coach Rick Bowness mentioned. ”It was the ability play that obtained us going within the second … 5-on-3, after which get one other fast one. That gave everybody an enormous increase.”
The Stars had been the final NHL workforce to open the season after their first 4 video games, all scheduled on the highway, had been postponed as a result of 17 gamers examined constructive for COVID-19 in the course of the abbreviated coaching camp. Solely veteran ahead Blake Comeau was unavailable for the primary recreation due to COVID protocols, although the league would not specify the precise purpose.
Nashville (2-2) performed for the primary time since Monday, a day earlier than its second of back-to-back video games in opposition to Carolina was postponed due to virus points for the Hurricanes.
”The scoreboard seems to be dangerous. On the finish of the day, we obtained zero factors, that is all that issues,” Predators ahead Filip Forsberg mentioned.
Dallas was at residence for the primary time in 318 days, since a 4-2 loss to the New York Rangers on March 10 that was its sixth loss in a row. When the season resumed months later with the playoffs within the NHL bubble in Edmonton, the Stars reached their first Stanley Cup Remaining since 2000 earlier than shedding in Sport 6 in opposition to Tampa Bay.
The followers in attendance had been unfold out in an enviornment the place the conventional hockey capability is 18,532. The NBA’s Dallas Mavericks are taking part in their residence video games at American Airways Heart with out followers.
Khudobin had by no means began a playoff recreation earlier than going 14-10 final summer time when Ben Bishop was unavailable due to a torn meniscus in his knee. Bishop remains to be rehabbing from offseason surgical procedure.
After changing into a free agent, Khudobin rapidly re-signed with Dallas for $10 million over three seasons. He had by no means began an opener in his 11 earlier NHL seasons.
Radulov had the first help on Pavelski’s shot from a knee in entrance of the left circle with a 5-on-Three benefit for the primary aim. The Stars had been nonetheless on the ability play 1:26 later when Pavelski took a shot and Radulov, along with his again to the online, redirected the puck via his legs and previous goalie Jusse Saros.
After Denis Gurianov scored on one other energy play, Radulov put Dallas up 4-Zero when he obtained up from behind the online and had a backhanded swipe of his follow get his second aim, this one at even energy.
Pavelski and Kiviranta added power-play objectives within the third interval, these in opposition to Pekka Rinne, who entered after Saros allowed 5 objectives on 20 pictures.
Stars captain Jamie Benn was injured when his proper leg buckled awkwardly after a collision with Viktor Arvidsson within the second interval. Benn needed to be helped earlier than strolling gingerly down the tunnel. He was again on the ice a couple of minutes later for Gurianov’s power-play aim, however did not return within the third interval. Bowness supplied no replace afterward, besides to discuss with it as a lower-body harm.
Predators middle Mikael Granlund made his season debut, after a weeklong quarantine and just one observe since coming back from his residence in Finland. He had 4 pictures whereas taking part in almost 18 minutes. Three of the pictures recreation within the first interval, together with a wraparound try into Khudobin’s pads and a tough second shot on the rebound.
”Hs tempo of play was good, his conditioning was good. He appeared like he was actually able to play, and ready to play,” Hynes mentioned. ”He is aware of the system and he is aware of the construction. He jumped in and had a very good first recreation.”
The groups play once more in Dallas on Sunday evening, the second of 4 residence video games in a row for the Stars.
Extra AP NHL protection: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL