When the Dallas Stars looked across the ice before the puck dropped Friday at American Airlines Center, it probably felt like looking in the mirror.
And much like when one gets out of bed in the morning, what they saw in the Boston Bruins wasn’t pretty.
Neither was the game itself, as both teams decided the best thing to do was fight it out.
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Technically, Jason Spezza and Connor Cliffton were the only ones assigned five-minute fighting majors. But Roman Polak certainly tried to get one started with Torey Krug.
Brad Marchand, one of the NHL’s foremost agitators, tried to start one with everyone.
In total, the teams combined for a whopping 19 penalties that amounted to 54 penalty minutes.
But in the end, the result was a pretty sight for the Stars after they pulled out a 1-0 victory in overtime on Jason Dickinson’s rebound goal.
Both teams have been ravaged this season by injuries to top-four defensemen.
The Stars continue to play without Marc Methot (lower-body injury) and Stephen Johns (post-traumatic headaches). It’s unknown when the latter will return. The former could return by the end of the team’s next road trip, according to coach Jim Montgomery.
John Klingberg is also still dealing with a hand injury that he sustained blocking a shot.
The Bruins were also short on the back end, as captain Zdeno Chara (lower body), Charlie McAvoy (upper body), Brandon Carlo (concussion), Kevan Miller (Hans) and John Moore (leg) were out Friday.
The combined over/under at most betting sites was six goals, which seemed like a low number considering both squads’ circumstances. And the combined shot total of 60 would’ve suggested a high-scoring game.
But the two goalies, Ben Bishop and especially Tuukka Rask, who was playing his first game since Nov. 11 due to a temporary leave of absence, looked sharp.
In the end, the Stars were able to take advantage of the absence of Marchand.
The Dr. Jekyll version of the winner lifted his team to a 2-1 overtime win in Boston earlier this month. On Friday, his Hyde persona came out and took several penalties that amounted to 18 minutes.
During one stint in the box, the agitator could be seen asking a fan, “How much did you pay to see me play?”
Montgomery’s team will once again hit the road for another East Coast swing.
The Stars will take on the Islanders on Sunday and Rangers on Monday in a back-to-back, then visit the struggling Penguins on Wednesday.
So, when the Stars return home for a Friday tilt against the Senators, we’ll know more about how this group handles adversity.