Inspired win for the Stars just before bye week

Role the "r" three times for Antoine R-R-Roussel and his first career hat trick. Photo Courtesy: Dominic Ceraldi
Role the “r” three times for Antoine R-R-Roussel and his first career hat trick.
Photo Courtesy: Dominic Ceraldi


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By Stephen Elliott

No matter the win/loss record for the Stars this season, the best moment of the season was going to be seeing Dave Strader back in the booth commentating.

That moment happened Saturday night when the Dallas Stars play-by-play commentator returned along side Daryl “Razor” Reach.

Strader was diagnosed with bile duct cancer in the offseason. On going treatment and chemotherapy kept Strader away from his 30-year career. But the voice of the Stars was ready and in good spirits for Saturday’s game.

“Can’t thank the boys enough for that,” Strader said as the team stood with their sticks raised towards the booth at the end of the game. “A salute up here to the booth, thanks to everyone for making this special evening.”

It was good to hear and see one of the best voices in hockey broadcasting. Saturday’s game was the first game called by Strader since the 2016 playoffs.

With Strader back, the Stars played inspired hockey against the Tampa Bay Lighting. The Stars were down two goals early and never played with the lead. But twice they battled back to even and scored the game-winning goal in overtime.

Antoine Roussel led got the game to overtime on his first career hat trick. Jamie Benn capped off the heart-warming night with a goal late in overtime. The win puts the Stars at 23-27-10 (56 points).

The Stars now prepare for their most difficult time of the season. Yes, they are at their bye week (give to all NHL teams part of recent Player’s Association negotiations) that will give the players five days off from games. But coming back from the bye week is where it gets challenging.

Coming back from the bye week has been difficult for teams. Players come out sluggish and teams lose their first couple games back. The Stars cannot afford a couple sluggish games. They are eight points out of a playoff spot and it could be more after the week off.

Another challenging factor is the lurking trade deadline. The Stars return to play just five days prior to the deadline and things could look different on this team. It is looking more likely that the Stars will sell at deadline. For certain, general manager Jim Nill will make at least one move before the deadline. That inevitably will shake up the all important team chemistry.

Good news is the Stars play their next four games at home. Here is a look at their upcoming schedule of games:

Upcoming Schedule – All Times Central
2/24  vs Coyotes   7:30 p.m.
2/26  vs Bruins    11:30 a.m.
2/28  vs Penguins 7:30 p.m.