The Bruins and the Stars have recent history, what may you ask? Boston traded away their “golden child”, Tyler Seguin for a more mature option in Loui Eriksson during free-agency in July. The much touted about blockbuster trade sent Seguin and Rich Peverely to Dallas, while Eriksson, Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser headed to Boston. The trade happened nearly 5 months ago, but still begs the question who made out better in the deal. With a long season still yet to be played, only time will tell. The two teams faced off for the first time since the trade Tuesday evening.
The game featured Seguin’s return to old stomping grounds, but it was also Eriksson’s first time facing off against the team that drafted him and gave him a home for his entire career prior to this season in Boston. Knowing the organization to an extent has its benefits, but each season differs and ultimately has little effect heading into a game.
“I don’t know that it really matter because you’re only talking about a small amount of guys that are on one side, one on the other. It’s more about the team concept and how you play with your team,” said Boston Head Coach Claude Julien prior to the game. “I think that’s more important than anything else. So there’s some knowledge there on both sides but we’ve made some changes with our system a little bit so it’s a little different and they’ve got a new coach so more than likely, I guess their game resembles a little bit more what we saw out of Buffalo last year with Lindy [Ruff] there.”
Dallas captain Jamie Benn opened the scoring just 3:38 into the first, ASST: Valeri Nichushkin (3), Jordie Benn (3). It was a short lived lead when Boston’s Torey Krug had a Tip-in – ASST: Reilly Smith (7), Carl Soderberg (4) at 4:16. A scoreless second period skated into the third where at 11:39, Milan Lucic (7) made it a 2-1 game with a wrist shot – ASST: Dougie Hamilton (2), David Krejci (12). But Dallas tied it up in the closing minutes of the third period, at 17:26 to be exact with an unassisted backhander from Vernon Fiddler (2), courtesy of a penalty shot.
The game went into a scoreless overtime and eventually a shootout, where it was won 3-2 by Dallas. While Patrice Bergeron managed to score in the 1st round, it just wasn’t enough. But it was former Bruins’ duo of Seguin and Peverley, perhaps trying to make a point to the city they once loved, that scored on Tuukka Rask.
“I don’t know, facing in practice it’s a different scenario,” said Bruins Rask regarding Seguin and Peverley. “You think know you know what they’re going to do and then they do something else. You knew they were going to score at some point though – that’s how it goes when you play against you’re old team, you find a way to score.”
Whether emotions played a part in the final score, it’s hard to say. But that doesn’t mean emotions didn’t play a roll to some degree.
“It did,” said Stars Peverley on his return to Boston. “I think I was more nervous for this game than I was for any of the Stanley Cup Finals. It was emotional for me, but it was fun to be here.”
Boston was once their home, but not a place that some members of the trade strive to get back to. With mixed emotions running high and noting that the game was special and marked on his calender, having the game in the books and notching the win is of greater importance.
“I have been asked that question a few times today,” said Stars Seguin on missing Boston. “If I got a contract or a trade to come back here or asked, I don’t think I would come back. I think in the end you want to play where you are wanted. I have great relationships with our coach and the GM here, and I know how much they want me. It feels good to play here. I guess that is all I want to say on that.”
The Bruins will welcome another familiar face to the Garden tomorrow night as Tim Thomas and his Panthers skate into town. While Dallas will face the Red Wings in Detroit.