Dallas Stars Come Back to Defeat Nashville Predators in 2020 NHL Winter Classic

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DALLAS, TX — It’s true, everything is bigger in Texas — especially the comebacks.

Down two goals less than eight minutes in before a crowd of 85,630 at the Cotton Bowl — the second-largest in attendance, ever, for an outdoor hockey game — the Dallas Stars got the spark they needed on Blake Comeau’s goal with 1:08 left in the second before striking for three goals in an epic third-period comeback off the sticks of Mattias Janmark, Alexander Radulov and Andrej Sekera en route to a 4-2 victory over the Nashville Predators New Year’s Day.  

“It was awesome,” Comeau said. “You don’t really know what to expect when you walk out for the start of the game, but the atmosphere, the fans, everything they had going on with the fireworks, the flyover, everything, was just awesome. It was nice to have a Texas feel.” 

As big as Comeau’s goal was at the end of the second period, Janmark’s marker just 58 seconds into the third was even bigger.

The game-tying goal, assisted by John Klingberg and Roope Hintz on the power play less than a minute into the final frame, sent the crowd, second only to the 2014 Winter Classic at The Big House, into a frenzy.

“I don’t think our group shies away from any adversity,” Stars’ forward Jason Dickinson said. “You hit us with anything, and we’ve got the right guys who are going to rise up against it.” 

With nearly 80 percent of the Cotton Bowl behind them, the Stars dominated possession in the third coming up with three goals in less than six minutes to take a 4-2 lead.

Radulov converted a blistering one-timer off a Klingberg pass for Dallas’ second consecutive power-play goal to give the Stars their first lead of the game with 14:54 remaining in regulation before Sekera added an insurance marker just 1:29 later.

The Predators were stunned.

“You’re involved in a game like this and you want a different outcome so that you can really take the day in for what it’s worth,” Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. “So we sit here on the wrong side of it, makes it a little more difficult for us.”

There may not have been a louder “Star Spangled Banner” sung pre-game, setting the tone and for three hours, in true Texas spirit, pig races, mutton riders and a sword-juggling unicyclist dominated both intermission breaks. It was as if for one day, all of Dallas had awoken.

The Dallas Stars celebrate Blake Comeau’s goal in the second period against the Nashville Predators in the NHL Winter Classic at the Cotton Bowl on January 01, 2020 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

“We’ve shown we’re a very resilient group this year,” Comeau added. “It just seems like we’re getting a timely power play goal or a timely save from the goaltender. It’s obviously not the way we wanted to start this game, but for us to look at where we were at after the first period, we knew we would stick with it.”

“It was fun,” Stars’ centerman Andrew Cogliano said. “You can’t really beat this event. It’s up there, and winning how we did, it’s special.”

Mattias Ekholm #14, Nick Bonino #13, Pekka Rinne #35, and Dante Fabbro #57 of the Nashville Predators defend the goal against Alexander Radulov #47 and Jamie Benn #14 of the Dallas Stars in the second period of the NHL WInter Classic at the Cotton Bowl on January 01, 2020 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

The announced crowd of 85,630 ranks second to only the 105,491 in attendance at the 2014 NHL Winter Classic at The Big House in Michigan.

Related: New York Rangers Edge Buffalo Sabres in 2019 NHL Winter Classic 

The Dallas Stars players celebrate winning the Bridgestone Winter Classic between the Dallas Stars and the Nashville Predators on January 1, 2020 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Scoring

0-1 NSH Matt Duchene 9 (Assists: Filip Forsberg 14, Roman Josi 26) 14:14-1st PPG

0-2 NSH Dante Fabbro 4 (Assists: Matt Duchene 19, Roman Josi 27) 12:24-1st PPG

1-2 DAL Blake Comeau 5 (Assists: Jason Dickinson 7, Esa Lindell 11) 1:08-2nd

2-2 DAL Mattias Janmark 5 (Assists: John Klingberg 15, Roope Hintz 6) 19:02-3rd

3-2 DAL Alexander Radulov 12 (Assists: John Klingberg 16, Jamie Benn 11) 14:54-3rd PPG

4-2 DAL Andrej Sekera 1 (Assists: Radek Faksa 7, Mattias Janmark 9) 14:25-3rd

Shots: Ben Bishop, DAL, 31 saves; Pekka Rinne, NSH, 31 saves

 
 

Written by John Christian Hageny  @JCCSPORTS 

Special to HockeyClan

 

 

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