Rick Bowness couldn’t hide his frustration. Because of that, the NHL Foundation has received a healthy $25,000 donation from the Dallas Stars’ coach.
Bowness was fined by the league for twice slamming a stick against the boards behind the bench seconds after Sunday’s 2-1 loss at St. Louis, which snapped the Stars’ four-game winning streak.
They’ll try to start another streak when they play host to the expansion Seattle Kraken on Wednesday night, the first meeting between the teams.
Bowness had reason to be upset, as the Blues became just the 11th team in NHL history to score twice in the final minute to win in regulation.
“We played a heck of a hockey game, we deserved better,” Bowness said. “Fatigue caught up with us a little bit.”
The Stars played three games in four days following a 17-day break because of COVID-19 concerns. Saturday, they defeated Pittsburgh 3-2 to snap the Penguins’ 10-game winning streak.
They led 1-0 at St. Louis on Jason Robertson’s second-period goal when Jani Hakanpaa was whistled for hooking with 1:52 left in regulation.
With the Stars still up, Dallas defenseman Miro Heiskanen felt he got tripped by Pavel Buchnevich in the final minute. When he didn’t get a call, he retaliated by slashing another St. Louis player. The Blues’ Ryan O’Reilly tied it during the delayed penalty call with 47 seconds left and Jordan Kyrou got the winner 18 seconds later on the next power play when his centering pass to Robert Thomas caromed off Hakanpaa’s right leg.
“I think that was a really bad call by them,” Heiskanen said. “I got tripped in the corner and they called me (for) a slash. Yeah, it might be a slash, but I think that was a pretty clear trip in the corner. I don’t know. It’s frustrating. … I think we played really well, and they do that at the end, so it sucks.”
Bowness originally refused to talk about the sequence after the game, but finally relented.
“They clearly pulled Miro down, clearly grab his stick and pull him down,” Bowness said. “That’s my opinion. They got lucky. Broken stick on a penalty kill, second goal goes in off our feet. That’s the breaks of the game.”
The Kraken have lost six in a row (0-5-1) after blowing a two-goal lead in a 4-3 defeat Monday at Colorado.
Seattle was playing for the first time since Jan. 1 and had seven games postponed since Dec. 18, but took a 3-1 lead in the second period on goals by Marcus Johansson, Jared McCann and Colin Blackwell.
“We played a pretty darn good hockey game but at the end of the day you have to address what the result is,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “We didn’t come here to play a good hockey game, we came to win a hockey game.”
Goaltender Philipp Grubauer made 31 saves in his return to Colorado, where he played the previous three seasons. Grubauer was a Vezina Trophy finalist last season when he went 30-9-1 with a 1.95 goals-against average and seven shutouts, which tied the league high.
Grubauer, who signed with Seattle as a free agent in the offseason, got a warm welcome from Avalanche fans with chants of “Gruuuu.”
“I wasn’t sure if those were boos or Gruuuus,” Grubauer joked.
–Field Level Media