A Controversial Late Call Halts the Canes' Comeback Bid as They Fall 4-2 in Dallas

A successful challenge by Dallas with 1:32 left wipes a goal off the board for the Canes as their eight-game road point streak comes to an end.

Feb 13, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Stars center Ty Dellandrea (10) attempts to poke a shot
Feb 13, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Stars center Ty Dellandrea (10) attempts to poke a shot / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

For just the second time in over a month, the Carolina Hurricanes hit the road as they traveled to Dallas to begin a three-game voyage out west. The Canes were coming off an exciting 1-0 overtime win over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday as they celebrated Whalers Night. With both teams in the middle of tight division battles and a history of exciting games between the two, this showdown promised to provide some fireworks.

The only change to the lineup was the return of Brett Pesce, who missed the wins over Colorado and New Jersey with an illness. He took Tony DeAngelo's spot as the defensive core returned to its normal look. Coming off a 34-save shutout, Pyotr Kochetkov was back in the net for the Hurricanes, making his fourth straight start. The Stars turned to their star goalie, Jake Oettinger, to keep the visitors in check.


If you were a little late to the game, you nearly missed an early goal. Jaccob Slavin, who is chasing down Justin Faulk for the most points for a defenseman in team history, threw a puck at the net, and Seth Jarvis got his stick on it, sending it off the crossbar. Dallas also caught a post in the period, but they would break the ice just before the halfway point. A cluster in the neutral zone allowed Joe Pavelski to find Roope Hintz as he entered the zone uncontested. Hintz froze Pyotr Kochetkov before beating him between his pads to get the Stars going. Matt Duchene would catch the crossbar late in the period. By the end of 20 minutes, the Canes were a little lucky it remained 1-0.

Where the first period featured a near-goal early, the second period started with the Staal line striking gold. It took them just 13 seconds to beat Jake Oettinger as Seth Jarvis' beautiful backhand saucer pass found Jordan Staal for the Canes' first goal of the night. The Stars' response was swift. Less than five minutes later, Nils Lundkvist found Mason Marchment coming off the bench for a goal to restore their lead.

Though the Canes caught another crossbar in the period as Teuvo Teravainen couldn't bury the puck with Oettinger down, they would find the tying goal late in the period. After a failed power play, Jordan Martinook started the sequence by knocking down a pass, keeping the puck in the offensive zone. Jordan Staal would find Martinook as he skated around the net. Martinook didn't get much on his shot, but Jesper Fast was there to legally redirect the puck into the net with his skate to tie it before the end of the period.

The action was almost non-stop in the third period. Jason Robertson put the Stars back in front early by snapping a shot from the right dot past Pyotr Kochetkov. The Canes nearly responded instantly, but Jake Oettinger flashed the leather from his stomach to rob Brett Pesce and keep a sure goal out of the net. Not one to be outplayed, Kochetkov responded by stopping a breakaway chance from Ty Dellandrea, whom Kochetkov victimized several times in the third. Matt Duchene seemed like he put the game away late in the period by scoring into the empty net, giving the Stars their first two-goal lead of the night.

The moment that had everyone talking after the game was the late challenge that took away a goal for goalie interference. Martin Necas fired a one-timer at the net with Pyotr Kochetkov on the bench, and while Jake Oettinger made the initial stop, Jack Drury pushed the puck across the line to cut the Star's lead in half. At least, that's what we thought. The Stars challenged the play successfully, with the Situation Room in Toronto declaring Oettinger's pad had been pushed across the line. With the goal off the board, the Stars were able to run out the clock in a 4-2 win for the home team.

I've come to the point with most reviews that I just assume the call is being overturned, especially if the challenge is taking a goal away from the Canes. It's the third time this season Jack Drury has had a goal taken away. Obviously, I'm biased, but I think this should've counted. Even if you account for Jack Drury's stick "pushing" Jake Oettinger's pad, it ignores Ryan Suter's role as he pushed Drury into the crease from behind. I'm not saying it changes the outcome, but it might've changed the complexion of the final 1:32.

Besides, there were plenty of other reasons why the Canes lost this game. The top line of Aho, Svechnikov, and Teravainen combined for zero shots and one crossbar. Brett Pesce and Brady Skjei were awful. I get that Pesce is coming off an illness, but I expect more than what we got in this one. Meanwhile, they allowed two lines from the Stars to beat them. Jason Robertson, Joe Pavelski, Matt Duchene, and Jani Hakanpaa all finished with two points.

The goalie battle between Pyotr Kochetkov and Jake Oettinger was nearly split. Kochetkov allowed one more goal, though a late challenge helped Oettinger. Both goalies were bailed out by their posts twice. Both made some incredible and timely stops down the stretch to keep the game competitive. We can say what we want about the state of the Canes' goaltending this season, but Kochetkov has planted himself as the team's #1, making me feel good about where the team is at the moment.

The Hurricanes will be back in action on Friday night as they travel to Arizona to face the Coyotes. It'll be the first half of a back-to-back as they finish the trip in Vegas against the defending champions the next night. With it being a back-to-back, we're almost certain to see Spencer Martin make his second start with the team this weekend.