first_imgThe Dallas Stars prevailed against Central Division rival Colorado Avalanche Friday in Denver in the first of four meetings this season.Dallas rode the hot stick of second-year forward Roope Hintz’s two-goal night en route to a 2-1 win. The first goal of the game came on a juicy rebound opportunity that Hintz put between the legs of Philipp Grubauer late in the first period. Early in the second, Hintz doubled up on five-hole goals with a shorthanded breakaway tally. He can, however, do a lot. MacKinnon’s goal in the second period against Dallas brought his point streak to 13 to start the season — the fourth-best start in NHL history. Dany Heatley holds the record with 22 games in 2005-06.Make that 13 straight games with a point to start the season for @Mackinnon9. #NHLStats— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) November 2, 2019It seemed as if every time the Avs had a scoring opportunity, it was off of MacKinnon’s stick. For a team that led the division heading into the game, that kind of singular production does not bode well for Colorado.The return timetables for Landeskog and Rantanen are still very much in the air, but the Avalanche will need players like Nazem Kadri and J.T. Compher to step up in their absences. Stars forward Andrew Cogliano was assessed a two-minute minor penalty for hooking following a bizarre sequence of events in front of Anton Khudobin’s net that led to the Avs’ lone goal — Nathan MacKinnon scored on a shot from the left-side dot on the ensuing power play.MORE: The WraparoundThere weren’t fireworks on Friday, but rather a low-scoring battle. Here are three takeaways from the Stars’ win over the Avalanche.1. Roope Hintz is the Stars’ best player right nowAfter he broke onto the scene with a stellar outing in the playoffs last year, Roope Hintz has continued his tear early in the 2019-20 season. He added two goals to his total in the Stars 2-1 win over the Avs on Friday.Hintz scored nine goals and 13 assists in 59 games last season and netted eight points in just 13 postseason games. This year, the 22-year-old Finnish forward has already equaled his nine goals from last year. A lone assist brings his point total to 10 in 15 games in 2019-20.Rebound Roope. #DALvsCOL | #GoStars— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) November 2, 2019Hintz leads the Stars in goals and it isn’t even close. Alexander Radulov is second in line — but he trails his teammate by five. It’s safe to say Hintz is a surprise scoring leader for the team with names like Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, Joe Pavelski, Corey Perry and Radulov on the roster.Will Hintz finish the season blowing his teammates out of the water? Time will tell, but it’s not likely. Regardless, the youngster’s strong start to his sophomore season is something Dallas should be excited about.2. Bright futures for two young defensemenDrafted third and fourth overall in 2017, Dallas defenseman Miro Heiskanen and Colorado defenseman Cale Makar highlight the plethora of talented young blueliners in the NHL today.Their skills were on display Friday and as with every meeting between the two — knowing their draft connection — their individual matchup was watched under a magnifying glass.Both players ranked second on their respective teams in defensemen TOI with 21:48 (Makar) and 27:20 (Heiskanen). While neither player poses much of a physical threat, their puck-carrying ability through the neutral zone and on the power play makes them both viable offensive defensemen in today’s NHL.It is worth noting that Heiskanen leads his draft-mate in NHL games played by a whopping 87 with his 110 to Makar’s 23. Nevertheless, their names are two to keep your eyes on in terms of Norris Trophy contenders for years to come.MORE: Realistic expectations for the Dallas Stars in 2019-203. Nathan MacKinnon can’t do it himself for the AvsNo. 29 is a star in the NHL — but he can’t do it alone. Unfortunately, he is the team’s last-remaining first-liner after Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen went down with long-term injuries.last_img

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