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NHL Scores 2016: Stars show maturity even in a losing effort against the Blues

The Stars and Capitals both impressed Tuesday.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

If a team doesn't perform well against its own division in the NHL, it usually costs a playoff spot.

The Dallas Stars learned this the hard way last season. A year ago, the Stars were expected to contend for a deep playoff run. After all, they had reached the playoffs the year before and nearly took down Pacific heavyweight Anaheim. With the additions of Jason Spezza and Jason Demers, the Stars were bound to be better.

Then they went 8-14-7 against their Central Division rivals and missed the playoffs entirely.

If good results against difficult opponents is the true test of a rising team, the Stars failed last season. But this year they're passing with flying colors.

No, they didn't beat St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night, and giving up two points to a division rival this time of year is exactly what got them into trouble last season. But the Stars' performance showed how they've changed. They killed off four penalties in a crucial second period to retain a one-goal deficit long enough to log the tying goal late in the third. They squeezed a point from a division rival out of a game they had no right to win. Their division record this year is still a sterling 13-5-2.

And they did this a week after taking down the Blackhawks and Capitals, two of the best teams the NHL has seen in years.

Maybe this last little stretch is proving the Dallas Stars are all grown up.

Scores

Flyers 6, Devils 3
Capitals 3, Kings 1
Hurricanes 2, Jets 1
Bruins 2, Blue Jackets 1 (OT)
Senators 2, Sabres 1 (SO)
Sharks 4, Lightning 2
Blues 2, Stars 1 (OT)
Ducks 5, Oilers 3

3 things we learned

1. The Flyers have a very special rookie on their hands

Shayne Gostisbehere extended his points streak to 13 games with a big goal against New Jersey on Tuesday. Gostisbehere is having a rookie year much like that of Dallas' John Klingberg last season, a defenseman who came on midway through the season and absolutely lit up the score sheet every night. Gostisbehere now has 10 goals and 31 points in 37 games.

2. Joseph Blandisi is a phenomenal diver

The Devils rookie clearly took some acting lessons in school.

dive

3. Actual ducks enjoy Anaheim Ducks games

If this is, in fact, a real duck. Still working to confirm.

Impact Moment

This may come as a shock to you, but Radko Gudas was ejected again on Tuesday.

gudasdumb

I know. He never does things like that.

Stat of the Night