Dallas Horses and Nashville Ambassadors have a very impressive January 1 meeting for the Winter Classic at the world-renowned Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas. But first, they met at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., To sing on Saturday night.
All the action seemed to come in the second period and almost all of that action was given by the road team as the stars outnumbered Nashville 4-1, but the game is just a microcosm of a great NHL rivalry emerging in the south.
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Nashville opened the scoring when Austin Watson rejected Dan Hamhuis’s turn around Anton Khudobin. Just over five minutes later, Dallas took a 2-1 lead after the games of Blake Comeau and Roope Hintz.
Jamie Oleksiak extended Stars’ lead to two quick goals in front of Pekka Rinne. The game earned the 26-year-old coach his first goal as a star – traded to Dallas from Pittsburgh last season.
Andrew Cogliano put the game away late in the second period with the Stars’ fourth deal, creating a third smooth sail.
Looking at Central after Saturday’s games, Dallas (19-11-4) climbed to third with 42 points, while the Predators (14-12-5) sit next to 33 points ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks. (30 points). Dallas has been on a tear since starting 1-7-1, getting at least one point in 21 of its last 25 games, while Nashville has been unable to get to a slot, not winning more than two games in a row since a four-game run at the end of October, the only three-plus game wins streak of the season.
Winter Classic Costumes: Dallas Nashville Islands
No matter how things go from now until the start of the new year, they will meet again in New Year in one of the most historic sites in the United States.
Texas will host the first Winter Classic in the South and, where applicable, is another Southern hockey franchise with a growing love for faster ice play. Home of the annual Texas Football / Oklahoma Big XII football competition, the 1994 FIFA World Cup and now, the NHL Winter Classic, Stadium 2020 Cotton Bowl is quite different from previous hosting venues.
Coming to the Cotton Bowl Stadium today, Benn, Seguin, Heiskanen, Klingberg and Bishop talk about how excited they are to be back here on January 1, 2020. pic.twitter.com/VOYCM7J1hT
– Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) March 20, 2019
Nashville and Dallas met in the playoffs last season with the Stars catching the Central Division champions in a six-match clash. Neither franchise has lifted the Cup since the turn of the century (Dallas won in 1999) while both teams have lost the finals since then (Dallas in 2000, Nashville in 2017).
Saturday’s game was the only meeting between the two teams this season before the Winter Classic. They will face twice as much at home and at home on March 5 and March 7 to finish the season.