“I think the first period I was looking for myself a little bit there,” Mrazek said. “I was all over the place. … I think in the second period, I established myself.”
The Hurricanes had good goalie work for stretches with Mrazek out of the lineup. Alex Nedeljkovic, who played Saturday night, was scratched for Sunday’s game. That meant James Reimer, who has a 14-4-1 record this season, was the backup for both weekend games.
Mrazek stopped 12 shots in the third period.
“He didn’t have a lot of work for two (periods),” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “When we needed him to make some saves there in the last five minutes, he made three or four really just spectacular.”
Bowness wasn’t around to witness his team’s best period because of a positive COVID test.
“We did communicate with the league and they agreed with us: Let’s get him out of the game,” Dallas general manager Jim Nill said of continuing the game without Bowness. “Because of his situation of being vaccinated, and we’d usually regularly get these tests sometime early tomorrow morning. But because this one came back quicker, we consulted with the league and everybody decided this was the right situation.”
The Stars had won consecutive games for the first time since the opening four games of the season.
Without Bowness, Stars assistant coach John Stevens took over the head coaching responsibilities for the third period.
Nill said it’s believed that it’s a false positive.
“He has no symptoms and we’re very comfortable in presuming that this is a false positive,” Nill said.
Brind’Amour said he noticed that Bowness wasn’t behind the bench, but he hadn’t been told why until later.
The Stars were told of Bowness’ situation.
“We talked as a group, coaches talked,” captain Jamie Benn said of the between-periods situation. “Nothing new.”
A day earlier, Dallas goaltender Anton Khudobin was placed in the league’s COVID protocol. He had been the expected starter for that game.
Nill said Khudobin has since had two negative results on tests and has been cleared to travel with the team.
Dallas had other health issues as well. Center Jason Dickinson was placed on injured reserve with a lower-body ailment prior to Sunday’s game. The Stars did get left winger Roope Hintz back after a one-game absence.
For Martinook, it was only his second goal of the season, with the other coming Feb. 13 at Dallas.
“I feel like I’ve been close and kind of fighting it, a little frustrated,” Martinook said.
He credited his father with setting him straight.
“He said, ‘Quit gripping your stick so tight and have fun. You’ve scored goals before, just go out and shoot,’ ” he said.
Stars: At Chicago for games Tuesday and Thursday to cap a six-game road trip.
Hurricanes: Hosts Florida on Tuesday and Thursday.