Once again the Dallas Stars were unable to match the skill and speed of the Chicago Blackhawks and relied much to heavily on Marty Turco to keep them in the game. In a loss that could easily have been 8-1, Turco was again spectacular yet the Stars lost 3-1.
Dallas came out with a good gameplan to counterattack the 'Hawks speed and did their best to get as physical as possible with the young team. Despite attempting to pound Chicago into submission the Stars were still unsuccessful in containing the Blackhawks' talented scorers. Laying out 51 hits on a team is impressive, but to me that says the Stars rarely had possession of the puck.
The Stars lost the battle in all areas of the game. Shots, power play, blocked shots and takeaways all went to Chicago on the scoresheet. The Stars are now relying much too heavily on Marty Turco and need to get back to the team-oriented suffocating play that won them games in January and early February. If the Stars have any hope of getting into the playoffs the team effort must return.
Steve Ott scored the only goal for Dallas on a breakaway in the third period but it was too little too late. The Stars were 0-3 on the power play in the second period and failed to gain momentum with the extra man. All the hard work struggling to get on the scoreboard was instantly wasted when Chicago scored in the final 30 seconds of the second period to go up 3-0.
The Stars next face San Jose on Monday in yet another important game for the Stars. Still siting in seventh in the West, the Stars are now just three points ahead of 10th place Minnesota. If the Stars hope to hold onto their playoff spot they will need find some way to muster a better effort against the Sharks.
News and recaps:
- Dallas Morning News: "Dallas Stars struggle in another loss to Chicago, 3-1"
- DallasStars.com: "Stars Shut Down by Hawks"
- Andrew's Dallas Stars Page: "Blackhawks complete season sweep of Stars with 3-1 win"
- DMN: Diabetes doesn't slow Dallas Stars' Toby Petersen
- Chicago Tribune: Wisniewski, Kane and Walker score as Huet shines in goal
Around the West:
Phoenix 6, LA Kings 3
San Jose 3, Altanta 1
Vancouver 3, Toronto 2 (SO)
Anaheim 5, Columbus 2
Minnesota 5, Detroit 2
Calgary 3, Edmonton 2 (SO)
Follow the jump for a look at the standings and player quotes from last night.
Western Conference Standings:
"We just can’t get points against these guys. These are points that we need, and we have to have to get both of them. Guys have to have commitment, focus and attention to detail. We can’t fall short and we’ve got to be ready every night. Every year you have that one team that you just can’t gets points against. It’s frustrating and it’s difficult. We have to be better as a team. Our power play, our special teams never got it done tonight. If we would’ve gotten one on the power play in the second, it would’ve been a different game."
"Losing 4 games to these guys is disheartening, when you look at where these guys are in the standings, especially the last two games against them. They’re a talented group of guys that play really fast. We just weren’t getting to the right areas enough. You don’t know what’s always going to work. When you get into those types of situations it’s all about reacting. It usually stems from how you practice. Out of the corner of my eye I knew he hadn’t shot it yet. You think he’s going to go high and you stick a leg up and hope you get lucky. It certainly is disheartening but you learn a lot from it and hopefully get a lot better. Over the last little bit the rhythm seems to be off and we’re giving up more chances than usual and more shots than usual."
"The last two times we’ve played them, they’ve taken it to us. They force us to dump pucks, they make us chase the game and we are just not skating. Marty has been playing unbelievable lately and he made some big saves tonight, but we didn’t do enough to support him."
"They’ve got a pretty great, young, skilled team. It’s one of those games you need all 20 guys and if it doesn’t go that way it goes the other way very quickly. We’ve got to dig deep and its going to be like a playoff series for the next few months and we’ve got to have everyone. We start Monday night against San Jose. We’ve got to be ready to rock, they’ve got a great team and we’ve got to bring our A game and have all 20 guys contributing. We have to play better as a group and it just seems like we’ve had a lot of bad games against these guys. For us, we just need more, we have no choice we’ve got to have giving that little bit more or we’re going to falter."
"They (Chicago) played well, but we have little room for error, and if we have 5-6 players not pull their weight, that’s a problem. We looked like a tired, frustrated team chasing the game. We can’t have any weak links right now. Our group is thin as it is and we need everyone on board. We aren’t getting enough 2nd chances on the power play and we didn’t execute well enough. Too many telegraphed pucks, blocked shots, not enough of the little things. We need Marty to play at a top level every night, he’s no different than any other player."