Game two of the six game home stand for the Dallas Stars and for a second night, it ended in a disappointing 5-2 loss against the Anaheim Ducks in front of a less than ideal sized crowd. (Only a little over 12,000 for this one)
It would be very easy to accent the negatives in this game because there were quite a few. The defense seemed to revert back to 2009/10 mode with weak play in front of their own net and six giveaways through the game - five of which happened in the neutral zone or their own end. Kari Lehtonen wasn't horrible tonight, but he did let in a backbreaker of a goal midway through the second period to George Parros of all players who scored on a breakaway. The penalty kill wasn't horrible, although they did allow a goal on three chances.
Actually you technically could say it allowed two goals on three chances because the Ducks scored their fifth goal while up a man on the ice because the Stars neglected to put anyone in the penalty box when Stephane Robidas was hit with a boarding game misconduct, thus preventing the Stars from getting a fifth skater on the ice when the major did expire and allowing the Ducks the extra man advantage time.
So in that respect, the coaching on the bench wasn't exactly on point for the Stars tonight either.
Matt Niskanen shaved his goatee and thus seemed to lose his powers in the process, James Neal had too quiet a game, Jamie Benn tried to do too much on his own, Karlis Skrastins was telegraphing his passes so much that even Brett Favre thought Karlis was easy to read...
But that's the bad, and trust me, it wasn't all bad. After the jump, we'll look at some of the good.
After a sluggish five minute start to the game, the Stars really picked up their play which in turn forced the Ducks into doing what they do best and that's make mistakes in their own zone and take penalties. They took one in the first and Loui Eriksson made them pay for it with his fifth goal of the season.
They outshot the Ducks 14-7 in that first period and things were looking really good at that point.
But in the second - even with the Stars outshooting them 16 to 9 and even with the Ducks taking four more penalties - the Ducks stormed ahead on the strength of two Bobby Ryan goals (can someone tell him not to play Dallas so hard now with Modano gone? It's not like he can impress Mo all the way in Detroit now..) and then the Parros goal that sucked what little life was in the AAC to start with right out of the building.
But there were positives:
- Adam Burish seems to be getting more and more comfortable playing with Brenden Morrow and Mike Ribeiro.
- Mark Fistric was back in the lineup tonight and was hitting more that he usually does and even better didn't commit any turnovers. Maybe we should consider that "message received" from the coaching staff.
- Brian Sutherby picked up a goal in the third period which should help his confidence.
- The penalty kill was strong during that five minute major, so hopefully the players and coaches can look back at the video and take a little inspiration from that.
- The power play scored. Granted it didn't really look good on the other four chances they had, but hey.. It's a goal right?