The Stars defense is still mortal apparently. Since Richard Bachman took over for Andrew Raycroft the Stars have played a solid brand of defense in front of Bachman. Not great, but with relatively few soul crushing turnovers. That trend took a turn for the worse against the Devils. The unfortunate combination of soul crushing turnovers and Bachman's first poor NHL start led the Stars to a 6-3 loss at the hands of satan.
The Stars and Devils were both incredibly sloppy. Neither team was very poised in front of their own net. Rebound chances were very common, and there was general chaos in front of both goalies all night. The Stars outchanced the Devils 17-12, and a couple things are worth noting here. The Stars had two glorious chances off of rebounds. Two of the Devils goals weren't scoring chances, and a third (Ilya Kovalchuk's goal) was a very stoppable shot.
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Follow the jump to see a detailed player report that doesn't make a ton of sense due to injuries and the blowout.
The Philip Larsen injury threw things into chaos for the Stars early. He skated two minutes before leaving with an injury. For the remainder of the game the Stars played with 5 defensemen. They made the situation even worse by losing their poise after contracting a case of the yips. The defensemen as a group were turning pucks over left and right. Three turnovers come immediately to mind, but there were others that I don't remember off hand. Two of the ones that stick out were by Stephane Robidas, one of which was at his own blueline on the powerplay to Zach Parise.
The other was when the game was out of reach, but it made even less sense. I think it appropriately captures the game in a nut shell. Alex Goligoski was behind his own net with three Devils surrounding him, and a Stars teammate was in the slot. Instead of going up the boards he threw it towards the slot where it was intercepted by David Clarkson. The play made no sense, and it was carried out by an intelligent player. It was just one of those nights that we're getting too used to.
The biggest positives on the night were Robidas and Goligoski. Both were +3 chances. Oddly enough both were on the ice for 7 chances against Johan Hedberg, and 4 chances against. No forward group really stuck out on the chance sheet, but the Mike Ribeiro unit continues to improve. They generated 5 chances against Hedberg, but they still gave up 4 chances. If they can clean up the defensive side of things they'll take the final step they need to take to get their game where it needs to be.
The penalty killing was once again fantastic. In four minutes of shorthanded time the Stars didn't allow the Devils to get a single chance. The biggest story of the past month is the amazing turn around the penalty killing unit has undergone. No one saw this coming.
The Stars next take the ice tomorrow against the Anaheim Ducks as they try to get that nasty taste out of their mouth. They have correctable issues to fix before they take the ice with the Ducks. If they play with a little more poise with the puck the Stars should be able to handle the Ducks. Check back in next Tuesday to see how things went. As always, if you have any scoring questions or comments leave a comment or send me a tweet @JoshL1220.