Dallas Stars Fall to Anaheim Ducks, 5-2

USA TODAY Sports

The new-look Dallas Stars couldn't find much offense against the best team in the Pacific division for the second game in a row. But at least they found one this time, after over 100 minutes of scoreless play.

Tonight's Dallas Stars roster featured seven guys that are under the age of 24. That's a third of the roster that has been given a great opportunity to get some experience at the NHL level and provide a glimpse of who the Stars could have as regular players in the coming seasons.

The inexperience definitely showed, with plenty of turnovers and defensive lapses that could be discussed in great detail. But there were also some things to like in tonight's game. Right handed winger Alex Chiasson showed well, with a lot of physical play in finishing his checks and driving towards the net. He was one guy that you noticed when he was on the ice. His best look of the game came with Eric Nystrom screening Viktor Fasth when he redirected a shot in.

Loui Eriksson started the game at center, an experiment the Stars were trying out after having some success with converting Jamie Benn to center. Eriksson hadn't played center since he was 14 years old. That experiement wouldn't hold for much of the game, as he would eventually slot back into the wing spot by the third period.

The Stars would make Anaheim earn the win with a lot of physical play and hard work. They came out and refused to give up, which is much better than the last game they played against Anaheim where the team just looked defeated after the second goal against. Instead of packing it in, they continued to work the puck into the zone and battle on the boards. Aaron Rome set that tone for the Stars early when he obliterated Kyle Palmieri when he tried to enter the offensive zone along the boards.

A few more thoughts on the game tonight:

  • Cody Eakin just looks relentless when he's out on the ice. He uses his stick and body to protect the puck and buys his linemates time to position themselves for some quality looks.
  • Brenden Dillon finished the game with the best +/- on the team with a +2. On the flip side, Rome and Philip Larsen finished -2. That pairing continues to have issues in their own zone.
  • Kari Lehtonen has not had a lot of help, admittedly, for much of the season in front of him. He continued his solid play in net again tonight, coming up with one big toe save sliding across the crease early in the first second. He would also have a stellar save against a Ryan Getzlaf chance in the third to keep the Stars' momentum going.
  • Lane MacDermid scored his first NHL goal tonight after being acquired by the Stars from Boston when they traded Jaromir Jagr. Nice to see first goals for, instead of first goals against.
  • Ryan Garbutt had a strong game tonight after returning from an injury that had kept him out for the past several games. He had a lot of shifts end with him driving to the net. Good things happen when you go to the net. Just keep doing that.
  • Jamie Benn had a very rough night in the faceoff dot, winning only 38% of his draws. Hard to score when you don't have the puck.
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