The best team in the Eastern Conference skated into Dallas, and the Stars were not impressed. Dallas drilled the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-0 in a game that wasn't even close. The Fenwick chart below shows the wide gap in shot attempts that the Stars opened up starting late in the first period and carrying over until the third.
The Stars were aggressive from the get go, once again emphasizing how they need to play to be successful. The Stars formula lately is basically reversing the whip. The exact formula teams used to frustrate the Stars is what the Stars are doing to win games. Puck pressure, quick decisions, and crisp passing carried the day.
The scoring chance disparity painted a similar picture of tonight's affair.
In these posts you will also find the scoring chance tally from each game. These are tallied by hand, spit through an Excel spreadsheet, and sorted to show who was on the ice for each scoring chance for and against. The scoring chances for the game are tallied according the the standards used here in the past. The area where chances are recorded is the area directly in front of the net extending to the top of the face off circles. The justification for why chances are tracked can be found here if you are so inclined. Essentially any shot directed towards the net from this area is a scoring chance.
The Scoring Area
The definitions for the cumulative table can be found in the blockquoted text below:
CF, CA, and CF% are Corsi For, Corsi Against, and Corsi For Percentage. The next statistics follow the same pattern. F is Fenwick, S is shots, and ESSC is even strength scoring chances.
The Stars outchanced the Penguins 14-6 at even strength. If you include special teams the Stars had a 20-9 edge. As the game wore on score effects kicked in to bring the Corsi and shot totals closer, but the Penguins weren't really generating many scoring chances.
As a further example of the Stars dominance, when the game was close they had a 20-5 Corsi advantage. Sidney Crosby noted that the Stars played exactly the way the Penguins expected. The lackluster resistance Pittsburgh put up suggests that was a lie.
Given what we know about the game overall it should come as no surprise that some Stars players had gaudy possession numbers.
|C||SHAWN HORCOFF (A)||2||7||22.2||1||0||100|
|L||RAY WHITNEY (A)||6||9||40||2||2||50|
|L||JAMIE BENN (C)||12||8||60||5||1||83.3|
Tyler Seguin was on the ice for seven chances for with only one against. He was a dominant possession player too. He had a 70% Corsi percentage. Alex Goligoski continues to be a high event player. He was on the ice for 19 Corsi events for and 17 against. He continues to surge and prove to be a key member of the blueline.
At this exact moment in time the Stars are five points behind the Wild with one game in hand. The playoff picture looks much prettier with six consecutive points earned. On Monday the Stars take on another team ahead of them when they square off with the Avalanche. The way they are humming right now the Red Army could be on the opposing bench and the Stars could scratch out two points.
These numbers come from the official NHL gamesheets, www.extraskater.com, scoring chances I tracked, and with the help of spreadsheets created by Robert from Jewels From The Crown.