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Breaking Down the Stars Penalty Kill in Toby Petersen's Absence

About two weeks ago, Mark Stepneski did a blog post breaking down the Stars' struggles on the power play in Brad Richards absence. That problem certainly hasn't gotten better since he returned last Saturday then broke his other hand.

But what about the penalty kill?

It's been 34 days since Toby Petersen broke his foot blocking a shot in a 1-0 loss to the Sharks. When he went out of the lineup, the Stars missed a vital cog in their penalty killing unit.

Before his injury, the Stars penalty killing unit had killed off 27 of 28 penalties from February 6th through February 19th, including a six game span from February 8th through Feburary 19th where they didn't surrender a single PPG.

Before that timespan, they did have some issues with surrendering a goal each in five consecutive games between January 29th at Detroit and February 6th at home against the Rangers. But they still won four out of those five games because they limited the damage to one PPG per game.

In fact, you have to go back to January 8th at Detroit to find the last time Dallas allowed two PPG's or more with Petersen in the lineup.

Since then, however, the unit has simply fallen apart. It didn't start out that way in the first few games after his injury. They kept San Jose and St. Louis off the power play scoresheet, then limited the Ducks, Pens, and Sharks to one PPG in each of those games. But in their last 12 games, they've surrendered two PPG's or more in five of those contests.

And since Petersen's injury, the Stars have surrendered PPG's on 16 out of 73 opportunities good for a kill rate of 78.1%.

And during this six game losing streak, they've surrendered 7 PPGs on 27 opportunities.

From a hockeymetrics standpoint, Dallas had been surrendering 0.831 PPGs per game. Since Petersen went out, that seasonal figure has ballooned to 0.88 PPGs per game.

And just as an FYI, the Stars power play had been scoring 0.75 PPGs per game when Brad Richards hurt his wrist. Since then, that figure has dipped to 0.667 PPGs for game.