The Dallas Stars are down to their last gasp as a team, both in the standings and in the trainer's room. Nine key Dallas Stars players missed the game against Phoenix, forcing Dave Tippett to do his best with several players who have spent most of this season in the AHL.
The Stars played a mighty effort, putting together a furious two-goal comeback in the final minutes of the game. The good feelings were short lived, however, when Petr Prucha tapped in a power play goal in the opening minute of overtime. Although the Stars were clearly outmanned tonight, they never gave up and did the best they could to comeback from another third period deficit. Once again, it just wasn't enough.
Some points to discuss:
- Tobias Stephan, in what amounted to a tryout for the rest of this seaon and his future of the team, allowed six goals on 33 shots. He was extremely shaky at times, out of position on several occasions and took nearly 40 minutes before it appeared he settled in between the pipes. Perhaps we see Marty Turco tomorrow.
- Loui Eriksson had a great game, getting a big power play goal and playing strong in front of the net. His screens set up several Stars goals.
- The rag-tag group of defensemen looked predictably uncertain of themselves throughout the game. Not much choice as to who the Stars actually use.
- Chris Conner finally put together both his speed and puck handling, netting a beautiful breakaway goal in the third period.
The Stars have now lost seven straight games, including two in overtime. This team has fought and fought the past few weeks, but every break ends up going the other way.
Do the Stars keep riding Stephan? Or should they go back to Turco?