The Dallas Stars opened Thursday's game against the Winnipeg Jets with some new-look lines, splitting up Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn in an attempt to somehow get the duo an offensive spark. It was an interesting look for the Stars, spreading out the top scorers on the team across three lines and potentially setting up a deep lineup for the Stars.
The experiment lasted about eight minutes.
The Jets would take the lead on an early goal that came during perhaps the worst defensive breakdown since the final moments of Game 6. Just take a look:
Unfortunately, that goal was all the Jets would need -- for most of the game, at least.
The Stars, back to their "normal" lines midway through the first period, used a series of power plays to get momentum back and start tilting the ice against the Jets. This carried over into the second period, where the Stars pumped 22 shots on goal in the middle frame -- including eight on one single power play.
Unfortunately, Ondrej Pavelec decided to have his best game in five years -- stoning the Stars again and again and again. The Stars spent most of the third period on the power play and not only couldn't score a goal (not for lack of trying) but gave up the killer shorthanded goal that gave the Jets the exact space they needed on the scoreboard for the rest of the game.
Trevor Daley would finally put the puck in the net off a blast from the top of the circle with 1:16 remaining...but it wouldn't be enough.
The Stars would finish with nearly 100 shot attempts on the night, and 46 shots actually on goal -- it's tough to fault the team for the effort over most of the game, however the power play remains a very, very frustrating issue for this team. 0-for-7 on Thursday night.
Suddenly, all of that momentum during their big jump up the standings is gone. It was a good game overall from the Stars, but "moral victories" are worth about as much as a wooden nickel at this point.