The Dallas Stars held the Colorado Avalanche to single digit shots through 40 minutes on home ice, and having scored two goals themselves had a lead heading into the third period- And a two goal lead in the third period itself.
And the Avalanche were allowed by their hosts to tie the game. And to get to overtime. And to get to the shootout.
Yes, we know, Brad- On February 3rd that happened against these Avalanche. What happened tonight?
The exact same thing. Again.
The same thing that happened against the Minnesota Wild when the Stars had a third period lead and blew it. The same thing that happened against the Detroit Red Wings, when the Stars had two different third-period leads of two goals.
15 goals against in their last four third-periods. That moves them past Buffalo into second place in the league- second worst, that is, as the leakiest third-period team in all the land behind only the Arizona Coyotes.
Again the Stars dominated play in regulation. Again the Avalanche, despite the shot disparity, scored just as many as their gracious hosts. And again they dominated the Stars in the overtime period. 4-on-4 has not been this team's strong suit.
And again the Avs won the skillz competition.
The Stars drop below them in the West's standings- Down to the cellar of the Central Division, all alone now behind Patrick Roy's hapless bunch. Just three days before the trade deadline, where their direction is now crystal clear.
On a day when the metroplex spent so much time stuck on icy roads going nowhere- Some of you braved the elements to come see your hockey team do the same.
The Stars opened the game trying something a little different, pairing Jamie Benn with Cody Eakin and Jason Spezza with Erik Cole on a different trio. Eakin responded in a big way with a huge offensive performance including two goals and an assist- And none of it took place with Jamie Benn on the ice.
That experiment lasted only 20 minutes before Eakin was reunited with Ryan Garbutt and Antoine Roussel, with whom he scored his first on a juicy loose puck sitting in the slot that he spanked home. Later he found himself with Sceviour and Brett Ritchie to his advantage.
Then back with Roussel and Garbutt for his third point- An assist on a Antoine Roussel's breakaway goal that restored, however briefly, the Stars' lead in the third period.
So that was a positive for the Stars. The negatives continued to pile up. Poor decisions from young defensemen. A goal that could have been stopped by the netminder, about which Razor was quite vehement on the broadcast. The power play couldn't cash in.
And those third periods. Always those third periods, which will inevitably be one of the main aspects that shape our memories of this season along with Kari Lehtonen's play, their struggles at home, and Tyler Seguin's injury at the hands of a reckless play.
20 games to go. And they need about every point available to them. No sense in sugar-coating it at this point.