clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Stars Unable to Cash in Offensively, Lose 3-1 to Blackhawks

It started well but inevitably, Blackhawks.

NHL: Dallas Stars at Chicago Blackhawks Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest storyline coming in to the game tonight were the roster changes. Johnny Oduya came in to bolster our defense and our ailing penalty kill after missing ten games to a lower body injury. Perhaps more intriguing if only because of the mystery, Jiri Hudler is also back after missing twenty games to an illness that has never been disclosed.

And Jamie Oleksiak, of course, is serving the first of two games lost to a suspension for elbowing Chris Vandevelde in the head last night.

First period

Believe it or not, but the Stars were pretty evenly matched in the first period. There were a lot of good chances in both directions. Jordie Benn won some puck battles against Duncan Keith. Esa Lindell stripped the Blackhawks’ top point producer of the puck on a 1-on-1 breakaway.

Hudler made an early impression on the game by giving the Stars an opportunity to erase the terrible penalty kills from last night. For reasons that may have seemed clear at the time, Hudler whacked Artemi Panarin in the head with his stick right in front of an official and ended up in the box.

But either the pk was missing Oduya more than it realized or it was just really embarrassed by its performance last night, because this one was very, very pretty.

There were a couple of momentum changing saves that were made in the first period. The fourth line of Adam Cracknell, Curtis McKenzie and Devin Shore had a good opportunity they couldn’t get around Scott Darling’s incredibly long legs. And in the dying seconds of the period, Kari Lehtonen had a huge glove save on a breakaway from Ryan Hartman.

Second period

The second period was a little more exciting than the first. If exciting is the word you want to use for getting out-shot and out-scored. It’s not normally a word I’d use, but I’m trying a new thing where I remain optimistic.

It started so well. Early in the period, John Klingberg took the puck on net and Devin Shore cleaned up the garbage. That’s Shore’s third goal in two games, after the two from yesterday.

Unfortunately, less than a minute later Marian Hossa takes a long shot from above the face-off circle that trickles through five-hole. You could tell after that Lehtonen thought he’d had it, but it was the saddest, slowest little roll.

Maybe in frustration, Lehtonen had a roughing penalty against Andrew Desjardins exactly 15 seconds later when he sticked Desjardins in what twitter was calling the “sensitive areas.”

The Stars got their first power play opportunity of the game in the second half of the period. They weren’t able to capitalize on the man advantage and then, on the breakaway out of the box, Ryan Hartman carried the puck to net. Stephen Johns took care of Hartman’s chance, but neither he nor Lehtonen took care of Artem Anisimov, who scored into the gaping net left by a poorly positioned Lehtonen.

Also in this period, Curtis McKenzie left the ice awkwardly after a clean hit and didn’t return for the rest of the second.

Third period

McKenzie was back on the bench for the third period, so here’s hoping whatever the issue was, it wasn’t serious and won’t have him missing any games.

Here’s what happened in the third: the Stars didn’t really seem like they were trying, the energy had completely deflated from their lineup, and their penalty kill (sadly) failed again.

Jason Spezza was called for slashing at the halfway mark of the period and Artemi Panarin buried his second of the night on the ensuing power play.

The really bad goal from Panarin in the second period, even though it was only the equalizer, proved the Stars’ undoing.

And that’s the game. The Stars are at home versus Anaheim on Tuesday night.