The Stars continued their road trip in Pittsburgh last night, where they spent most of the game out shooting and out possessing the Penguins only to lose in the final five minutes by a blow-out looking score of 6-2.
It was a painful five minutes to watch.
1. So many narratives
Klingberg back— Josh Bogorad (@JoshBogorad) December 2, 2016
Benn/Seguin vs Crosby/Malkin
First ever game vs Daley
Seven D for Dallas
Lots to look for early in this one
Lindy Ruff made the decision to rotate seven defensemen in this game, Curtis McKenzie, Adam Cracknell, and Patrik Nemeth were the scratches.
7 minutes in the Stars defense pair rotation hasn't included Oleksiak at 5v5. But he did play the majority of the PK.— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) December 2, 2016
For the first two periods, it mostly looked like Ruff was using Jamie Oleksiak as a penalty kill specialist. He had very little 5v5 time but took a shift every pk.
Stars defense TOI— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) December 2, 2016
Oleksiak did play four minutes in the third period, his TOI was 10:07 for the game, which was all 5v5 play, since the only player that took a penalty in the third was actually Jamie Oleksiak. They killed that penalty without him though.
2. 10 minutes late with Starbucks
Kinda weird for the Penguins to take warmup against the opposing goalie but their house, their rules I guess.— Jordan Dix (@jordan_dix) December 2, 2016
For all that the game ended up being really “fun,” it was an exceptionally slow start for the Stars. Though they did end up getting 14 shots on goal by the end of the period, about midway through the first they were still being outshot by the Penguins by a wide margin.
3. Most cheers ever for a primary assist
Mike Lange told Stephen Johns this morning that, if he scored, he would have a special goal call for him. If anyone caught it ...— Jason Mackey (@JMackeyPG) December 2, 2016
They're announcing Devin Shore for that one. The humanity.— Jason Mackey (@JMackeyPG) December 2, 2016
As discussed in the recap last night and bullet point 1 of this post, half of the town of Wampum, PA was in attendance (literally, half) to see native son Stephen Johns play in the NHL. A town of 717 (as of the census of 2010), it was reported last night that 350 of them made the 45 minute drive south to Pittsburgh.
It looked like the dedication of this town was going to be rewarded in a big way. Johns took a slapshot on net in the first period that did end up in goal. The crowd exploded, especially a box containing Johns close friends and family. Sadly for this group, the goal actually went in off Devin Shore’s skate and was credited to him.
And in no small consolation, Stephen Johns will always have a primary assist for the ages.— Josh Bogorad (@JoshBogorad) December 2, 2016
Biggest cheer I’ve heard for a primary assist though.
4. Look, bud.
Penguins are 6-0-0 when leading after 2. Stars 0-9-2 when trailing after 40 minnutes. Yeah, that goal by Crosby was pretty important— Bruce LeVine (@BruceLeVinePuck) December 2, 2016
I know, ultimately, that there’s a point to look at these kinds of stats. That’s what predictive measures are, looking at past trends. Still, always a bit of a downer to see just how dire our chances are, especially when you end up losing a game 6-2.
5. This cannot be overstated
One of their crisper games this season and it'll go in the books as a loss it seems.— DefendingBigD (@DefendingBigD) December 2, 2016
Nobody who didn't see the game will believe it was actually a pretty close one despite the 6-2 score. We have to stick together. Be strong.— Holly (@holly_holl) December 2, 2016
Which is why I’ve let these two tweets state it twice. The shots were 40 to 35. Up until the last 3 1⁄2 minutes of the game, the game was either tied or the Stars were within one.
Crosby's goal ended Pens' so-so second period on a very high note. Shot metrics favor Stars, but scoring chances prob go to Pens. pic.twitter.com/FLOZ7nyISv— Bill West (@BWest_Trib) December 2, 2016
Through two periods, the Stars led possession. This was the game they should have been playing all season. This is the kind of game they generally do play against the Penguins. The Stars excel at these fast-paced, event heavy games.
It just crumbled there at the end. However, if they keep playing games the way they did last night, they’re definitely going to start winning more.
6. Why can’t we get a lead
Big problem for Stars has been chasing games. Over last 4 road games they've only led one time (for 19:05), and have zero intermission leads— Josh Bogorad (@JoshBogorad) December 2, 2016
Ending on a bit of a downer and an age old question: why can’t we go into an intermission with a lead? Try it once, Stars. You’ll like it.