On the second night of a Central Division back-to-back the Dallas Stars visit the Blues in St. Louis. And, since the game was on NBC, the return of #DominicRoussel and:
NBCSN can't tell the difference between Jamie Benn and Jordie Benn: (h/t @didstarswin_)https://t.co/02JPvVjrst pic.twitter.com/s4Q27dcfz7— SB Nation NHL (@SBNationNHL) February 17, 2016
Still not sure if NBC knows there are two Benns.
Listen you guys, almost nothing happened in the first period. The Blues took four penalties (two of them overlapped for about 20 seconds) and even with almost 12 minutes of power play time the Stars finished the period with three shots on goal.
The Blues had five shots (and I'm about 90 percent positive at least one of them came while shorthanded). Eight shot attempts. Somehow, the Stars managed 5 Corsi events in their eight minutes of 5v5 time, which you'd hope meant good things for the rest of the game.
Oh also, Antoine Roussel DREW a penalty. I expressed a lot of shock about that because there's definitely a perception among Stars fans that he gets ALL the penalties called on him. And then was pointed to the very helpful graphs available at hockeyviz:
Roussel's all the way down there by himself, but he draws almost as many penalties as he takes.
The second period wasn't that much more exciting, to be honest, at least not after the first minute. The Blues scored twelve seconds in when Colton Parayko dumped the puck into the Stars zone, the puck hit the ref, bounced right in front of the empty Stars net, right where Jaden Schwartz was ready and waiting to shoot it in. (Kari Lehtonen was out of the net because he thought the puck was going behind the net. Which it would have, if the ref hadn't gotten in the way.)
The Stars went on to take three high sticking penalties and a holding penalty to make up for the Blues penalties in the first. Stars penalty kill is rolling a lot better than our power play right now, and the Blues were not able to score with the advantage. One more Blues penalty to round out the second, and that was it. And there wasn't even a Hamilton performance to help keep me awake during this game.
The brightest spot of the third period came 13 minutes in when #13 scored his 13th of the year, following last night's OT winner. John Klingberg skated the puck around half the Blues roster on the ice to drop it off for a slap shot from Alex Goligoski. Valeri Nichushkin shot across the crease and Mattias Janmark cleaned up while Brian Elliott was concentrated on Nichushkin. Beautiful. Not so beautiful? Our continued power plays.
The Stars went 0 for 7 on the power play tonight, which is really pretty embarrassing for a club with this much talent up front. Not so embarrassing? The penalty kill survived the four penalties in the second but wasn't able to keep up in OT, where Kevin Shattenkirk scored his 10th of the year with about thirty seconds left to go.
But honestly, with the way the Stars played this game, I'm happy to have gotten the point.