The Dallas Stars were up 3-1 over the league-leading Washington Capitals after the second period on Saturday. Then they allowed two power-play goals in the third and gave up the game-winner 19 seconds into overtime, because special teams are ruining their season.
The penalty kill seems to find new ways to break down all the time, as head coach Lindy Ruff told Mike Heika:
Ruff has said the Stars have been a mixed bag on the penalty kill, springing different leaks every game.
"We've gone through every goal, every situation and you can't just put it on one thing," Ruff said. "Some of it has been a little bit of structure, some have been bad breaks, some have been just breakdowns at the wrong time but there's not one thing that you can point to and try to fix."
The power play has actually improved in the last dozen games, but it’s still wasting critical opportunities:
"It can change a game and that can change a season," said winger Patrick Sharp. "You have to take advantage because it can make a really big difference in the game."
It's certainly made a difference in the recent stretch. The Stars are minus-9 on special teams in the past 11 games, and are now a league-worst minus-19 on the season.
There’s more at Mike’s place. [SportsDayDFW]
Is it worth remembering that the Caps are actually the best team in the NHL right now, and the Stars did fight them to OT?
"We’ve got guys with broken noses, guys that are sewn up...They gave me everything they had." pic.twitter.com/QHzq4jziEk— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) January 22, 2017
Stars Jumbotron with a topical joke. pic.twitter.com/9vsmTG1Agj— Kate Morrison (@unlikelyfanatic) January 22, 2017
The definitely not-funny part of the evening: Jamie Benn and Radek Faksa taking injuries, however minor.
Jamie Benn and Radek Faksa suffer minor injuries in Stars OT loss to Capitals https://t.co/44CrRga8e1— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) January 22, 2017
You know what’s amazing? Despite all the Stars’ troubles this season, the Central Division has actually left the door open.
Stars are 3rd in NHL waiver order today. Yet are only 4 points out of a playoff spot at the same time. https://t.co/Xgc0zMONSl— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) January 22, 2017
As the Vegas Golden Knights prepare for the expansion draft, team president Kerry Bubolz sat down for a Q&A about building the team and the sport in Sin City. (Check out the video on a potential roster, in which Brenden Dillon and Patrik Nemeth are prospectively reunited.) [Sportsnet]
Lest you think that was just an excuse, sports attorney Allan Walsh offers this:
Hearing from players that generally the quality of ice leaguewide is getting worse. Over time, can lead to groin, back and hip issues. https://t.co/DUMMgzQOqJ— Allan Walsh (@walsha) January 23, 2017
After the Blackhawks’ abrupt exit from the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs, Marian Hossa used Formula One as the unlikely inspiration for his resurgence this season.
Team Turkey beat Team China in New Zealand to earn the 2017 IIHF Division III U20 World Championship – and promotion to Division II next season.
Finally: The Detroit Red Wings introduced a game of bubble hockey during an intermission, and the video is mesmerizing. Enjoy.