Over the past few games, the Dallas Stars played some great hockey marred by sporadic lapses in discipline. Now they have a chance to tighten up their act at home.
Stars digital correspondent Scott Burnside went over the issue of too many penalties in his latest Five Takeaways:
The Stars gave the Flyers -- now winners of six straight following a 10-game winless stretch last month -- six power-play opportunities, including one in overtime, and they scored both their goals on the man-advantage. The Stars had just one chance with the man-advantage and failed to score on it.
The overtime loss follows a 5-2 loss to New Jersey on Friday in which a bevy of second-period penalties and failure to capitalize on power-play chances in the third cost the Stars. The losses are in stark contrast to the first two games of the trip when they did not take any penalties in a 2-1 shootout win over the Rangers and a 5-2 win over the Islanders when they built a 5-0 lead by the first minute of the third period with opportunistic, disciplined play.
He also gave credit where it was due for recent successes:
On the positive side -- and let's be clear, there were a number of positives from this game and from this road trip as a whole -- was the play of players like Remi Elie, Radek Faksa, Antoine Roussel and [Gemel] Smith, who scored the Stars' lone goal of the night after a great play by Elie to get to a puck in the Flyer zone on what looked like a routine play.
We were especially impressed with Martin Hanzal, who centered Elie and Smith and seemed to pass yet another test as he played in back-to-back games for the first time since returning from a hamstring injury that cost him seven games.
Hanzal played 14:13, had three shots on goal and added an assist on the Smith goal. He now has points in back-to-back games, having scored a power-play goal against New Jersey on Friday -- his second of the season and first since an empty-netter on Oct. 10.
There’s more at the Stars’ official site. [Dallas Stars]
Meanwhile, Mike Heika of The Dallas Morning News writes about the upcoming stretch in which nine games in 10 are at home: If the Stars’ good play in the AAC can stand up to some tough opponents, they have a chance to gain critical ground.
If you’re reading this, and you’re in the DFW area, you may still have time to see the Stars practice today. The session begins at noon Central time.
The Stars practice Monday at Noon at the Dr Pepper StarCenter in Farmers Branch. https://t.co/WwngLx18v3— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) December 17, 2017
You may also be in time to catch Heika’s Monday chat; as usual, it begins at 2 p.m. CT, and you can send in your questions in advance. [SportsDayDFW]
Around the league(s)
Last Night In #Kill
It was a quiet night in the NHL, except for all the Central-on-Central violence:
- The St. Louis Blues lost the second night of their home-and-away with the Winnipeg Jets in a 4-0 shutout. [St. Louis Game Time]
- And the Chicago Blackhawks got their fifth straight victory with a 4-1 decision over an injury-depleted Minnesota Wild. [Second City Hockey]
The Winter Classic is 10 years old, which means it’s now officially nostalgia-eligible, or something. The NHL Network just previewed a documentary on the very first edition, featuring the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Buffalo Sabres.
Here's a sneak peek at our documentary on the 2008 #WinterClassic.— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) December 18, 2017
"NHL Network Originals: The First NHL Winter Classic, Hockey Goes Outside" premieres 12/20 at 8pE. @BuffaloSabres @penguins pic.twitter.com/Y0q2tXmp9i
The Vegas Golden Knights have played five different goalies in their inaugural season, and four of them have won games. Say hello to Dave Prior, the coach who helped draft and develop Braden Holtby and the mastermind behind Vegas’ full house of solid netminders.
The Golden Knights have run out five different goalies this season. Dave Prior maintains that all of them are prepared. https://t.co/uYwQTSUfxR— SI NHL (@SI_NHL) December 18, 2017
Former Stars prospect Maxime Lagace is back with the Chicago Wolves after a nice cup of coffee with the Golden Knights – but he’s still getting the social media love for saves like this.
Oh, do a little dance, flash a quick glove— Chicago Wolves (@Chicago_Wolves) December 17, 2017
Get down tonight, get down tonight pic.twitter.com/GN9RoOonqW
With the Russian Olympic Committee barred from the 2018 Winter Olympics, here’s the hockey jersey that might be worn by eligible competitors from Russia.
Team Russia's uniform at the Olympics will look like this if the IOC accepts it pic.twitter.com/NKt2Q0jKjY— Igor Eronko (@IgorEronko) December 17, 2017
Meanwhile, in the women’s game, Canada won the final Olympic tune-up match against the USA in overtime.
Sad news: Legendary Boston College and Olympic coach Len Ceglarski, the ninth-winningest bench boss in NCAA hockey history, passed away on Saturday. He was 91.
U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame coach Len Ceglarski passed away yesterday at age 91. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the Ceglarski family. https://t.co/4rtS3Xd3jM— USA Hockey (@usahockey) December 17, 2017
Yesterday was Ken Hitchcock’s 66th birthday, so it’s time celebrate. This animated card will help. Enjoy.