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Dallas Down and Out When Chasing Their Opponents

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Giving up the first goal in games hasn’t served the Stars well all season long.

NHL: Dallas Stars at San Jose Sharks Kiel Maddox-USA TODAY Sports

In the past 10 games this month, the Dallas Stars have let up the first goal in seven out of those 10 games. While Dallas may be 7-3 in those past 10, the stats don’t look great for the Stars when the first goal is against, not for.

Not just recently, but throughout the season Dallas has found themselves chasing their opponents in many games. To be exact, they have let up the first goal in 30 games, and these games have not boded well for the Stars. They are 10-17-3 this season when giving up that first goal and the results from the games against San Jose and Anaheim this past week demonstrate that. So far this season, no matter how solid of a game Dallas has played, if they let up that first goal, they find themselves in the predicament of chasing their opponents.

NHL: Dallas Stars at Anaheim Ducks
Dallas gave up the first goal at Anaheim on February 21. Unable to equalize, they eventually lost with a final score of 2-0.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Whether the offense isn’t connecting after that initial goal or they just simply become frustrated (as we have seen before), whatever the case may be, Dallas can’t afford to give up the first goal at this point in the season. The Stars need to stop chasing their opponents. The past three losses against the Vancouver Canucks, San Jose Sharks, and Anaheim Ducks, they have chased after the initial goal and couldn’t generate an offensive output afterward.

In order to continue to fight for a top spot in the Central Division, the Stars need to play with more consistency. In my opinion, consistent play needs to occur more at the beginning of games, rather than after the first goal against. Their scattered offensive output when having the first goal scored against highlights the need for consistent offensive output prior to that first goal. When the Stars begin to trail, their play becomes sloppy and they often become frustrated just trying to create the equalizer goal - or in some cases, just a goal to chip away at the deficit. With the end of the season drawing nearer, the Stars need more consistent play out of their lineup in all three periods, not just the latter forty minutes.

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Dallas Stars
Spezza and Janmark have bolstered the Stars lineup, especially when working to equalize the score after a goal against.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

On the other hand, when the first goal is for, the Stars have a staggering 25-5-1 record. Whenever Dallas can strike that first goal of the game, it seems as if they can’t be beat, whether at home or on the road. In these games, we see energy and consistent output from the team early on and the Stars are able to generate a plethora of good chances.

Consistent play from Dallas has to emerge here in the final push for the playoffs. The team has to work on preventing the opposition from scoring the first goal of the game, and if that occurs, not getting frustrated while trying to equalize the scoreline. The Stars would benefit from taking control of the game from the get-go and even more so from consistent offensive output at the start of the game. Luckily for the fans, the Stars have not lost more than three games in a row so far and have always found a way to stop a losing skid. This shows veteran caliber in such a young lineup that appears eager to emerge on top.