The Stars went into tonight’s tilt tied with their franchise record for point streaks with a baker’s dozen of 13 and a winning streak 7 games long. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and here ends the Stars streak.
The last game between these two teams came on Saturday evening when the Stars barely squeaked out a win in a shootout. This game was another goaltending battle, though with a different goalie in net for the Blackhawks.
The Blackhawks have yet to achieve stability in their season, they went into tonight with a record of 9-9-5. They have promising young players in the system but an aging core (that, admittedly, did wonders for them in the past) and no real good way to put the two together. Still, one should never underestimate the Blackhawks at home.
Saturday night’s game was a goaltending battle between two stellar goaltenders, and tonight’s game was no different, except that the Stars were on the second half of a back-to-back and the Blackhawks haven’t played since. Shots were slightly skewed toward the Blackhawks at 9 to 12, and that’s with a power play chance for the Stars when Ryan Carpenter sat for slashing Esa Lindell.
Scoring on that power play would have been ideal, by the time it came around, the Stars were already down one on an easy goal from Brandon Saad. Why was it easy?
If Brandon Saad was playing a video game, this mode would be “narrative.” He wants some action, but he sure doesn’t want it to be hard to do what needs to get done.
This came right off of a face off, but it sure didn’t help that two Stars players got tangled and no one, literally no one, came back to support Anton Khudobin. Sure, it would have been nice if Khudobin had stopped. He should have been able to. But he had zero support, and that’s a problem.
The Stars began the period strong but fizzled toward the middle and fell off the map at the end. They needed a momentum swing coming into the second.
Which they got, largely. They had another power play in the second period when Andrew Shaw, who is quite familiar with the penalty box, took a tripping penalty against Alexander Radulov.
The Stars had more shots, outrageously more quality scoring chances, and even coaxed a flailing Corey Crawford out of his net on several occasions, but were not able to convert any chances to a spot not the scoreboard.
It wasn’t lack of effort, because there was a lot of that. Luck just wasn’t with them in this period, and even a Blackhawks team that has shot beyond the glory days can still be a force to be reckoned with.
The Blackhawks scored twice this period and the Stars continued to not score at all. First it was Patrick Kane on a power play.
Which was pretty frustrating, as was pointed out on twitter:
If you’re bending over and your face is where your crotch is and you get hit with a stick, it shouldn’t be high sticking.— Sean Berry (@SeanBerryPhotog) November 27, 2019
Connor Murphy scored an empty net goal with about two and a half minutes left to go in the game, but it was already over.
But don’t buy into any narrative that says the Stars didn’t try, because they did.
I’m just saying, it’s not a lack of effort pic.twitter.com/Z2IwF6AIQG— De Facto Captain Merrin (@merrinish) November 27, 2019
There was a profound effort on their parts, but Corey Crawford just refused to let them score. It’s his first shutout of the season and broke the Blackhawks three game losing streak.
All good things must come to an end, and at the end of the day, luck just wasn’t with them. They’ll take the two days, rest up, eat some delicious food, and be back in the American Airlines Center on Friday to wallop the St. Louis Blues. Puck drop will be at 7:30 PM CST.