The Ottawa Senators scored two power play goals in route to a 3-2 defeat of the Dallas Stars. Dallas was unable to convert on any of their power play chances, a key reason the comeback push fell short.
The Stars had been a perfect 7-for-7 in the first two games on the penalty kill. It’s a part of the game that the coaching staff takes particular pride in succeeding in. But, of late, it’s not been anything to write home about. After being a top five unit in the 2018-2019 season, it’s been nothing but down hill since, generally floating around average for the league instead. In the first two games of the season, it had been one of the positive points of the Stars’ game, going 4-for-4 versus the New York Rangers and 3-for-3 versus the Boston Bruins.
But in tonight’s game, the Stars couldn’t seem to get out of their own way. The Senators found a lot of net-front space and created a lot of chaos and traffic in front of Anton Khudobin. That allowed the eventual game-winning goal to come off of a funky rebound off the body of Chris Tierney that floated up and over Khudobin in net. While it’s one of those fluky goals that happens throughout the year, not allowing the opponent to setup shop right in front of the goaltender would go a long way to reducing the number of times it comes back to bite you in the bum.
Once again, the Stars on the man advantage were unable to come up with a big goal when it was needed. They could have re-taken the lead if they had been able to capitalize on the opportunities they got late in the first period after surrendering the lead less than a minute after opening the scoring to begin with tonight. But just like when they went 0-for-6 against Boston, the Stars weren’t able to make the man advantage work for them.
So far on the season, Dallas is 1-for-10 on the man advantage, which is 25th among the 32 NHL teams. The only ones behind them are the teams that have yet to actually score on the power play, and only the Montreal Canadiens (11) have had more opportunities at it than Dallas. The Stars are currently 10th in power play opportunities drawn on the season.
BABY COME BACK
Boy, does the Stars transition game look bleak without John Klingberg.
SLUGGISH STARTS – IT’S A TREND THAT NEEDS ADDRESSING
This isn’t the first time the Stars have looked like hot garbage to start a season. In fact, it’s not even the third time in the last 5 years that the team looks destined to digging themselves a big hole that they have to fight against the rest of the season to try to make the playoffs by the end of 82 games.
For all the talk about how “this year is this year” and how whatever happened in years past is in the past, it’s really hard for anyone watching not to have a “hear they go again” response to watching it unfold in front of them once again.