Home Power Play Woes Haunt Dallas Stars in 3-0 Loss to St. Louis Blues
The Stars had six power play chances, but could not score on any of their opportunities. The Blues, on the other hand, were 1-2 with the man advantage, and won 3-0.
The Dallas Stars failed to convert any of their copious amounts of power play chances en route to a 3-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues. The Blues scored all three of the game's goals in the third period, a familiar theme for the Stars this season.
There was no scoring in the first period. The Stars had a couple of chances on the power play to take the lead, but ultimately could not convert either chance. The best chance the Stars had at breaking the scoreless tie was a nice saucer pass by Ales Hemsky that was close to hitting Vernon Fiddler's stick right on the doorstep, but the pass didn't connect.
The Blues had one chance on the power play, but the Stars gave them absolutely nothing to work with. It was a superb job of penalty killing by Dallas.
The Stars led the Blues in shots on goal 9-5 after a stingy first period.
St. Louis and Dallas followed up the grinding first period with a grinding second period, and neither team scored in the frame. The best line for the Stars was the McKenzie-Horcoff-Ritchie line, aka the "Muck Line" (patent pending). The Stars had two more power play chances in the second period but ultimately came up empty. The Blues did not allow any good scoring chances on either of their penalty kills.
Jake Allen and Kari Lehtonen made important saves to keep the game scoreless. Shots after the second period were 16-12 in favor of the Stars, 7-7 for the period. Shot attempts overall were 38-23 in Dallas' favor after 40.
In a lighter moment of this game, the puck went out of play in between the benches right to Blues commentator Darren Pang, who stopped it with his bare hand. UPDATE: Video of the moment can be found here.
The Blues finally broke the scoring deadlock early on in the third period to go up 1-0. During 4-on-4 play, noted Stars killer Vladimir Tarasenko deked Jamie Benn, carried the puck to the slot and fired a low shot that beat Lehtonen. Tarasenko has scored four of the Blues' seven goals at the American Airlines Center this season.
The Stars had a great chance to tie it immediately after with another power play. The Stars nearly tied the game, but the puck crawled parallel to the goal line instead of across it after it deflected off of Allen, who was scrambling to get back to his crease.
Dallas had a sixth power play later in the period, but just like the prior five, could not score.
Vernon Fiddler took a hooking penalty late in the third period, and the Blues put the game away. Alexander Steen unleashed a one-timer from the right circle and it beat Lehtonen to give St. Louis a 2-0 lead.
T.J. Oshie tacked on an empty-netter for the Blues with 1:46 left in the third to go up 3-0, and they would go on to win by that final score.
The Stars are 13-14-8 at home as opposed to 19-14-2 on the road. Coming into tonight, their power play at home was 14.9%, 27th overall in the league. On the road, it's 23.1%, 3rd best in the NHL.
That there's such a large disparity in home and road play with this team is baffling and frustrating. Fans want to see the success the team is achieving on the road at home, but it just isn't happening as frequently.