Power Play Fruitless Again as Dallas Stars Fall 3-1 to Boston Bruins
That's a sour one to sit on for seven days.
As sweet as a 6-3 victory was at the United Center against those Chicago Blackhawks Sunday, the Dallas Stars' loss to the Bruins Tuesday was equally bitter.
They put four pucks behind Tuuka Rask that the Bruins' goaltender surely felt he needed to stop at the time- But three of them hit the post, with only Vern Fiddler's second-period backhand finding twine.
Kari Lehtonen had the much more challenging workload on the other end and sparkled through the game's first 30 minutes before the quality of the chances finally overtook him.
The power play, as has been the case so often, didn't get the job done. 0-for-6 in Colorado in a loss. 0-for-7 against Washington in a loss. 0-for-5 tonight in another. That's got to be better for these Stars if they're to climb out of this hole after the break.
Tyler Seguin now heads for Columbus while the remainder get some needed rest- Including Erik Cole, lost in this one to an upper-body injury.
This one ebbed and flowed, depending on which half of the American Airlines Center you belonged this evening. Black and yellow. Victory green. (Not even a sell-out? Seriously Bruins fans, you call yourselves front-runners? I kid)
Jamie Benn exploded out of the gate, drawing a penalty on a near breakaway nine seconds into the first period. Then the Bruins would take the next seven shots spanning a couple of power plays. Dallas would answer with nine straight shots of their own.
Both teams finished the first 0-for-3 on the power play. The Bruins scored and led 0-0 after one.
You heard me.
The Bruins scored as Jamie Oleksiak struggled with two attackers in front, but, rather fortuitously, Jordan Caron was whistled for the odd offensive-zone hooking on the play and the Stars got a new lease on life.
Vern Fiddler would use it to celebrate his 700th NHL game in style when he backhanded a pretty soft one past a befuddled Tuuka Rask to give the Stars a 1-0 lead.
The Stars kept pace in the shot department as the game wore on, but the Bruins were getting the better of the quality chances and Kari Lehtonen sparkled until Loui Eriksson was the recipient of some nifty passing on a fast break that tied the game at one.
With little more than a minute to play in the second Gregory Campbell would stuff a rebound home to give Boston a 2-1 lead. Kari had little chance on either goal.
The story of the second period was really the absence of Erik Cole, who left after the first with an upper-body injury and wouldn't return. Vern Fiddler and Shawn Horcoff jumped all over the lineup and Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin spent much of the period apart as a result, and the change in chemistry and flow was to Dallas' detriment.
In the third Jason Demers would effectively end the game with an ill-advised elbowing penalty (could have been charging, could have been boarding) and the Bruins did what the Stars could not - score on the power play.
A stingy team with a two-goal lead in the third period took care of the rest.
And so the Dallas Stars enter the All-Star break. With an OK January that has hope back in the conversation, but with a lot of work to do and a shrinking period in which to do it.