Saturday night concluded a five-game homestand for the Dallas Stars. A stretch that could not have gone any worse.
The Stars went 1-3-1 getting three points of a possible 10 during the homestand. The teams they hosted were Vegas, Vancouver, Florida, Colorado, and Pittsburgh. The Stars currently sit in the first wildcard spot in the Western Conference which is where they were when this home stand started, but now they only have a two-point lead over the Colorado Avalanche and a three-point lead over the Arizona Coyotes and Minnesota Wild.
Friday March 15th vs Vegas
The Stars started the first game of the homestand on the second of back to back games. They hosted the Vegas Golden Knights and ultimately fell to them by a score of 2-1. The game did not start out ideal for the Stars. Anton Khudobin got the start in goal and allowed the first goal 18 seconds into the game from a shot off the stick of Max Pacioretty. That was one that Khudobin definitely wanted back.
Roope Hintz came back with a goal of his own four minutes later. Picking the pocket of a Vegas defender and slid the puck between Marc Andre Fleury’s pads. Both teams had their chances but it was Ryan Reaves who put the Knights ahead early in the third. The Stars put up 41 shots on goal and could only get one past Fleury. This game was just the start of a horrid home stand.
Sunday March 17th vs Vancouver
Sunday’s game started just as bad as the game against Vegas. Vancouver got on the board 52 seconds into the game thanks to Tim Schaller. That was his first goal of the season. The Stars saw themselves already playing from behind once again less than a minute into the game. Midway through the 1st is was Schaller again getting his 2nd goal of the season to put Vancouver up 2-0.
It was Jamie Benn in the second that got the Stars on the board with a wrister in the last minute of the period. Taylor Fedun tied the game for the Stars with four minutes left in the game. Neither team scored in overtime so they went on to a shootout. Dallas didn’t score at all in the shootout while Vancouver got the only shootout goal in the 4th round giving them the extra point. Based on how the first period went the Stars gladly took the one point.
Tuesday March 19th vs Florida
The game against Florida had a similar sense to the first two games of the homestand. Florida got the first goal of the game just two minutes into the game ending Ben Bishops shutout streak. The Captain got the Stars on the board with a few minutes left in the first. The score was 2-2 after two following goals from John Klingberg and Alexander Barkov.
Alexander Radulov gave the Stars the lead midway through the third. Radulov also got the empty net goal to seal a 4-2 win. This game was by far the best game of the homestand. The big three shined in a big way. Benn had a goal and two assists, Radulov had two goals and an assists and Seguin got an assist on all four goals. Unfortunately the luck ran out after the Panthers game.
Thursday March 21st vs Colorado
The game against Colorado started off like the majority of Stars games this season with a scoreless first period. Late in the second, the Avs broke the silence with a goal from Erik Johnson. A few minutes into the 3rd period and Tyson Barrie sneaks one past Ben Bishop and then the Stars found themselves down 2-0 with 14 minutes left in the game.
Tyler Seguin got the only goal for the Stars off a redirected shot from John Klingberg. The Stars had a chance at the end of the game to tie it with the net pulled. But Carl Soderberg sealed the game for the Avs giving them a 3-1 win.
Saturday March 23rd vs Pittsburgh
The final game of the home stand brought for an action filled game. Jake Guentzel scored the first goal of the game on the power play late in the first, and Tyler Seguin evened the game at one a minute into the 2nd period. Later in the second, a bad turnover from Roman Polak lead to the Stars being down 2-1.
Andrew Cogliano got his second goal with the Dallas Stars late in the 2nd with a beautiful goal that beat Matt Murray glove side. Tie game at the end of two made for a different narrative heading into the third. The Stars were given a power play opportunity a few minutes into the period, and unfortunately things went the complete opposite way for the Stars as Jared McCann got his second goal of the night. This time he scored short handed.
That was the only short handed goal the Stars have allowed this season when a goalie was in the net. The rest of the game the Stars looked like they were going to score at any minute. Matt Murray played a great game and made the stops he needed to make. Watching back at the game and some of the highlights where the Stars could have scored, if only they could elevate the puck a few times and this game would have had a different outcome.
Road Trip Ahead
Unfortunately that game ended a horrid home stand for the Stars. The team will now set off for a four game Canadian road trip. The Stars will need to play above .500 hockey for the final seven games of the regular season in hopes to hold onto a playoff spot. There has been a lack of scoring in the recent weeks which has lead to this rough patch. The Stars are hopeful to add Mats Zuccarello in the next week or so to hopefully give this team a boost before it’s too late.
Cover photo credit: sbnation.com
Chris Bugajsky covers the Dallas Stars and the NHL for Full Press Coverage. Follow Chris on twitter @CBugajsky14.