The second week of the shortened NHL season is in the books and the Dallas Stars had a very busy week, playing four games. Things didn’t go quite as well as the Stars hoped; they were 1-2-1, which gave them just three points in four games.
The week started out great with a 2-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings in Detroit. Michael Ryder scored both goals for the Dallas Stars. Their penalty kill was perfect: the Stars played through four Red Wing power plays without surrendering a single goal. Goalie Kari Lehtonen played superbly in net while making 39 saves.
Things went south from that point. The undefeated Chicago Blackhawks came to Dallas and won 3-2 in overtime. All three Blackhawk goals were power play goals. This was not a good game for the Dallas Stars penalty killing unit. Once again, goalie Lehtonen was peppered with shots, 41 of them to be exact. If the Stars want any chance of making a run to and in the playoffs, they must control the puck more and do a better job of protecting Lehtonen.
It didn’t get any better Saturday when the St. Louis Blues came to town. Three second period goals by the Blues doomed the Stars; they lost 4-3.
The bad week concluded last night as the Stars lost 2-1 to the Columbus Blue Jackets in Columbus. The Stars only goal was a power play goal in the second period by Philip Larsen to give them a 1-0 lead, but they couldn’t hang on. On the positive side, the Stars did kill all seven Blue Jacket power plays, so they have that to build on. All in all, it was not a great week for the Stars, something they can not afford to repeat in this shortened season.
This week, the Dallas Stars have four games again, something that will be pretty standard during this lockout shortened season:
- @ Detroit tonight, January 29 @ 7:30 PM ET
- VS Phoenix, Friday, February 1 @ 8:30 PM ET
- @ Phoenix, Saturday, February 2 @ 8 PM ET
- @ Colorado, Monday, February 4 @ 9 PM ET
The Dallas Stars definitely play a lot of road games in the early part of the season. Fans have to hope that doesn’t put the Stars in an early hole that they won’t be able to get out of.
Stars fans did receive some good news though (and actually during a game) with the team getting a new deal done with left wing Jamie Benn. The contract is five years worth $26.5 million. Benn held out of the season for the first four games, opting to play overseas instead until he got the money he felt he deserved. He got it with this deal. Benn showed flashes last year, scoring 26 goals to go along with 37 assists, good for 63 points. The Dallas Stars hope they can get that kind of contribution from him again this year.
The news in Dallas isn’t all good though. Backup goalie Cristopher Nilstorp is on the injury list following his exit in the third period against St. Louis on Saturday. Nilstorp has a groin injury. We will have to wait and see what the time-frame is for his return. The Stars have brought Richard Bachman from the minors to take Nilstorp’s place. How this injury affects the Dallas Stars remains to be seen, but as always, how the Stars handle this and how they do going forward is written in the stars.