Dallas Stars: The road woes continue…

ANAHEIM, CA - DECEMBER 12: Gavin Bayreuther #44 and Tyler Pitlick #18 of the Dallas Stars look on after being defeated 6-3 by the Anaheim Ducks during a game at Honda Center on December 12, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - DECEMBER 12: Gavin Bayreuther #44 and Tyler Pitlick #18 of the Dallas Stars look on after being defeated 6-3 by the Anaheim Ducks during a game at Honda Center on December 12, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Stars have lost their last three games in a row, all of them on the road, bringing their away record to a struggling 6-10-2.

In the National Hockey League, the road is unforgiving—and, in the past week, the road’s latest “victim” has been the Dallas Stars.

Flashback to Sunday night; the first game of the four-contest road trip. Dallas is in Las Vegas, where they will play the Vegas Golden Knights, who were coming off a stellar season the year before, making the Stanley Cup Finals in their first inaugural season—and, ironically, Dallas was Vegas’ first opponent in the 2017-18 regular season, where Vegas defeated the Stars 2-1. Sunday’s game was the first of three meetings between the two clubs, and Vegas showed a strong start to the series.

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Stars forward Martin Hanzal scored the opening goal of the game just 6:29 into the first period. The Golden Knights ended up scoring three times (Carpenter, Karlsson, and Tuch) after that before Dallas could net another tally, with a power-play goal coming off a skate deflection from defenseman Esa Lindell at 8:33 into the final period of play. Vegas forward Reilly Smith added an empty-net goal with less than a minute to go to put the nail in the coffin, sealing a 2-4 win for Vegas.

The Stars were off Monday and Tuesday before playing in Anaheim on Wednesday. The matchup in California was the Stars’ third and final game of the regular season against the Ducks and the Stars were coming into the game up 2-0 in the series between Anaheim.

And they left 2-1.

Ducks forward Ondrej Kase tallied the only score in the first period, scoring almost seven minutes into the game. Stars’ defenseman Miro Heiskanen scored Dallas’ first goal of the game just over six minutes into the second period to tie the score at one. Forward Blake Comeau scored just two minutes and six seconds later to give Dallas the lead, and Alexander Radulov fired a wicked wrist shot from the right face-off circle at 11:20 into the second to give Dallas a two-goal buffer over the Ducks. Kase got his second goal of the game with less than four minutes remaining in the second to cut Dallas’ lead to one, making the score 3-2.

Anaheim rallied in the third, as Kase netted his third goal of the game—and first career hat trick—with just over ten minutes gone in the final period.

"“I just closed my eyes and shot the puck,” Kase said to the media. “I had room, so I just tried to hit the net.”"

The third period continued to be all Ducks, with Anaheim defenseman Brandon Montour and forward Jakob Silfverberg scoring just scoring over a minute and a half apart to give Anaheim a 3-5 lead. Defender Hampus Lindholm locked the gate and threw away the key with a long shot from the Ducks’ defensive zone into the empty net to seal the deal for Anaheim.

119. 6. 105. Final. 3

Dallas had a quick turn-around, as they were set to enter the “Shark Tank” the following night to face the San Jose Sharks in the third game of the road trip.

After a scoreless first 20 minutes, Radek Faksa scored off a rebound in front of the net from a Julius Honka shot that caught iron to give Dallas a 1-0 lead just over three minutes into the second period of play. Sharks’ forward Timo Meier scored the next two goals of the game, one towards the end of the second and the other at the beginning of the third to give San Jose a 1-2 lead. Sharks’ veteran Joe Thornton would throw the puck at the almost-empty net a few minutes later to increase the lead to two goals.

Heiskanen scored his seventh of the season in the back half of the third to cut the Sharks’ lead in half, but Dallas was unable to find the back of the net again to tie the game.

Although the Stars were unable to come out of the two California games with wins, they are optimistic that the way they are playing will certainly result in games in the win column.

"“If we play like we did the last two nights, we’re going to win the majority of our games,” Dallas head coach Jim Montgomery said to the media after Thursday night’s game. “I’m certain of that. I like the way our team’s playing right now.”"

The past three losses have pushed the Stars down to fifth in the Central Division, as the Minnesota Wild were able to pick up a 5-1 win against the Florida Panthers to move into fourth.

And although the Stars are 5-4-1 in their last ten, the past three have served as a tough stretch of games.

Dallas travels to Colorado on Saturday night to face the Avalanche, who sit at third in the Central Division. Despite Colorado’s intimidating record of 17-9-5, they are only 6-3-3 on home ice and have lost their last two games. Dallas will certainly need to bring their “A-game” against Mikko Rantanen, Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, and the Avalanche.

Next. Hanzal, Ritchie are proving their worth on the roster. dark

The road is unforgiving, and the Dallas Stars are getting an early reminder of that.

  • Published on 12/15/2018 at 12:47 PM
  • Last updated at 12/15/2018 at 12:48 PM