Dallas Stars’ Power Play is Key to Their Postseason Hopes

Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dallas Stars have had an up and down season as far as their power play goes. They started off red hot going 52% in their 4-0-0 start back in January. Then they fell into a bit of a hole in the next couple of months before finding their groove again as of late.

The power play has desperately missed the help of Tyler Seguin who has not played this season and Alexander Radulov who has only played in 11 games. Seguin leads the Stars almost every season in power-play goals and has put up as many as 14 in a season while Radulov has seven power-play goals in each of the last three seasons.

Another key piece that has been missing is Denis Gurianov. Gurianov has been in the lineup but has not been the same player as he was last year. He has only six goals all season and has not shown the same explosiveness or confidence that made him the Star’s leading scorer last season.

Of his 29 goals in 2019-2020, he scored nine on the power play, most of which came from a wicked one-timer on the right-wing. With all of that being said, the Stars’ power play still sits fourth in the NHL at 25.2%. Continuing that success will be key if the Stars want to extend their season past 56 games.

Dallas Stars’ Power Play Will Be Vital to Earning a Playoff Berth

When the Stars are a top team, they have a few things that they do well. The two biggest strengths are their defense playing a big role in their offense and their special teams outplaying their opponents’. In the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, these were the main factors that pushed the Stars to the Stanley Cup Final.

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The power play scored 19 goals in the 27 games in the bubble and always seemed to score when they needed it most. They were able to tie games late, give themselves some breathing room, and score game-winners with the extra man. When things fell apart, Tampa Bay was able to stop their power play while dominating on their own, leading to them winning the series in six games.

As of late, Dallas has found a way to find their old swagger with the extra man. Since March 16th, the Stars have at least one power-play goal in 10 of their last 16 games. Jamie Benn has found his stride with three power-play goals in April after being stuck on zero for the entire season. Joe Pavelski and Roope Hintz lead the way with 11 and 5 power-play goals on the season respectively.

In a season where the Stars are playing more games than most teams due to COVID delays and a winter storm in Texas, the power play will be even more vital. Playing four games in six nights nearly every week will wear on their legs and reduce their production five on five. When they get their chance on the power play, they need to find a way to make a difference.

A perfect example came on Sunday night vs Nashville. Dallas had a power play with about six minutes remaining in the third period and the game tied 2-2. If they could have found a goal, they would have most likely won the game as both teams were visibly gassing out.

"“The power play needed to come up big, that’s one sore point,” Bowness said."

Instead, they dropped to 0 for 3 on the night and were forced to play past regulation which has been their nemesis all season long. The resulting shootout loss has Dallas sitting six points behind Nashville, who holds down the final playoff spot in the Central division.

As the Stars continue to try to chase down Chicago and Nashville, they know that they need to rely on what is working for them. Right now, that is their power play and its’ success needs to continue if they have any hope of the fourth and final playoff spot.