What Happened: In the official Dallas Stars Game Preview, Daryl Reaugh called this game a “titanic tilt”. It was the #1 team in the Western Conference versus the #1 team in the Eastern Conference. Titanic indeed. The Stars started the game slow, but Eric Nystrom, who has been playing like a man possessed, scored his fourth goal in five games 16:00 minutes into the first period to give the Stars a 1-0 lead. Unfortunately the Stars continued to be outplayed and out shot and James Neal netted his 10th and 11th goals of the season, both on the power play. The trouble continued as Matt Cooke scored on a penalty shot to put the Penguins up by two in the third period. That would turn out to be the finisher as the Penguins took the game 3-1.
What It Means: The Stars were coming off two dominating wins against the Hurricanes and the Capitals, and the Penguins were the next big test. Unfortunately the Stars just could not get the job done tonight. Penalties have been a nagging problem for Dallas and tonight was no exception. The Stars had 6 penalties, and the Penguins cashed in on 3, counting the Matt Cooke penalty shot. This team will need to play more disciplined in the future if they plan to keep winning against the these top tier teams of the NHL. Injuries also hindered the team as Alex Goligoski left the game early with an injury, and Mark Fistric taking a puck to the throat that put him out commission, leaving the Stars with just four defenseman for a period of time until Fistric managed to get back in the game. Looking at the bright side of things, the Stars still have a shot at taking 6 out of 8 points on this road trip, and that would be a monumental success for this team.
What’s Next: The Stars finish up their four-game road trip tomorrow night against the Detroit Red Wings at 6:00 PM.