What Happened: The Florida Panthers are a team the Dallas Stars seldom see, but with a brand new lineup and reinvigorated system the Panthers were not a team to be taken lightly, despite their history of a lack of success. They proved that sentiment tonight. Once again Dallas was outworked and outplayed early as the Panthers took a 2-0 lead after the first period with goals from Dmity Kulikov and Jason Garrison. The Stars started to gain momentum in the latter half of the second period, but Tomas Fleischmann scored on a wicked wrister to put Florida up 3-0. Stephen Weiss added yet another goal to take a 4-0 lead into the third period and the punishment continued when Kris Versteeg scored on a two-on-one to make the score 5-0. Evgeny Dadonov capped off the game with a goal that was at first disallowed, but later overturned by the referees, adding insult to injury, bringing the final tally to 6-0.
What It Means: This game means a whole lot of frustration for Stars’ fans. The Stars had a torrid start, and have now dropped three straight, being outscored 14-3 along the way. What’s wrong with them? We’ve seen this team play it’s game, and be wildly successful. Was it all a fluke? Has the team burned out? Sure, there’s been a couple injuries to key players, but that can’t be the reason for the embarrassing performance tonight, this team has too much depth for that to effect them so severely. It seems like it all comes down to effort, the Stars look like they’re standing still, being out skated at every corner, out worked against every board, and Kari Lehtonen can’t stand on his head and win the game by himself every single night. Glen Gulutzan has some work to do, this team has to be better. There’s going to be nights like tonight. Now we get to see how this team responds while at it’s lowest point so far this season.
What’s Next: The Stars have two days off before facing the Colorado Avalanche on Friday, November 18th. The last time these two teams met it was a high-scoring shoot out with Dallas taking the win, 7-6, in overtime. There’s no telling if we’ll get a repeat of that performance, but it should be an exciting game.