What Happened: The Dallas Stars lost a crazy game tonight at the AAC in something of a mix between a trail-wreck and a rollercoaster ride. In the end the New York Islanders ended up outscoring the Stars in a crazy first 40 minutes, and then held on in a scoreless third to win 5-4. Matt Moulson had a career night as he scored twice in the first and then again two more times in the second, and for some reason the defensemen in black could not keep him in their sights even after he started going off. After falling behind 2-0 after the first twenty minutes, the Stars did get things going in the second but not until they fell behind 3-0. Tomas Vincour, Jake Dowell, and Tom Wandell all scored for the first time this season and Eric Nystrom stayed on fire with yet another goal, but after the Stars tied it twice they could not play defense. John Tavares helped continue the attack for New York as he had three primary assists and he and Moulson just could not be stopped or slowed down. Behind 5-4, Dallas tried in the third period and continued to apply pressure but could never tie it up and the Islanders held on to end their roadtrip 3-0-1. Rick DiPietro was a big part of the Stars big 2nd period, but he left the game after the 2nd intermission with yet another “groin-injury” (something that seems to happen anytime he plays) and Al Montoya ended up stopping all 13 shots he faced in the third to shut-down the Stars.
What It Means: It shows that the Stars still have a lot to work on, and that they really miss some of the guys that are on the shelf right now. Andrew Raycroft had really stepped up his game this week in his first two starts since Kari Lehtonen got injured, but tonight he couldn’t match those efforts. While the defense, noticeably Stephane Robidas and Sheldon Souray, had a bad night, he also let in a soft one and couldn’t make a big save multiple times in the game to try and bail them out. All-in-all, if a player wasn’t a forward on the 3rd or 4th line, then they probably want to forget about this game right away. The “top” line of Loui Eriksson, Jamie Benn, and Michael Ryder continues to struggle in the offensive zone and the points just aren’t coming. The coaching staff will need to take a look at this and be prepared to shuffle things up top if the offense continues to only come from Nystrom, Steve Ott, and some of the role guys. Now the Stars have a few days off and will have a lot to work on after this game before they head out for their roadtrip.
What’s Next: The Stars now head out for a five-game roadtrip that looks daunting after tonight’s performance and the up-and-down play we have witnessed the last two weeks. Their next two games are against two rivals in the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night (Dec. 8th) and Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night (Dec. 10th). Dallas n0w has four days to prepare to fly out to California for a pair of tough divisional games before flying out east for three in the New York/New Jersey area.
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Tags: Al Montoya Andrew Raycroft Dallas Stars Eric Nystrom Jake Dowell Jamie Benn John Tavares Kari Lehtonen Los Angeles Kings Loui Eriksson Matt Moulson Michael Ryder New York Islanders Rick DiPietro San Jose Sharks Sheldon Souray Stephane Robidas Steve Ott Tom Wandell Tomas Vincour