The Stars had a strong first period, playing about as well as you could expect. Shots between the Stars and the St. Louis Blues were about even, and both teams had a power play opportunity that was unsuccessful. Neither team managed a goal in the opening frame, but play was back and forth, with both teams having their chances. The middle frame was much of the same story. More shots, more chances, but no goals, even with an extra two power play opportunities for each team. It shouldn’t be much of a surprise that the third period proceeded the same way until things finally broke St. Louis’ way 11:26 into the period. T.J. Oshie caught a pass from David Perron and made a slick move to put the puck past Lehtonen, giving the Blues a 1-0 lead. The late empty net rush by the Stars was not enough, and the Blues captured the 1-0 victory.
What It Means:
Pesky. Stingy. Boring. Nail-biter. Different people will look at this game in different ways. It was a goaltending duel between Halak and Lehtonen, and the Blues won it. The best thing for the Stars to do is look at this game and realize how well they played with a depleted offense that’s missing the talents of Mike Ribeiro and All-Star Jamie Benn, especially against one of the top teams in the NHL. It was back and forth, it was a bang-it-out battle to the end, but the Stars could not convert on their chances, and lost for the second game in a row. Other game notes:
- Francis Wathier played in his first NHL game of the season, being called up from the AHL’s Texas Stars due to the significant injuries on offense. He had 5:25 of ice time but was kept off the score sheet.
- Sheldon Souray took a shot to the leg early in the game and limped heavily off the ice, but return to play for the second period. No word how severe the injury was, but hopefully Souray will be good to go tomorrow, the Stars cannot afford another injury.
- Special teams once again was mediocre. A useless power play (0/3), a solid penalty kill (0/4).
The Stars are back at it tomorrow night against the Detroit Red Wings. The last time these two teams met, the Stars defensive failures led to Detroit scoring five goals en route to a victory. Richard Bachman is expected to get the start. The Stars can’t afford more losses, but it’s a tough prospect facing a team like Detroit with injuries wrecking the team.
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