Rick Bowness's Spirit Lingers: Stars completely hide in their turtle shell in the third period

The Dallas Stars looked like they would upset the Florida Panthers at the American Airlines Center last night. However, Rick Bowness's spirit still lingers at the AAC. The Stars lost 4-3 to the Florida Panthers last night. Here are the three takeaways from the game last night against the Panthers.
Mar 12, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Florida Panthers left wing Matthew Tkachuk (19) watches as center
Mar 12, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Florida Panthers left wing Matthew Tkachuk (19) watches as center / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Stars' fans at the game last night witnessed Rick Bowness's spirit haunting the Dallas Stars. The Stars were in complete control up until the final nine minutes of the game when the team collapsed. The Stars lost 4-3 after giving up three straight power-play goals against the Panthers.

That was a completely unacceptable loss for the Stars. With the Colorado Avalanche winning, they are within striking range of first place in the Central Division. That might not be bad since the Stars want to avoid the Avalanche in the first round of the NHL playoffs. Here are the three takeaways from last night's loss to the Panthers.

Dallas Stars vs. Florida Panthers: 3. Special Teams Disaster

The Stars' special teams were a complete disaster last night against the Panthers. The Stars failed to score on multiple power plays, and the penalty kill went missing in the third period. They must do a better job of defending a three-goal lead against playoff teams with the playoffs a month away. Luckily, the Stars might not see the Panthers at all if they make the Stanley Cup Finals. It's a lesson learned last night, and I know the Stars will rebound from their mistake.

Dallas Stars vs. Florida Panthers: 2. Jani Hakanpaa needs to be benched

Jani Hakanpaa was responsible for two power-play goals in the third period last night. Until he learns from his mistakes last night, Nils Lundkvist should take his spot in the lineup. With the Stars announcing their games in Finland next season, I doubt Hakanpaa will play in them next season. Lian Bischel would be a better option to add to the lineup next season.

Check out the impact card from Hockey Stat Cards last night. Hakanpaa is at the bottom of the list once again. Pete DeBoer needs to bench him, or else the New Jersey Devils will have a field day on Thursday night.

Dallas Stars vs. Florida Panthers: 1. Best first period this season by the Stars

To wrap up the postgame article on a positive note, that was the best first period by the Stars this season. Their aggressive start on offense set the tone tonight and kept Sergei Bobrovsky on his toes. The Stars probably would have wrapped the game up in the first period if it wasn't for Bobrovsky. The Stars are lucky that he's not in the Central Division, or they wouldn't be in first place right now. The Stars will play again on Thursday night as they host the New Jersey Devils.

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