Dallas Stars 1 – Pittsburgh Penguins 3
Coming into this game, I was worried about two things for Dallas. I was worried about Pittsburgh’s suffocating defense and how good they were on the power-play. The Penguins used their defense and special teams to beat the Stars 3-1 last night.
Dallas could never really get going in this game and it was apparent from puck drop to final whistle. Even though the Stars scored in the first period and took a 1-0 lead well into the second, it just never looked comfortable for Dallas. The Stars weren’t winning the puck battles that they did during the Capitals game and were constantly turning over the puck in their own zone.
The passing for Dallas wasn’t crisp because of the pressure that the Pens put on them. First passes out of the zone were getting picked off and if it weren’t for Kari Lehtonen, the Pens would have scored a few more goals. It seemed like possession of the puck was always in the Pens favor.
Despite all this, the Stars were able to score first when Eric Nystrom scored in his fourth straight game. A great pass from Radek Dvorak found Nystrom in front of the net with no defenders around him and he was able to slide it by Marc-Andre Fleury.
The one goal lead was shaky but the Stars were able to hold on for nearly the entire second period. A bad hooking call on Jamie Benn put him into the penalty box and the Penguins on their third power-play of the game. Benn cleanly took the puck from Pascal Dupuis and was somehow called for hooking when Dupuis went down to the ice. James Neal ended up scoring on the ensuing PP goal.
Neal would score another PP goal in the third when Sheldon Souray took a high-sticking call and Matt Cooke salted the game away with a penalty shot goal. Dallas just couldn’t get their game going against the Penguins. Injuries might have had something to do with it as Alex Goligoski suffered a broken thumb and Marc Fistric was hit in the throat by a puck. Fistric was able to return, but he missed nearly the entire second period and the remaining four defensemen had to log huge minutes.
Dallas gets back onto the ice tonight against the Detroit Red Wings.
Notes and Thoughts:
- Dallas continues to be haunted by their penalty-taking situation. Every goal that the Pens scored tonight was from their special teams. If Dallas was able to stay out of the penalty box, they had a good chance of winning this game.
- With Goligoski out for the game and Fistric missing an entire period, the four remaining defensemen had a lot of ice time. Souray, Daley and Robidas put up their highest ice time this season in a regulation game and Grossman was seven seconds short of his season high.
- Whatever is happening to them, Brenden Morrow and Mike Ribeiro need to get going. The lack of production from these two guys really hurts this team when the Ryder-Benn-Eriksson has an off game. Morrow has one point in his last five games and Ribeiro has two point in that span. Neither has scored a goal since mid-October. Morrow has 2 goals on the season and Ribs only has 1.
Game Stats and Scoring Summary
|Power Plays||0 of 2||2 of 5|
- 16:08 Eric Nystrom (5) Dallas 1 – Pittsburgh 0
Assists: Radek Dvorak, Vernon Fiddler
- 17:56 James Neal (10) (Power Play) Dallas 1 – Pittsburgh 1
Assists: Chris Kunitz, Steve Sullivan
- 7:19 James Neal (11) (Power Play) Dallas 1 – Pittsburgh 2
Assists: Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang
- 9:28 Matt Cooke (5) Dallas 1 – Pittsburgh 3