Some thoughts after the Stars lost 4-1 to the Vancouver Canucks on Friday night.
*Specials teams and goaltending. The Canucks won the special teams battle and Cory Schneider was very good in net for them. Prevail in those two areas and you’ll win on most nights and that’s what happened here.
*The penalty kill has been very good recently and a key part of the Stars’ run over the past month or so, but it’s in a bit of slump now. It gave up three Friday and was 0-2 against Detroit on Wednesday. It was the key area where the Stars really broke down in the game.
*The first power play goal hurt, but the Raffi Torres breakaway goal just 47 seconds later was really huge. That put the Stars in a big hole, especially late in the period.
*Still, the Stars had their chances. They had 45 shots on goal and that doesn’t count the posts and the ones where they missed the net altogether or couldn’t get off the shot. They had a lot of chances. A lot of chances. Give some credit to Schneider. He played a great game.
*The Stars were 1-3 on the power play and the goal they scored was too little, too late. They really missed a chance to turn the game around in the second period. They had 1:23 of power play time left when James Neal was awarded a penalty shot. Neal couldn’t convert and they couldn’t covert on the PP. At little more than three minutes later the Canucks strike again on the PP to make it a 4-0 game and it’s basically game over at that point.
*Kari Lehtonen’s had a rough go of things the past two games. I didn’t think he had much of a chance on some of the goals tonight. There were a couple of prime scoring chances by a great players and a breakaway. Marc Crawford pointed out that all players go through some ups and downs over the course of a long season and Lehtonen’s having one of those times where things aren’t going his way.
*They had two games here against the top two teams in the West. They played well at times in both games and did a lot of good things, but the bottom line is they came up short where it counts and that is on the scoreboard. That’s pushed them into a little bit of a slide where they’ve dropped four of five games, including three in regulation (1-3-1). A couple of big road games coming up against St. Louis and Chicago, so we’ll see if they can get back on track.