Sunday, February 6, 2011
By Mark Stepneski
Some thoughts and observations after the Stars lost 3-1 at Philadelphia Saturday night.
Good effort, no results. The Stars played hard and they played well but it came down to a goal there, a play here and a save there and the Flyers got those. When the Stars were on a roll those goals, plays and saves were going their way. There’s a fine line between winning and losing, and on this night the Stars couldn’t find a way to get on the right side of it and the Flyers did. But the Stars were in the game the entire night and that’s a positive. Still, it’s about wins and points and they came up short.
Power outage. The power play has gone dry. It’s 1-21 over the last six games and the Stars are 1-5-0 during that stretch. They could have used a power play goal in this game, but instead they give up another shorthanded goal. They’ve now given up nine, second highest total in the league. That Darroll Powe shorthanded goal made it 2-0 and was a big turning point in the game. The Stars got back into it and made a game of it, but that goal ended up being the difference.
Lineup shuffling. Stars coach Marc Crawford did a lot of line juggling since he went with 11 forwards and 7 defensemen. Brenden Morrow, Mike Ribeiro and Jamie Langenbrunner didn’t start the game as a line, but were put together as it moved along and were very good. Ribeiro was excellent and Morrow continued to his roll in the goal scoring department. Colton Sceviour made his NHL debut and only played 5:09, but he looked OK out there.
The race is getting tight. San Jose won Saturday. So did Anaheim. Both teams are now three points behind the Stars in the race for first place in the Pacific Division. The Coyotes won and are four points back. The Kings won and are within five. The Stars are still in decent shape as far as the overall playoff race, but there is still a long way to go and things are getting tighter. This slide – five regulation losses in the last six games – has caused their lead over the eighth spot to go from nine points to five. Wednesday’s game against Phoenix is big. They all are from here on out.