Some thoughts and observations after the Dallas Stars lost 1-0 the Nashville Predators at American Airlines Center Saturday night.
Can’t fault the effort in this game. The Stars played well and lost out to a goaltender who played great. Nashville’s Pekka Rinne had some top notch saves to keep the Stars off the scoreboard. The Stars missed on a few other chances, but the chances were there. Said Stars defenseman Matt Niskanen: "I think just about everybody is pleased with the effort that we put out tonight. We had a ton of scoring chances. They got the one early, but besides that Kari [Lehtonen] was rock solid. Sometimes you just run into a hot goalie."
The chances against were down for a second straight game that’s another positive for the Stars, who allowed just 24 shots Saturday and just 28 Thursday night against Florida.
The penalty kill was 2-2 and is now 5-5 over the last two games. Take out two bad games where they gave up multiple goals and the Stars PK really hasn’t been that bad.
The power play continues to struggle. It was 0-3 in this game and is 0-14 over the last four. For the season it is just 2-25. It did have some chances, including one where Jamie Benn shot high at an open net.
Kari Lehtonen was sharp again in net, stopping 23 of 24 shots. You couldn’t ask much more from him in the game.
The Stars got a lot of strong performances. Mike Ribeiro had a really good effort tonight with four shots on goal and a 12-15 showing in the faceoff department. The Benn-Wandell-Ott line was strong as well.
Overall, despite the loss, this was another strong effort for the Stars and a step in the right direction as far as how they want to play. They couldn’t finish off some scoring chances, but Rinne had a lot to do with that.