Dallas 0 - St. Louis 1
Dallas played its first game last night without the top 2 centers on the team, and boy did it ever show. The Stars offense last night might have set hockey back a year or two. The team just couldn't get anything going without its playmakers and while Jaroslav Halak had an excellent night, he didn't exactly have to do a whole lot to make his 22 saves. For all I can remember, Dallas only had two really really good chances to score a goal.
One was an early chance from Eriksson and the other was an Eric Nystrom breakaway chance that didn't work because he was too tired from a long shift. Nystrom just went straight at Halak and tried to five-hole him but Halak made an easy save. The only reason Dallas had a chance to get a point out of this game was because of Kari Lehtonen. Lehtonen had one of his best games of the season, saving 31 of 32 shots and most of them in spectacular fashion (Toby Peterson also had a kick save of his own when Lehtonen was left out of the net after a save).
The only shot that got past him was from TJ Oshie. Oshie beat Nick Grossman on a rush to the net and received a pass from David Perron. Lehtonen looked to have him squared up but Oshie made a fantastic move and deked Lehtonen, just barely outstretching his left leg to put the puck into the net. Grossman has had major struggles recently and it's even more glaring when the defense has to be perfect in order for the Stars to win.
more after jump
Dallas played a tough game for all three periods but were just outmatched in the third. The Blues were able to sustain constant pressure for much of the first 13 minutes of the third and it finally resulted in a goal. Dallas just couldn't muster the resistance on offense to counter what the Blues were doing. Eriksson, Morrow and Ryder looked lost without a playmaking center and were mostly limited to shots from distance.
Ryder and Eriksson were limited to two shots on goal while Morrow only had one. Unfortunately for Dallas, this struggling offense might be all we see until the All-Star break is reached.
Dallas finds themselves tied for 10th place in the West after this game, two points behind the Minnesota Wild for the last spot in the playoff race.
- Sheldon Souray took a nasty shot off his foot in the first period and had to leave the game for a bit. He managed to return for the start of the second period.
- Without Benn and Ribs, the forward with the most minutes on the team was Eriksson. Loui had 19:30 of ice time.
- Fiddler had a whole bunch of trouble in the face-off circle in this one. He lost 13 of the 16 against the Blues centers.
- The power-play didn't score, but it actually looked like a power-play in this game. The Stars were able to set up and cycle the puck around instead of spending most of the time trying to skate into the zone and get set up.
Game Stats and Scoring Summary:
Score 0 1 Shots 22 32 Penalty Minutes 15 13 Power Plays 0 of 3
0 of 4
Blocked Shots 12 19 Hits 19 23 Faceoff Wins 22 36
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