Monday, April 1, 2013

Dallas Stars Game 34: The Good and the Bad

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Dallas Stars lose to the Los Angeles Kings 3-2
Shots: Dallas 15, Los Angeles 40
PP: Dallas 1/2, Los Angeles 0/1

The Good:

Kari Lehtonen- He made 12 saves in the first and 18 in the second. So through two periods he stopped as many shots as would have in a full, busy game. The 29 shots he stopped weren’t easy, or mostly from a distance or just thrown at the net. The Kings had quality chances from the slot, on top of the crease and through a crowd from the point. Lehtonen gave up a few more rebounds than we’re used to seeing, but his teammates helped safely dispose of those. Without Lehtonen, it’s scary to imagine what the score would’ve been just through the first period.

This was a great save on Richardson in tight.

Lehtonen's best glove save of the night in my opinion. Doughty shot it through a crowd, Lehtonen tracked it the whole way and flashed the leather.

Jamie Benn- He did really well creating scoring chances, finishing his checks and leading rushes up ice. He and Jagr seemed to be the two Stars creative the most offensive opportunities. He ended up with a goal, two shots, and seven hits but his presence was felt more than that.

Benn's goal started on a great pass from Goligoski blue line to blue line. It hit Benn in stride and put him in perfect position for his breakaway. 

Dallas goal #1- Benn took the Goligoski pass, rushed in on the breakaway, deked right and tucked the puck between Bernier's legs for the goal. 

The Bad:

Offensively anemic- Up until the 3rd period, and you can even say halfway through the third period, the Stars offense looked incredibly weak and ineffective against the Kings. They could barely get the puck across the blue line, and when they did, it was turned over and brought back out of the zone and down to the other end of the ice. The Stars really cranked it up late in the third, but by then it was too late. The Kings only had to focus on defense by then. The Stars ended with 15 shots on goal. 15!!! Seven of them came in the third period. That's just embarrassing... no other way to put it. And it's not like the Kings blocked a lot of shots. Both teams only blocked 16 shots each. Just embarrassing.

Overcoming the back-check- In addition to the above paragraph, the Stars really struggled to get past the Kings’ back-checking. They kept trying to set up a pass to a trailing player or make a little pass back, but a Kings forward seemed to always end up tying up a stick, breaking up the pass or completely intercept it.

Turnovers in own zone/inability to clear- Again, same old story. Same old problems, same old results. The Stars couldn’t move the puck up ice. They couldn’t make solid passes along the boards to get out. And when they passed it up the middle it was broken up or stolen. A bad turnover inside the blue line by Vincour led directly to the Kings’ second goal. The Stars go on stretches where they clean up this problem, but then it pokes its ugly head around the corner every now and then and results in a loss for the Stars.

The Stars won a faceoff in their zone, but the Kings agressively attacked the puck. They forced a turnover in the corner and...

Los Angeles goal #1- Carter got the puck off the turnover and he threw a backhander on net. Lehtonen was screened by the big frame of Penner and the puck fluttered past Lehtonen. 

Los Angeles goal #2- Vincour attempted a behind-the-back pass inside the Stars' zone. Clifford skated in, intercepted the pass, and sent it to Richardson in front of the net.

The final image of Richardson's shot past Lehtonen. The Stars didn't have much of a chance after Vincour's turnover.

Faceoffs- TERRIBLE!!!... (except for Eakin)… Benn won 3 of 11, Roy won 2 of 15, Eakin won 10 of 15, Peterson won 1 of 2.

Lines seen tonight:

PK-Eakin-Cole-Dillon- Robidas

Notable Notes:

Dallas goal #2- Roy gets the puck in the left corner and passes it up to Goligoski at the top of the left circle who then passed it over to Whitney at the opposite circle. He blasts a shot past Bernier with the help of Nystrom screening the goalie. 

Los Angeles goal #3- The Kings enter the Stars' zone on a rush and Brown sends the puck to a the top of the crease. Williams got in behind the defense, took a shot and then buried his own rebound. Look at the picture and see how the Stars are in a box around Williams. someone needs to be on him, shoulder-to-shoulder, lifting the stick, something.

Goligoski had several seconds to line up a shot between the hash marks. His shot zipped just wide of the post. It was a great chance to tie the game.

My favorite hit of the night. Daley landed an old school hip check on Richardson, sending him flying. 

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