In the end, Dallas went 1 for 6 on the power play and 0 for 2 on the penalty kill. The penalty kill is getting roasted right now. Dallas has allowed 15 goals against in the past 11 games while going 3 6 2. The Stars are worst in the NHL in power play goals against at 42 and are fast approaching the total for all 82 games last season 44.
The third period highlighted how all aspects seem to be struggling. Washington superstar Alex Ovechkin was allowed to blast a one timer for one goal, something coach Lindy Ruff said goaltender Kari Lehtonen needed to stop.
“You can’t go over and stand with Ovechkin on that shot. That’s one that our goaltender knows that, unless it’s a perfect shot, that’s the shot that we are giving him,” Ruff said. “But the next one was structure.”
Ruff has said the Stars have been a mixed bag on the penalty kill, springing different leaks every game.
“We’ve gone through every cheap replica jerseys
goal, every situation and you can’t just put it on one thing,” Ruff said. “Some of it has been a little bit of structure, some have been bad breaks, some have been just breakdowns at the wrong time but there’s not one thing that you can point to and try to fix.”
The power play has six goals in the past 11 games, but it also has squandered several key opportunities when the Stars could have swung momentum or simply come up with a big goal in the third period. Dallas is hitting at 20.6 percent on the man advantage in the past 11 games, actually ahead of the season pace of 17.1 percent that ranks 20th.
“It can change a game and that can change a season,” said winger Patrick Sharp. “You have to take advantage because it can make a really big difference in the game.”
It’s certainly made a difference in the recent stretch. The Stars are minus 9 on special teams in the past 11 games, and are now a league worst minus 19 on the season.