Though at times it looked that Kari Lehtonen was going to put the team on his back and lead the Stars to a victory, the Stars were simply outclassed by the Chicago Blackhawks. The Stars looked slow, sloppy and even stupid, committing 4 penalties in their offensive zone.
Once again, the Stars defense gave up 40 shots, which just will not cut it. The Stars are extremely fortunate Lehtonen is as locked in as he is. He had another outstanding game with some jaw-droppers among his 38 saves.
Loui Eriksson gave the Stars the lead when he recieved the puck at the blue line, deked past a Hawks defenseman and shot the puck through Crawford’s 5-hole. The goal was shorthanded and came with 1.4 before the period expired. Dallas’ second goal came when Cody Eakin collected a turnover and fed Ray Whitney, who calmly flipped the puck over Crawford and into the top of the net.
The Stars gifted the Blackhawks a goal when Patrick Sharp’s centering shot deflected off of Trevor Daley’s stick and went in. At the 14:17 mark of the third period, Jonathan Toews leveled the score with a wrister on a power play. 1:41 into overtime, a wide open Marian Hossa scored on the power play, blasting a pass from Patrick Kane into Lehtonen’s net.All three Blackhawks goals were on the power play, and the Stars spent 18% of the first 60 minutes on the penalty kill, which is just unacceptable.
The good news is that the Stars got a point out of a game in which they were clearly outplayed. There are certainly a lot of lessons to be learned from a game like this, and the Stars’ young players should heed them.
The even better news that came from this game is that the Stars finally signed Jaime Benn to a 5 year, $5.25 million dollar deal – a good value for the Stars for a player of Benn’s caliber. We’ll have more analysis of the deal in a future post.
This is a game that the Stars must learn from. Offensive help is on the way, but if the defense doesn’t shape up and the Stars stay in the penalty box, it could be a long season.