Brought to you by: Big Shucks
We are post trade deadline in the NHL and despite being sellers, the Dallas Stars are still kicking in the Western Conference.
At 27-29-10 (64 points) and seven points out of a playoff spot, it still seems like a long shot for the Stars to play in the postseason. But despite that and selling off impact players, the Stars are still competing with playoff teams in the league.
That especially rang true this week.
The Stars opened the week against the New York Islanders. The Islanders currently hold the last Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. But the Stars hung with the playoff hopefuls, taking a 3-2 lead into the third period. Good times did not last long as the Islanders tied the game just 25 seconds. Two more goals and one from the Stars capped the Islanders road win, 5-4.
After ending their six-game road losing streak with a 2-1 win against the Florida Panthers, the Stars shocked the league with their play on Monday in Washington. The Capitals came into their home game against the Stars not losing a game on their own ice since December 29, 2016. It was a 15-game home winning streak expected to continue against a Stars team that had 33 fewer points than the league’s best team.
But the Stars took it to the Capitals. Thanks to Devin Shore, Radek Faksa and Jason Spezza, the Stars took a three-goal lead 26 minutes into the game. Washington scored the next two goals but Kari Lehtonen’s 42 saves shut down Alexander Ovechkin and the Capitals, 4-2 (Stars added empty net goal late).
The Stars have unexplainably dominated one of the Eastern Conference’s top teams. The Stars have won 21 out of 27 meetings all-time against the Capitals. More recently the Stars have picked up at least a point in their last 12 matchups. And one of the league’s best goaltender, Braden Holtby, has not defeated the Stars in four career games.
Antoine Roussel is out indefinitely after suffering a hand injury against the Islanders. Roussel left the game after New York’s Johnny Boychuck shot struck the Stars forward trying to block the shot. Roussel is likely to miss the rest of the season.
That is the bad news on the injury front, the good news is the return of Ales Hemsky. The Stars winger had only played in one game this season after recovering from hip surgery. Hemsky played in the Stars three games this week averaging a little over 13 minutes per game.
Upcoming Schedule – All Times Central
3/8 vs Senators 7:00 p.m.
3/12 at Sharks 9:00 p.m.
3/14 at Oilers 8:00 p.m.