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Just over a month through the season and the Stars have nine wins in 16 games.
The 9-7 (18 points) record puts the team in a Wild Card spot, but not exactly where this team wants to be. Top lines and power-plays are excelling but the team is missing contribution from other lines.
As a result, head coach Ken Hitchcock shuffled the lineup trying to balance out the lines. Hitchcock talked about changing the lineup after a loss to the Winnipeg Jets 96.7 The Ticket. Hitch said he was moving Jamie Benn to the center position and split up the top line.
The result was prominent as the Stars put up a dominating win against the New York Islanders.
Hitchcock’s plan worked. All five goals were scored by five different players. Contribution came from four-liners, defensemen and on the penalty kill.
It was just one game, a small snapshot. But one thing is for sure, Hitchcock knows he can get more out of this team and he is trying to put the pieces together to make that possible.
It was a short week for the Stars, playing just two games in a week. The team had five days off after playing seven games in a span of 13 days.
Monday the Stars hosted the Winnipeg Jets. Again the Stars could not find a way to cool off the Jets as the Stars fall 4-1. It is the Stars sixth consecutive loss to the Jets, a streak that spans back to last season. The Stars have allowed at least four goals in each of those games. Luckily for the Stars they do not see the Jets again until February.
That loss sparked Hitchcock to make the aforementioned changes before Friday’s game against the Islanders.
It did not take long for the Stars to start their scoring. John Klingberg scored his fourth goal of the season just a minute and a half into the game. That lead to two more goals in the first period, five total as the Stars shutout the Islanders, 5-0. Gemel Smith and Jason Spezza got their first goals of the season. Top line defenders Klingberg and Esa Lindell now have four goals each. Ben Bishop only had to stop 14 shots.
The Stars brief break comes to end as things ramp back up this week with four games in six days, three in which are on the road.
Upcoming Schedule – All Times Central
11/13 @ Hurricanes 6:00 p.m.
11/14 @ Panthers 6:30 p.m.
11/16 @ Lightening 6:30 p.m.
11/18 vs Oilers 1:00 p.m.