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NHL Dallas Stars

Dallas Stars Need Better Special Teams Performance In Next Two Games

Stars Special Teams Eriksson

Greg Bartram – USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Stars have lost their last two games and three of their last five games despite getting goaltender Kari Lehtonen back from a groin injury. In their two wins the Stars scored four and five goals, but in their three losses they only managed two total goals. Tuesday night’s shutout at the hands of the Nashville Predators highlighted some of the problems that have led to this scoring drought, as the Stars failed to convert on four power play chances while allowing two goals while on the penalty kill.

It can’t be too surprising that the Stars power play suddenly lacks punch, as two of their top performers with the man-advantage have been absent. Michael Ryder had two goals and six power play points before being traded to the Montreal Canadiens, while Jamie Benn has six power play points as well but has missed time due to injury. That leaves Jaromir Jagr, Loui Eriksson and Alex Goligoski as the only players on the team with more than three power play points.

After three straight games of perfect performance on the penalty kill, the two goals the Stars surrendered to the Predators on Tuesday were the most given up while playing a man down since Feb. 13. In a 5-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Feb. 28, the Stars were on the kill nine different times, yet gave up just one goal to a potent Oilers power play. With their next two games pitting them against the Anaheim Ducks (league-best power play) and Chicago Blackhawks (16th ranked power play, sixth best penalty kill), there is little room for error for the Stars and their special teams will need to be performing at top capability.

Jonathan Katje is an NHL blogger for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JKatje or add him to you network on Google.