The Dallas Stars suffered a tough loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday, but that was not enough to eliminate them from playoff contention just yet. With six games remaining in the regular season, the Stars sit two points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets and Detroit Red Wings, the two teams currently fighting back-and-forth for the eighth and final playoff spot. Monday’s loss was the first for goaltender Richard Bachman since he took over for injured starter Kari Lehtonen.
The loss to the Blackhawks marked the third straight game in which the Stars have managed 19 shots on goal or fewer, but this time they weren’t able to overcome their lack of offensive chances. It was the first time in three games that the team failed to score on the power play, but the fifth time in seven April games that they have been unsuccessful with the man-advantage. The Stars got a great game from Jamie Benn (two goals) and Ray Whitney (who assisted on both goals), but saw rookie sensation Alex Chiasson leave the game with an upper-body injury. Chiasson had scored six goals in his first six games, but is now considered day-to-day.
The Stars may have one of the best chances in history to control their own destiny for the playoffs, as they face the Blue Jackets (Apr. 25) and Red Wings (Apr. 27) in their final two games. While the loss to the Blackhawks was a tough one, the Stars need to regroup and bounce back, starting with a strong effort against the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night.