After the Dallas Stars fell to the Chicago Blackhawks Sunday night, 3-1, Jamie Benn’s frustration was evident.
“I mean, we shoot ourselves in the foot. That’s pretty much it, plain and simple,” said the Stars captain. “The way we’re losing is unacceptable…Once again, I don’t think our best players were our best players, and penalties kind of shot us in the a** again.”
Dallas faced off against a Chicago squad missing their starting goalie (Corey Crawford), their captain (Jonathan Toews) and one of their top defensemen (Brent Seabrook). The Stars failed to exploit the holes in the Hawks’ lineup, while the home team took advantage of the both the visitors’ goalie (on one goal) and their inexplicably-bad road penalty kill to secure the victory.
The Stars fell to 11-13-6 on the season. Despite the return of Johnny Oduya and Jiri Hudler to the lineup, the club dropped to 3-6-1 in their last 10 games. They now head back to Dallas, where they’ll play seven of the next eight games.
The opening frame was played at a good pace. Tight checking by both teams resulted in a very choppy period, however, as neither club was given room to skate or stick-handle. Artemi Panarin’s shot off the crossbar just over a minute in proved to be the best scoring chance of the period, though the Stars’ Benn-Seguin-Spezza line had several good looks at the Blackhawks’ net.
#DALvsCHI Stats After 20:
SOG: 10-9 CHI
SAT: 20-18 CHI
*QSC: 5-2 DAL
FOW: 9-6 CHI
PIM: 2-0 DAL
— Owen Newkirk (@OwenNewkirk) December 12, 2016
Dallas also out-muscled Chicago in the first period, carrying a 12-5 lead in hits into the break.
The Stars’ coach “Ruffled” two of his lines to start the period, swapping Patrick Eaves and Jason Spezza in order to get at least one scoring threat away from Chicago’s top defense pair of Duncan Keith and Nicklas Hjalmarsson. Dallas’ fourth line got on the scoreboard first, though, as Devin Shore scored his fourth goal in the last six games.
— ⭐️RoxStar⭐️ (@RoxStar) December 12, 2016
52 seconds later, Marian Hossa tied the game on a shot Kari Lehtonen should’ve stopped.
Dallas shook off that goal and battled on, earning a power play opportunity near the midpoint of the period when Ryan Hartman was called for tripping Spezza. Following a fruitless power play, Hartman emerged from the box and broke for the Stars’ net. Lehtonen saved the initial shot, but Artem Anisimov drove the net to jam in the rebound, putting Chicago up, 2-1.
Stars left wing Curtis McKenzie headed to the room in some distress with just under seven minutes remaining in the frame but would return in the third period.
Chicago out-shot Dallas, 13-9, in the middle frame.
Dallas earned another power play just 2:19 into the final period. With one of Chicago’s top defenders (Hjalmarsson) in the box, Ruff tweaked his power play units, putting Hudler with Benn and Seguin and Spezza on the second unit. Though they moved the puck well and had a few chances, the Stars couldn’t score with the man-advantage.
With Spezza boxed for slashing near the midpoint of the period, the Blackhawks power play put the game away as Panarin hit twine with a beautiful one-timer from the bottom of the left circle. From that point on, Chicago locked down the game and Dallas couldn’t break through. The Stars managed just five shots on goal in the third period and were unable to mount a serious threat after Panarin’s snipe.
DAL – Devin Shore (5) assisted by John Klingberg (12) and Curtis McKenzie (4)
CHI – Marian Hossa (15) assisted by Ryan Hartman (3) and Vinnie Hinostroza (3)
CHI – Artem Anisimov (12) unassisted
CHI – Artemi Panarin (11) (PPG) assisted by Duncan Keith (18) and Patrick Kane (20)
THW Three Stars
First: Artem Anisimov (1 goal)
Second: Duncan Keith (1 assist)
Third: Artemi Panarin (1 goal)
Anaheim Ducks at Dallas Stars
American Airlines Center – 7:30 p.m. CST on Tuesday, December 13
Broadcast channels: FS-SW, PRIME
2016-17 Season Series: October 13 – Dallas 4, Anaheim 2
Matt blogged about all things hockey at On Goal Analysis/The OGA Blogs from 2008-2014 and has written several travel articles for The Dallas Morning News. He began covering the Dallas Stars and Florida Panthers for The Hockey Writers in August 2015. Matt is also writing a biography of “Tex” Rickard, the Texas cowboy who founded the New York Rangers and the Madison Square Garden Corporation.