For the Dallas Stars, Friday night’s matchup with the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues was more than a measuring stick. It was for a share of first place in the Western Conference.
After seeing their six-game point streak (5-0-1) come to a halt in that contest, the Stars look to rebound on Sunday afternoon when they host the Chicago Blackhawks.
“We’re a lot better of a team than we showed tonight, and we know that,” Dallas interim coach Rick Bowness said after watching his team surrender the first five goals against the Central Division-leading Blues.
“We had a bad night and it’s the whole room. We’re not going to point our fingers at one or two guys. It’s the whole room and the coaches.”
Defenseman Jamie Oleksiak scored the lone goal for the Stars on Friday. Goaltender Ben Bishop made nine saves on 13 shots before being replaced by Anton Khudobin.
“I think it’s a good learning point that we have work to do,” Dallas captain Jamie Benn said. “There’s a lot of areas of our game that we need to keep getting better at. They’re the best. Right now, we’re not as good as them, so we have work to do.”
Added fellow forward Blake Comeau: “It was a tough game from top to bottom. We didn’t execute, and I felt like we were just throwing it all over the ice and were kind of spread out.
“When you play a team like St. Louis that is very structured and plays a hard and physical game, that’s not going to work. We can’t get too down on ourselves but we have to figure out what we did wrong and correct it.”
The Stars conclude a three-game homestand against the Blackhawks on Sunday.
“We’ve been building some kind of rivalry against (the Blues) and they come in on a back to back and we couldn’t answer. It’s disappointing, but we’ll use it as a wake-up call and let’s move on,” Stars defenseman John Klingberg said. “We’re not going to win every game, but the effort has to be there every game. I don’t think that’s a problem, but we were out of sync (Friday).”
The Blackhawks also played Friday, defeating visiting Nashville 2-1 in overtime. Alex DeBrincat capped his two-goal performance by scoring on a breakaway at 4:02 of the extra session.
“I feel like I’ve had a lot of (hitting) the post and gotten a lot of chances lately, and they went in (Friday),” DeBrincat said. “It’s nice.”
Corey Crawford made 42 saves for the Blackhawks.
“You look at the shots, I kicked out a few and then they kind of stayed around for a little bit and I got a few more,” Crawford said. “I don’t know, the shots … don’t totally show how we played defensively. I mean our guys were pretty solid. The (penalty kill) was good (5-for-5).
“We had plenty of chances too, it was just a tight game and it was nice to come out on top in one of those type of games.”
–Field Level Media