I am generally not the type of writer in a recap to point the blame on one player, but tonight one player's lack of focus in small doses helped cause the massive loss to the St. Louis Blues.
The hero of last year's playoffs for the Stars looked scatter-brained and overly stressed tonight. Clearly, Marty Turco was gripping the stick too hard in hopes of leading his team to a win. Instead, two key mistakes led to St. Louis goals, and helped the Blues trounce the Stars 6-1.
The first period was quiet in the penalty category and decent in the scoring. James Neal took an interference call at 1:12 to give the Blues a man advantage, which the Stars killed off. Moreover, the Stars held the Blues scoreless until 12:47, when Keith Tkachuk scored on a wrist shot. The Blues' Jay McKee would only add to the Stars' misery after last night's amazing game, at 15:11 on a wrist shot from the point.
The Stars would get on the scoresheet a little over a minute later at 16:36, with a tip-in goal by Krystopher Barch after Trevor Daley put a blistering slap shot on net from the blue line. Matt Niskanen also recorded an assist on the goal.
The second period went perfectly for the Blues. Yan Statsny scored on a wrist shot at 2:57 with assists from Dwayne King and Mike Weaver to put the Blues up 3-1. Adding salt to the wound, Brad Boyes scored on a screaming slap shot near the blue line on the power play at 12:59 after the Stars James Neal took a slashing penalty at 12:45. Assists on the goal came from Paul Kariya and David Perron.
The Blues would make it 5-1 with a slap shot goal from Steve Wagner. This was clearly not the Stars team who played against Nashville last night.
Other penalties for the period included Blues penalties at 5:14 on Keith Tkachuk for too many men on the ice. Jay McKee of the Blues took an interference call at 9:31. The Stars would only add to their already terrible average on the man advantage. The only other Stars penalty, except for Neal’s, was Brenden Morrow taking a holding penalty at 11:22.
The Stars after the second period looked beaten like a bad mule. Marty Turco got replaced in net by the back-up Tobias Stephan.
The third penalty for the Stars started out semi-positive, with Cam Janssen receiving a tripping penalty at 2:22. The Stars would remain scoreless on the man advantage.
At 12:46 Brenden Morrow took a slashing penalty, and three seconds later the Blues' Eric Brewer made the Stars pay from the blue line on a slap shot, solidifying the Blues victory and making it 6-1. Assists on the goal came from Paul Kariya and Brad Boyes.
Other penalties for the period were two matching penalties at 14:42. The Stars' Trevor Daley was called for cross-checking, and the Blues David Backes was given two minutes for roughing. All in all, thank God this one is over.
The final shot totals for both teams had the Stars outshooting the Blues in all periods but the first, especially the third where the Stars outshot the Blues 12-5. Final totals had the Stars outshooting the Blues 30-23. Clearly, Manny Legace just had the better night.
The Stars will now look to recover, and fix the many mistakes that seem to plague the team on Saturday against Colorado.
Image: Courtesy of Yahoo Sports and Getty Images
Boxscore: Courtesy of NHL.com
Ken Armer is a senior hockey writer and Community Leader for the NHL and Dallas Stars. You can contact him on his profile or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org