(Photo: Alan Sullivan)
The Dallas Stars’ power play and penalty kill were both ranked in the top ten of the NHL during the regular season, but have struggled mightily in the postseason.
The power play was ranked fourth in the NHL during the regular season. The Stars converted on 22.1% of its opportunities while on the man advantage. Its 58 power play goals scored was ranked second just behind the San Jose Sharks’ 62. The 262 power play opportunities were the ninth most in the League. The success on the man advantage hasn’t carried over into the postseason. but it hasn’t helped that the power play has only scored once in 22 opportunities while on home ice.
The Stars’ power play has only cashed in on four of its 35 opportunities during the postseason. They are only converting on 14.3% of their power plays, which is second to last among the teams still standing in the postseason. The Nashville Predators are the only team with a worse power play (9.8%). Dallas has given up nine power play goals against in 34 opportunities during the playoffs. They are killing off 73.5% of the penalties that they are taking making their penalty kill the worst among the teams still remaining in the playoffs.
In round one against the Minnesota Wild, the Stars scored on four of its 19 power play opportunities. Dallas was converting on 21% of its opportunities in the first round, which was almost on par with what they were doing in the regular season (22.1%). They scored zero goals while on the man advantage in three of the six games played in the series. In the first two games, the Stars had 11 power play chances and only converted on one of them. The power play units only managed to score more than one goal power play goal in one game during the series.
The penalty kill could have been better during the series against the Wild. They allowed four power play goals against in 16 chances (75%). They didn’t allow any power play goals in three games, but then allowed two in four chances in Game 6. The Stars did a decent job of staying out of the box in the first round.
The St. Louis Blues have done a good job of exposing the weaknesses of the Stars special teams in round two of the postseason. Dallas has had just one power play goal in 16 opportunities; operating at 6.25% for the series. The only power play goal came during a Game 4 win. In the first three games against the Blues, the Stars power play was a combined 0-for-11. Dallas is 0-for-9 while on the man advantage at home in the second round.
Dallas has allowed five power play goals in 19 opportunities to the Blues. They have allowed power play goals in three of the five games played including the game-winning goal in overtime during Game 2. They have already taken more penalties in five games against the Blues than they did in the six game series against the Wild.
If the Stars want to make it to the Western Conference Finals then they’ll have to be better on special teams.