Through the first four games of the season, the Stars were one of the best shows in hockey.
They were skating. They were shooting. They were scoring. Their power play was nearly unstoppable, and their top line carried them through even-strength play. They were winning, and doing it in an entertaining way.
Since then, including their 3-1 loss to Minnesota on Friday night, the spark dimmed. Even-strength goals were nonexistent, and chances evaporated in a winless two-game road trip through Ottawa and New Jersey. Friday night’s culprit was Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk, who made saves on the first 31 shots he faced.
“We had a lot of quality scoring chances,” Stars coach Jim Montgomery said. “It would have been nice to get one on one of the odd-man rushes or the power play. We had our looks, but you got to give him [Dubnyk] credit. He was spectacular tonight.”
But then Jason Spezza did what the Stars so desperately need him to do: score. The rest of the Stars couldn’t follow suit as Minnesota’s Matt Dumba and Ryan Suter scored, then the Wild later added an empty-netter.
Dallas has scored just two goals in its last three games after racking up 17 in the first four games. The Stars (3-4-0) dipped below .500 for the first time this season, and have lost three straight games.