The Dallas Stars’ recent offensive struggles at home haven’t done the team any favors in its chase to make the playoffs in the Western Conference.
Getting back on track on the road could be tough against a St. Louis Blues team the Stars have had similar problems with this season.
The Stars look to bounce back from their latest home defeat and avoid suffering their third loss this season to the Blues when the clubs meet Tuesday night in St. Louis.
Dallas (31-27-8) went 1-for-10 on the power play in a 3-1 loss to Montreal on Sunday night. It was the Stars’ sixth straight home loss, matching the franchise record set in 1970 when the team was based in Minnesota. They’ve scored only seven goals during the current skid, going 3-for-33 with the man advantage.
“It’s frustrating not to win, we need the points and we had our chances on the power play and we didn’t capitalize, so it’s a tough loss,” left wing Loui Eriksson told the Stars’ official Web site after scoring the team’s lone goal 4:52 into the game.
“We thought we had some good chances on the power play, we just couldn’t score on the opportunities we got on the 5-on-3. We got the one but that’s not good enough.”
The Stars, near the bottom of the league with a 16.1 power-play percentage, have fallen into a three-way tie for seventh in the crowded West playoff race.
“We just need points,” goaltender Marty Turco said. “We’re just not in a position to let them slip away.”
While the Stars fared well on their last road trip, going 2-0-1 against Pacific Division rivals San Jose, Los Angeles and Anaheim, their recent problems on the power play have also plagued them in their first two meetings with the Blues (29-28-8).
Dallas was 0-for-3 with the man advantage in a 6-1 loss in St. Louis on Oct. 16, then went 0-for-6 in a 3-1 home defeat against the Blues on Feb. 26.
St. Louis is last in the Central Division, but it’s only four points behind Dallas in the West standings.
The Blues, who are 3-1-1 in their last five home games, lost 5-3 at Florida on Saturday night. Chris Mason stopped 30 shots in his 16th consecutive start, but St. Louis couldn’t overcome the two goals he gave up in the game’s first 14 minutes. The Blues were outshot 14-3 in that stretch.
“We’ve got to play with a sense of urgency, a sense of desperation at all times,” Blues coach Andy Murray said. “We didn’t have that at the start. The way we played in the second half of the game just magnified that problem. I realize it’s back-to-back games, but that’s the schedule the National Hockey League put together, so you’ve got to deal with it.”
Mason is 2-1-0 with a 2.25 goals-against average in five career games - three starts - against the Stars. He held them to one goal and made 41 saves in St. Louis’ February win.
Turco is 9-6-1 with one tie and a 2.17 GAA lifetime against the Blues, but he’s given up eight goals in two losses to them this season, posting a 4.89 GAA in those games.