Ugly loss carries dismal distinction
The Stars’ 32 giveaways in Saturday’s 3-1 home loss to St. Louis tied for the most in an NHL game this season. Seven Stars had at least three giveaways.
The Stars emerged from Saturday night’s 3-1 loss to St. Louis with a dubious distinction.
With 32 giveaways against the Blues, Dallas tied an NHL season high for giveaways in a game. The Panthers also had 32 giveaways against Tampa Bay on Dec. 1.
Seven Stars had at least three giveaways Saturday night, led by Jason Spezza’s four.
“I thought there was no rhyme or reason to some of the decisions we made out there,” Stars coach Jim Montgomery said. “Again our game plan wasn’t executed, and again that’s my fault for not getting the message through.”
One team in the last three seasons (also the Panthers) gave the puck away more in a game than the Stars did Saturday night. Dallas now ranks sixth in the NHL with 539 giveaways this season.
Giveaways, takeaways and hits can be unreliable figures because they vary from building to building based on the league’s off-ice scoring crew. But even with variability in leaguewide numbers, Saturday’s 32 giveaways were the most for the Stars in nearly 15 years.
Dallas last had as many turnovers March 18, 2004, at home against Vancouver.
Another call-up: Erik Condra’s third-period goal was the latest development in the Stars’ search for production from AHL recalls. He is the fourth Stars forward to spend time in the AHL and NHL this year, joining Roope Hintz, Denis Gurianov and Justin Dowling.
None have played more than nine straight games with Dallas, and the four have totaled four goals in 52 games played. In the AHL, they have 42 combined goals.
At 32 years old and with nearly 400 NHL games played, Condra is not a long-term solution for the Stars like Hintz or Gurianov or even Joel L’esperance.
L’esperance could be the next in line, with 22 goals and 13 assists in 37 games. His 22 goals are second in the AHL after he scored twice against Iowa on Saturday night.
Injury update: On Saturday morning, Montgomery said injured forward Jason Dickinson (back) could return as soon as Thursday against the Kings. Dickinson was on the ice for morning skate Saturday but has not played since Dec. 22.
Martin Hanzal (back), Marc Methot (knee) and Stephen Johns (post-traumatic headaches) are not skating but are conditioning, Montgomery said. Hanzal has not played since Dec. 23, Methot has missed the last 34 games and Johns has not played this season.
Islanders 5, Lightning 1: In New York, Casey Cizikas and Cal Clutterbuck each had a goal and an assist, Thomas Greiss stopped 38 shots, and New York beat league-leading Tampa Bay.
Brock Nelson, rookie Devon Toews and Josh Bailey also scored as New York had three goals in the opening five minutes and went on to get their 11th win in 14 games.
Tampa Bay, which visits the Stars on Tuesday, was 18-1-1 in its previous 20. The Lightning — the NHL leaders in wins (35), points (72) and road wins (16) — lost in regulation for just the ninth time this season but second in the last five games.
Blue Jackets 7, Rangers 5: In Columbus, Ohio, Nick Foligno scored twice, Sergei Bobrovsky returned from a team suspension and stopped 22 shots, and Columbus held off a late surge.
Cam Atkinson and Artemi Panarin each had a goal and an assist, Ryan Murray had two assists and nine other players picked up points in the offensive explosion for Columbus.
Jets 4, Ducks 3 (OT): In Winnipeg, Manitoba, Bryan Little scored at 4:49 of overtime as Winnipeg extended Anaheim’s losing streak to a franchise-record 11 games. The Jets are 5-2 in their last seven.
Flames 7, Coyotes 1: In Calgary, Alberta, Mark Giordano had two goals and an assist in his 800th career game for Calgary.
Canucks 5, Panthers 1: In Vancouver, British Columbia, former Star Loui Eriksson had a goal and two assists as Vancouver dealt Florida its sixth straight loss.
Hurricanes 6, Predators 3: In Raleigh, N.C., Sebastian Aho had three goals and an assist to lead Carolina.