The Heat would draw first blood just 21 seconds into the game, Brett Sutter's fifth of the year from Baldwin. This was exactly what the Stars did not need, especially with goalie Matt Climie in net for the second time in two nights. The rest of the period would be quiet on the scoreboard, sadly. The Stars had 3 power play opportunities and outshot the Heat drastically at 17-8. They could not score and at that point were 0/8 on the power play against the Heat. So we moved to the second period with the Heat up 1-0.
With Ray Sawada in the box for interference, the Heat got their first chance at the power play. Matt Climie made a great save, again one of those that he "shouldn't have made" and on the ensuing play, Travis Morin made a great play to poke the puck away from the Heat pointman and go in alone on goalie Keetley. He beat Keetley glove side to tie the score 1-1 on a shorty.
Eight minutes later, Van der Meer made a great pass from behind the net to Backlund, who was swooping through the blue and beat Climie, who could get his skate out to the pipe fast enough. Just 22 seconds later, Tyler Shelast stole a puck away from a Heat defenseman just behind their goal line. Off the wild fracas in front, Tousignant put one home on the rebound. It was his first goal in the AHL. Tied again 2-2.
The Stars really poured it on at that point. Travis Morin hit the post moments later and Aaron Gagnon hit the pipe as well just 2 minutes after that. Van der Gulik was called for a delay of game on that play for taking the net off its moorings intentionally. The Stars power play was killed by bad passing and a lack of puck control. I'm not sure the Stars ever got setup. At this point, the Stars were 0/9 against the Heat on the power play.
Coming out of the second intermission, the Heat were on a power play that spanned the periods. Lindgren was in the sin bin for hooking. On the power play, if you could get an assist on your own goal, Riley Armstrong certainly made a pretty good case for it. Armstrong came down the left side half wall and passed to Jaffray, who was camped out on the goal line. Armstrong made some room for himself in front of the net and Jaffray passed back to Armstrong, who beat Climie glove side high to lead 3-2.
The Stars were then handed a golden opportunity to even it up when Vandermeer took an elbowing penalty with 5 minutes left in the game. On the ensuing power play, the Stars peppered the net with shots and maintain the zone for 90 seconds. Then Stuart of the Heat gained control and broke out for a 2-on-1 with Jason Jaffray against Andrew Hutchinson. Stuart passed to Jaffray who scored his 14th goal and league leading 4th shorty of the season. Heat lead 4-2.
Much like the night before, this seemed to break the Stars' will. They could not muster enough puck control to maintain the puck in the offensive zone for the rest of the game and were not able to get the extra attacker. The Stars finished 0/5 on the power play and have now gone 2/28 in their last 6 games. Additionally, they allowed a goal on the power play. If you're not going to score, at least don't allow shorties. This power play needs work.
The Stars also need to work on crisp tape-to-tape passing. So many of their breakouts are killed by errant passes. In fact, they had an entire power play tonight where they couldn't get into the offensive zone because they couldn't pass.
Next game is the 12th against the Rampage here at home. Let's see if Gulutzan can show us his coaching muster and bring it against San Antonio.
Here are the lines from tonight's game:
Captain Landon Wilson (likely injury) and Neal (likely healthy scratch) were out of the lineup. Warren Peters and Maxime Fortunus were also out of the lineup due to having been recalled by Dallas. Stafford was back in the lineup tonight but wore #25, usually Warren Peters' number, instead of the #5, which he wore in the early season. Also, there was news in the broadcast of what happened last night with Perttu Lindgren. Apparently he was hit in the face with a stick and missed most of the game after the 1st period but was in the lineup tonight wearing a full shield and later a half-shield.