Know Thy Enemy: Power Play Preview

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Stars were not the best team in the league with the extra man, but that's not to say they're short of weapons.

The Dallas Stars finished the regular season at 15.7% on the power play, 23rd in the NHL. Shocker alert: that level was below Anaheim, who finished 22nd at 15.9%.

And stop me if you've heard this before, but their hopes rely on the duo of Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin.

The two elite Dallas forwards led the team in extra-man time-on-ice with 3:40 and 3:45 per game, respectively. And as such, they were also two of the top three scorers for the Stars on the power play. Eleven of Seguin's 37 goals came on the power play, tops on the team, as did 25 points. Jamie Benn notched five goals and 19 points. They're good, but you already knew that.

Who are the other three guys on the ice?

Well the Stars also have an offensive threat in young Alex Chiasson, who believe it or not finished second on the team with seven power play goals. Expect to see a lot of him this series, and with the defense spending so much time and effort shutting down Benn and Seguin, you can expect Chiasson to get some chances.

Likewise their second unit is anchored by an aging, but still quality veterans in Erik Cole, Ray Whitney, and Shawn Horcoff. Add in a young hotshot in Valeri Nichushkin, and you have a Dallas forward core with potential for success on the power play.

Their big weakness however comes on the blue line. Their undisputed quarterback is Alex Goligoski, who scored 15 points on the power play this season, third on the team. Beyond him it's kind of a shuffle. Beyond-past-his-prime veteran Sergei Gonchar sees a good chunk of the time on the opposite point of Goligoski, and has done decently well with 14 extra-man points on the season.

Beyond that, the likes of Trevor Daley and Jordie Benn are the seeming choices for the second line, but have amounted to only six power play points this season combined. So it's safe to say that for the Stars power play, the blue line is extremely top-heavy.

With the Ducks penalty kill finishing the season at a respectable 82.2% (13th in the NHL), I think I have to give the advantage to Anaheim in regards to this matchup. Dallas is a speedy team but the shot-blocking specialists of Cam Fowler, Ben Lovejoy, Francois Beauchemin, Bryan Allen, and Stephane Robidas should help to negate and of the pressure the Stars may put on from the perimeter. So long as they can keep the middle of the ice sealed, the Ducks should do okay.

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