Know Thy Enemy: Dallas Stars Penalty Kill Preview

Ronald Martinez

The Dallas Stars special teams were not great this season, and their penalty kill was a good example as to why.

The Dallas Stars penalty kill was yet another sore spot for them on the season, as they finished 21st in the NHL at 81.4%. While all previous previews have demonstrated that Dallas is a pretty dangerous team offensively with good speed and transition tactics, they struggle defensively, and on a primarily-defensive scenario such as the PK, their numbers reflected it.

As previously stated, their transition speed allowed them to score shorthanded eight times this season, tied for 10th in the NHL.

However, despite finishing tied for 11th in the league in times shorthanded, the Stars were not able to kill off a good chunk of their penalties and surrendered the 16th most power play goals against.

The bulk of the load was carried unsurprisingly by the Stars blueline anchor Alex Goligoski, who averaged 2:28 on the ice shorthanded per game. Considering the Stars were shorthanded just over three times per game, that means Goligoski was on the ice for a little under half of the Stars shorthanded time on average all season.

His fellow shorthanded go-to guy is veteran Trevor Daley, who we in Anaheim have known for years. The 30-year-old averaged 2:24 shorthanded every game.

Beyond them, young defensemen Jordie Benn and Brenden Dillon have seen the most time shorthanded. So beyond the top pairing, the Stars do start to get a little shallow.

The Stars however were pretty respectable in terms of keeping pucks away from their netminder, Kari Lehtonen, who faced only about 1.67 shots every power play, meaning these guys did their jobs decently well.

Lehtonen himself, however, has been a different story. They say your best penalty killer has to be your goalie, and Lehtonen hasn't been stellar when shorthanded. In fact, Lehtonen's save-percentage when shorthanded (.878) is one of the worst amongst starters. Interestingly enough, names like Jonathan Quick, Corey Crawford, Antti Niemi, and even Jonas Hiller are behind him.

However when you look into it, this is the biggest reason the Stars have struggled. So the moral of the story for the Ducks power play, as bad as it's been at times this season, need to put shots on Lehtonen and continue to be optimistic. He will surrender goals.

The forwards are often anchored by Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, and Antoine Roussel. So as you can see, the top forwards for Dallas get a ton of ice time, but likewise are not the best two-way guys.

As for the Ducks Power Play, they should have a chance at scoring probably once per game. And they will need to in order to keep up with the speedy Stars, so may just hang with the Ducks in five-on-five play.

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