NHL Hockey

Postponed 1 2 3 Tot
5:30 PM PT6:30 PM MT7:30 PM CT8:30 PM ET1:30 GMT9:30 6:30 PM MST8:30 PM EST5:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ET23:30 BRT, February 15, 2021
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas  Attendance:

Slumping Stars, Predators seeking much-needed wins

Nashville Predators at Dallas Stars

  1. The Stars and Predators have alternated two-game win streaks in the last 12 meetings dating back to March 2018, with Dallas taking the two-game set earlier this season by a combined score of 10-2. That included the Stars' 7-0 win in Dallas' season opener, the Stars' largest shutout win since March 21, 2001 (8-0 vs. Ducks) and the Preds' worst loss since a 7-0 defeat in St. Louis on October 30, 2002.
  2. Nashville split a two-game set with the Red Wings but has gone 2-6-0 over their last eight games after starting 4-3-0. Nashville is averaging 2.33 goals per game after scoring 3.07 per game last season; that marks the second-largest decrease in scoring since last season (Rangers, -0.95 goals per game).
  3. Filip Forsberg scored his team-leading seventh goal this season and leads the Predators with 14 points this season. He's one of five skaters to lead his team outright in both goals and assists, along with Washington's Nicklas Backstrom, Edmonton's Connor McDavid, New York's Artemi Panarin, and Philadelphia's James van Riemsdyk.
  4. After starting the season 4-0-0, the Stars have gone 1-3-4 over their last eight games, including losses in each of their last four home games. Dallas has not lost five straight home games within a single season since a seven-game skid in October/November 2014.
  5. Joe Pavelski has scored a goal in both games against the Hurricanes and has scored nine of the Stars' 40 goals -- no other skater has more than four. That's tied for the largest percentage of his team's goals by any NHL skater -- Boston's Brad Marchand has also scored nine of his teams' 40 (22.5 percent).
  6. John Klingberg had four assists in the season-opening series against the Predators and leads the Stars with 10 assists this season. He's one of six defensemen with 10+ assists this season and one of five blueliners leading his team outright.

Perhaps it was the short offseason after reaching the Stanley Cup Final last year. Or the coronavirus outbreak that forced their season to start more than a week late.

But something just isn't right with the defending Western Conference champion Dallas Stars.

The Stars, who host the Nashville Predators on Monday night, are winless in their past five games (0-3-2) after Saturday's 4-3 shootout loss to visiting Carolina. The Stars have won just once in eight games since sweeping a four-game homestand to start the season.

"Obviously, we're desperate for a win here, and we know that going into the game," Stars forward Blake Comeau said. "There are going to be times throughout the season where you play well enough to win but you don't get the win. We know it's a results-based league and we have to start producing some wins. We did a lot of good things last game. There are a couple of other things that we need to clean up, but I thought we played hard, so we're not getting too far down on ourselves around here."

The Stars salvaged a point as Joe Pavelski scored on the man advantage with 40 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the score 3-3. It was Pavelski's NHL-leading seventh power-play goal of the season, one more than he had in 67 games last year.

Jason Dickinson and Jason Robertson also scored for the Stars and Jake Oettinger made 18 saves.

"Did we play well enough to win that game? Yeah. Are we throwing points away? Yeah, we are," Dallas coach Rick Bowness said. "We're outplaying teams and giving away points, so that has to correct itself here. We're going to need more from everyone to make that balance swing in our favor."

The Predators felt much the same way after suffering a 4-2 home loss Saturday to lowly Detroit. Nashville has won just once in its past five games.

"We were not really dialed in," said Filip Forsberg, who scored along with Rocco Grimaldi. "Detroit came ready to play. They played a lot more physical than (Thursday) we didn't match that at all until the third where we got going. It's obviously not good enough."

Nashville trailed 3-0 before scoring twice in the third period.

"I don't know what's behind (the slow starts), but that's something, without a doubt, we need to clean up in our game," Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis said. "It's like we don't want to play until we're down and we're chasing, and then you see some good hockey, but it's unacceptable. There's no excuse for that."

After going 1-3 on their four-game homestand and being outscored 17-6, the Predators now hit the road for six straight with two-game series in Dallas, Columbus and Detroit.

"It's like we want to see how the game is going to be played instead of understanding what it takes to win every night," Predators coach John Hynes said. "We kind of take the temperature of the game and see how it goes."

--Field Level Media

Updated February 14, 2021

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