DALLAS, TX -- It has been a rough month for the Dallas Stars.
The Stars hold a 2-6-2 record in January and have just one win in their last six games, coming against the Edmonton Oilers last Thursday.
"When we haven’t competed defensively, we haven’t won games," head coach Lindy Ruff told DallasStars.com. "We need more guys to dig in. It might take a 1-0, 2-1 game. I know when our top guys are struggling to get on the board it is hard to win games."
Special teams have struggled as mightily. Over the last 12 games, their power play sits at 12.1 percent. Their penalty kill during the same span? 72.4 percent.
Their power play and penalty kill were issues on Saturday when they outshot the Colorado Avalanche 43-15 but dropped a 3-1 decision due to the two short-handed goals they allowed.
"There were costly mistakes that hurt us in the end, preventable mistakes. We need to take responsibility for that," Patrick Sharp told the team's website. "You can look at the shots and think that you outplayed them or whatever you want to call it, but we’ve got to do a better job of working their goaltender and get those second and third opportunities, and find a way to score more than one goal."
Despite the power play seeing a bit of a decline as of late, the Stars still boast the fourth best power play in the league. They are operating at a 21.6 percent clip overall and have a 24.1 percent efficiency rate on home ice. They are also one of the best teams in the NHL at drawing penalties at home; they have had 87 opportunities with the man advantage at the American Airlines Center.
The Stars currently hold onto second place in the Central Division with a 30-14-5 record and 65 points. They trail the Central-leading Chicago Blackhawks by five points and like to gain a bit more traction on their divisional rivals.
"It’s going to be huge for us. It’s a home game, too," John Klingberg told DallasStars.com on Sunday. "We need all those points now. Chicago is in front of us now, and we want to keep playing good here, so it’s going to be a big game."
The Flames have won both games they have played against the Stars this season, outscoring Dallas 7-4. Sean Monahan leads all skaters in the season series with three points while Johnny Gaudreau, Dougie Hamilton, and Mikael Backlund have two points against the Stars this year.
On Dallas' side, Johnny Oduya has a goal and an assist in the 2015-16 season series.
BREAKING DOWN THE STARS
Power Play: 21.6% overall (33 goals scored in 153 chances with the man advantage), 24.1% at home (21 goals scored in 87 chances with the man advantage)
Penalty Kill: 79.1% overall (29 goals allowed in 139 times being short-handed), 80.6% at home (12 goals allowed in 67 times being short-handed)
2015-16 Record vs. the Flames: 0-1-1
2014-15 Record vs. the Flames: 2-1-0
Notable Injuries: Jordie Benn (lower body)
Who's HOT: Jason Spezza
While he was held off the scoresheet against Colorado on Saturday, Spezza notched a goal and an assist in a 3-2 win over the Oilers last Thursday and has four points in his last five games.
Spezza has one goal against the Flames in the two games played in the season series.
Honourable Mention: Jamie Benn
The Stars captain has five points in his last six games and has fired 25 shots on net in that span. With his goal last Thursday against the Edmonton Oilers, Benn moved into a tie with Joe Nieuwendyk for fourth in Stars history with 178 goals scored.
The Victoria, BC native is second in the NHL in scoring with 27 goals and 57 points through 49 games.
Who's NOT: Tyler Seguin
The forward has been stymied offensively lately, recording points in just one game in his last six skates. He has been held pointless in his last three games and is a minus-one in that span.
The Flames have held Seguin, who is second in team scoring with 25 goals and 53 points, off the scoresheet in the season series thus far.