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Stars' failure to generate offense among reasons for playoff elimination

Top line shut down by Blues, goalie Bishop did not get enough support

by Tracey Myers @Tramyers_NHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

The Dallas Stars were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs in seven games by the St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference Second Round.

The Stars earned the first wild card into the playoffs from the West and held a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 series before the Blues won the final two games. Pat Maroon scored in the second overtime of Game 7 to eliminate the Stars with a 2-1 win at Enterprise Center on Tuesday.

Here are 5 reasons the Stars were eliminated:

 

1. Top players fall off

The top line of Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov didn't have the strongest impact. After combining for 18 points in six games against the Nashville Predators in the first round, they had 13 against St. Louis. None had a point in Game 7.

Seguin had five points (two goals, three assists), Radulov had four (one goal, three assists) and Benn had four (one goal, three assists) in the series. Radulov's only goal came in Game 3 and Benn scored in Game 1.

Video: Blues down Stars in seven, move on to West Final

 

2. Not enough support for Bishop

Ben Bishop, a finalist for the Vezina Trophy given to the goalie voted best in the NHL this season, was outstanding. But too often the Stars didn't provide him the necessary support.

Part of this, again, goes back to the offense. The Stars were not a high-scoring team even in the regular season, when they were tied with the Arizona Coyotes for 28th with 209 goals in 82 games and did not produce in the second round. After scoring 13 goals in the first four games, the Stars scored four in the final three.

 

3. Missed opportunity in Game 6

The Stars had a chance to eliminate the Blues at American Airlines Center on Sunday but looked lackluster from the start. The Blues had eight shots on goal before the Stars got their first.

Credit the Blues, who Stars coach Jim Montgomery said got better with each game, but there was no excuse for Dallas to play that poorly.

"We didn't play on our toes to start the game," Montgomery said. "Our third period wasn't good enough. Instead of playing together, I thought we played individualistic and I thought they capitalized on it."

Video: Bishop's 52 saves not enough for the Stars in Game 7

 

4. Not many power-play opportunities

The Stars were 8-for-36 (22.2 percent) on the power play in 13 playoff games but didn't get many chances against the Blues. They had 14 opportunities and scored on four of them (28.6 percent), but had one chance in Game 5 and none in Game 7. If you're trying to draw penalties, puck possession and sustained zone time helps. Dallas didn't have that on a consistent basis.

 

5. Depth scoring wasn't there

Getting offense from top players is expected but a strong playoff team must have depth scoring. The Stars didn't have it. As good as the third line of Blake Comeau, Radek Faksa and Andrew Cogliano was at shutting down opponents' top players, they combined for one point in seven games against the Blues (Cogliano's shorthanded goal in Game 3).

Jason Spezza was the best among the depth forwards with four points (three goals, one assist) in seven games.

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