The Stars have an awful PK, and it’s dooming their season

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For the seventh straight game, the Dallas Stars surrendered at least one power-play goal. The Stars fell, 3-1, last night in Toronto, as their playoff hopes continued to fade.

“It’s kind of been the story of the season. The way we’ve been finding ways to lose is by taking penalties,” said veteran defenseman Dan Hamhuis, per Sports Illustrated.

Against the Leafs, it was a penalty by Radek Faksa — for a face-off violation, of all things — that put the Stars two men down in the third period. Dallas had just scored to make it 2-1. But Toronto converted to make it 3-1, and that was that.

With a success rate of just 73.3 percent, the Stars have the worst penalty killing in the league, and they’re on pace to have the worst PK of the salary-cap era.

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Suffice to say, it is not a good look for the players or the coaching staff. When a team surrenders almost one PP goal per game, it suggests a lack of discipline and structure.

“I look at special teams, that’s on me, improving special teams,” head coach Lindy Ruff said recently, per NHL.com. “I don’t like where our penalty kill is. We’ve worked on trying to change that.”

Of course, it also suggests there may be a goaltending problem, but we knew that already. Kari Lehtonen has the worst save percentage in the league while shorthanded (.797), and Antti Niemi (.839) hasn’t been too good either.

The Stars, now seven points out of a playoff spot, take on the Sens tomorrow in Ottawa.

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