What we learned from the Ducks’ 4-2 loss to the Stars in Dallas on Thursday:
--The Ducks had the NHL’s most efficient power play last season but were scoreless in five chances Thursday. The Stars were effective blocking shots, especially early, but Coach Randy Carlyle said the Ducks weren’t bad with the man advantage. “The thing the power play did tonight, it shot the puck. It created some havoc … with pucks directed to the net, and that’s what we’re stressing,” he said. “We want to make sure that we’re continually putting pucks toward the net, having net presence, good puck recovery, and we feel that we have the skill set in our group that it will deliver.”
--The Stars showed some grit and a lot of depth to get four goals without getting much from Jamie Benn (one assist), Jason Spezza (no points and minus-two defensively), and Tyler Seguin (no points). “If you look at their scoresheet tonight, they were foot soldiers and those were the guys that were rewarded,” Carlyle said. “To some degree Andrew Cogliano is our foot soldier. You’d be thinking of Benn and Seguin and Spezza, but that’s just the way the game went tonight.”
--Defenseman Jacob Larsson and forward Nick Sorensen had some good moments in their NHL debuts — starting with their teammates sending them onto the ice themselves for the first minute of the warmups — but they had some shaky moments too. “I think they showed that they do have some youth in their game and they were a little intimidated in some of the situations,” Carlyle said. “Again, they’re young kids and we’re going to try and protect them as much as possible. But when you play in the NHL and you’re out on that ice surface, there’s not many places that you can hide.”
--This trip won’t get any easier, with the next game at Pittsburgh against the defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins. Sidney Crosby (concussion) didn’t play in the Penguins’ season-opening 3-2 shootout victory over Washington on Thursday, but he has been practicing and his status is day-to-day. But then again, aren’t we all?