This is a tough one to dissect.
Alex Auld struggled for the second time in a row, didn't control his rebounds and was roasted for three goals (all rebound goals by Steven Reinprecht) in the opening 16 minutes. Yet, the defense in front of him was terrible, with the Brenden Morrow-Mike Ribeiro-Jamie Benn line on the ice for all three goals, as well as Matt Niskanen and Jeff Woywitka out for two apiece.
So it was a team effort of bad there.
That said, they could have mailed it in after they were down 3-0, and they didn't. They fought back just like they did against the Kings, and they got a point of the game. Those points could be valuable at the end of the season.
A big part of the comeback was the play of Tom Wandell, who not only had two assists and finished plus-3, but also drew the assignment on Reinprecht for pretty much the rest of the game after Reinprecht scored the first three goals. Wandell was bad on faceoffs (8-for-24), but was fantastic in every other area. He finished with two assists and was plus-3.
Now, it will be very interesting what the Stars will do once Steve Ott returns from suspension Saturday and Mike Modano and Jere Lehtinen return from injury. There is the thought Wandell might have to go to the minors (because he doesn't require waivers), but my guess is he has to stay now and they will require an extra forward to be scratched.
At least that's the guess right now.
As for the rest of the game, Auld bounced back and will get another start Saturday in Nashville. That's good for him. He looked much better at the end of the game. Mark Fistric came on and played defense after starting forward, and played pretty well. Woywitka was sat down after his early mistakes and will probably be a healthy scratch on Saturday.
As for the shootout, James Neal has the worst luck in the world with two posts and a broken stick in three attempts. Brad Richards and Mike Ribeiro are talented, but it might be time for a change. The Stars are 1-for-13 in shootout situations, and I'm not really sure what the answer is.
On the positive side, the Stars had 37 shots on goal, 32 shots that were blocked and 14 that missed the net. They are an aggressive offensive team, and they can create scoring opportunities.
So maybe we should just get used to them playing games like this. They are playing to their strengths.