And unfortunately for them, that's the biggest of a laundry list of problems the Stars need to fix when they return home and try to avoid being put in an almost impossible situation in the Western Conference finals.
|Dallas can harass Chris Osgood all it wants, but it can't win if if can't put shots on net. (Getty Images)|
Dallas has managed only 39 shots during the two games and scored only twice -- once on the power play -- while trailing for all but 11 minutes. And when the Stars did manage a few opportunities to go ahead early in Game 2, they came up short because of erratic shooting that had them missing the net entirely or, in one case, hitting a post on a partial breakaway.
"We have to find a way to give ourselves a better opportunity to win," Dallas coach Dave Tippett said. "We had three or four chances where we didn't even make (Detroit goalie Chris Osgood) make a save."
That's not a good thing against a team that sports the league's best defensive record and has players committed to coming back to help clear the zone and create turnovers, which helps keep opponents' opportunities to a minimum.
"I think we're just trying to be a tenacious team, more so than before," Osgood said. "But that just comes with us being a tougher team to play than in the past. I'm sure that is frustrating after a while."
Certainly it has to be for the Stars, who are clearly reeling after turning aside conference powerhouses Anaheim and San Jose in the first two rounds in large part because of their timely scoring -- especially since goalie Marty Turco, who was brilliant against the Ducks and Sharks, became reacquainted with the demons that have haunted him throughout his professional career at Detroit's Joe Louis Arena, where he is now 0-9-2 with a save percentage well under .900.
Turco looked a lot better in the second game at Detroit than the first, but he was still victimized by shots he could have stopped, which put his team in a hole from which it could not emerge.
"I'd certainly like to make those saves and give us more of a chance," Turco said.
Of course, the Stars will need every bit of help they can get to get back in the series against the machine-like Red Wings, who are riding an eight-game winning streak and are on such an overall roll that when leading goal scorer Johan Franzen was scratched moments before Game 2 because of concussion-like symptoms, Dan Cleary was able to step in and keep the team from missing a beat.
And if that weren't enough, Detroit has some history on its side as well, having advanced in nine of 10 series since 1996 when winning the first two games at home.
"This is as good as we've played since I've been here," veteran captain Nicklas Lidstrom said.
Dallas is obviously hoping a change of scenery along with the benefit of the last line change will make a difference. The Stars caught a break when leading scorer Mike Ribeiro avoided a suspension for taking a two-handed swing at Osgood with his stick as time expired Saturday, but they could possibly be without his first linemate Jere Lehtinen, who injured his leg midway through Game 2 and did not return.
His absence won't make it any easier for Dallas to create the pressure it needs to get on the scoreboard or to avoid getting in a hole from which few teams have ever emerged.
"Our room for error is very slim," Tippett conceded. "We can't give anything away around here. We have to find a way to win hockey games, whether it's with a big save, or a big goal, whatever."