Thoughts from an ugly 5-2 loss


The Stars looked like a team that was just going through the motions Tuesday night. Playing one of the NHL's top teams, the Stars couldn't match the effort and energy of the Blackhawks. The result was an ugly 5-2 loss.

The fallout:

*Defenseman Nicklas Grossman had one of his worst games of the season and earned a minus-4 rating. Stars coach Marc Crawford acknowledged as much in the postgame news conference, but he was not too displeased because Grossman has fought back through injuries to play some solid defense when the games actually meant something. Grossman actually played some shifts with Matt Niskanen tonight (intead of usual partner Stephane Robidas) as Crawford tinkered with the lines.

*Mark Fistric somehow ended up with a plus-1 rating for the game despite all the Chicago goals. Crawford marveled at Fistric's ability to keep piling up pluses (he's now plus-25 for the season) while his teammates are almost all minuses.

*Steve Ott scored his 20th goal of the season, setting a new career high. He had a typical Ott game: four shots and three hits. He even won 11 of 17 faceoffs.

*Goalie Matt Climie was satisfied with his performance in what could be just a one-game tryout. It's likely that he'll now head back to the Texas Stars and try to lead them to playoff success.

*Brad Richards had an assist to give him 91 points for the season, tying a career high. I'll have more on Richards tomorrow.